Interview • 01.10.2013

“Retailer Apps accompany the customer inside and outside of the store”

Interview with Jürgen Berens von Rautenfeld, CEO and President, Online Software AG

Jürgen Berens von Rauten-
feld: Digital communication is more comprehensive...
Jürgen Berens von Rauten- feld: 'Digital communication is more comprehensive than the classic approach via print media.'
Source: Online Software AG

eCommerce is putting brick and mortar retailers under increasing pressure today. But this also leads to the development of new, innovative ideas that attract the customers and drive them back into the store by offering them an added value. In our current interview, Jürgen Berens von Rautenfeld, CEO and President of Online Software AG, explains which benefits digital marketing solutions offer and how you can even advertise convincingly for dairy products with a digital solution.

What advantages do the new, digital marketing solutions for the POS have compared to the “classic “ marketing forms?

Classic marketing forms offer retailers countless sales approach possibilities, but can be wonderfully complemented and expanded with digital solutions these days. The digital POS media open up new ways for advertising to address customers in a livelier and more comprehensive manner and even inspire them to interact.

The eye detects motion much more quickly. Advertising videos and animations increasingly attract the customer’s attention and almost literally “catch someone’s eye“. Colors are also much more brilliantly displayed on monitors than on printed media products and this way, sales promotions are much better highlighted. A digital sales approach also offers brick and mortar stores the chance to combine offline and online business and thereby also take advantage of online communication benefits at the store.

Another important aspect is the flexibility to adapt communication quickly and easily to current changes, regardless of whether that is a short-term price change or a completely new sales offer. This can be immediately displayed on digital media after a central or local change occurs.

Are these new solutions suited for all shop areas?

Digital communication is more comprehensive than the classic approach via print media. To be able to unleash their full effect, the required monitors should be primarily located in waiting areas. This includes for instance the checkout area, info counter, dressing rooms, elevators, lounges, service counters and bottle return machines.

What additional advertising and marketing measures optimally support in-store marketing?

All measures that entice the customer to engage with the offered products, sales campaigns and services and to increase their length of stay in the store support in-store marketing. Aside from large-sized monitors that inform, animate and entertain, information terminals where the customer can receive interactive information on product details for instance are also among the modern tools.

Another constantly increasing tool are retail apps that accompany the customer inside and outside of the store, showcase the extensive services by the retailer, provide additional information about the product choices or take people by surprise with innovative sales campaigns. What’s more, apps can establish a connection between brick and mortar stores and online retail, e.g., to the online store, but also to sales campaigns that are being advertised online.

Within the scope of the ‘Shelf Vision‘ project, the Online Software AG developed an innovative refrigerator shelving unit for real,- that highlights dairy products. How did this project come about and what is new about the ’Shelf Vision‘ solution?

ShelfVision is a joint project in which LG Electronics, Maixsys and industry partners Danone, Arla Foods, Ferrero and Unilever participated in alongside the Online Software Company. The goal is to design the previous refrigerator shelving unit in a more modern way by using the latest technology and making it more attractive to customers as well as industry partners.

Instead of the traditional shelf rails with paper labels, electronic shelf labels with liquid crystal displays (LCDs) were being installed, which come to life through the PRESTIGEenterprise software with colorful pictures, videos and animations. The customers perceive the new presentation of the dairy products as extremely appealing and are excited about the easier navigation. This type of modern shelf presentation sets the stage for an attractive and sustainable brick and mortar business.

What are the big trends for in-store marketing (keyword mobile solutions etc…)? What innovations can we expect over the next few years?

The success of online retail puts brick and mortar businesses under pressure. Today this already results in new innovative ideas, which will revolutionize the retail landscape, for instance the digital shelf. With the digital shelf, products are presented in a completely virtual way on monitors. This way, advertising spots and animations can also be wonderfully integrated next to product photos.

Digital shelves make it possible to offer products that cannot be displayed due to shortage of space or are only available at the online store for example as a supplement to the product selection. While the customer is still in the store, he/she can connect to the online store via the QR code, which makes it possible to order products online at the store and pay for them right away.

With the increased use of Smartphones by shoppers, ideas and options for mobile customer communication in the brick and mortar business will continue to increase. Today there are already many creative mobile solutions, e.g., to monitor customer satisfaction and anonymous customer feedback or mobile shopping lists with product scan options and automatic receipt of current sales offers. Today, customers already accept these playful and entertaining tools in apps very well.

Daniel Stöter; First publication EuroCIS.com

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Logo: Online Software AG

Online Software AG

Bergstraße 31
69469 Weinheim
Germany
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