Technology and the Evolution of the In-store Experience

In today’s shopping experience digital strategy, user experience design, technology, and content are king, but with so many different marketing channels and strategies available, it’s easy to get lost and overloaded.

Jeff Whitney, creative director for Juxt Interactive, a creative agency that engages customers through technology, focuses on connecting and engaging with consumers through digital platforms to enhance the in-store experience. His current work for Toyota and Scion focuses on human engagement strategies and solutions in physical computing, multi-touch and environmental media experiences. Whitney pushes the boundaries of interactive storytelling online, at events, and live spaces by connecting the dots across the social web through desktop, tablet, mobile and memorable experiences for brands.

SIMA connected the dots on five key questions with Whitney, who will be speaking at the upcoming SIMA Visual Merchandising and Retail Marketing Boot Camp on April 25 in Dana Point.

Juxt Interactive Creative Director Jeff Whitney

What is “out” in regards to retail marketing?

What is “out” in regards to retail marketing is simply being “out of touch” with your consumer’s needs and expectations as well as the conversation happening now, online around your brand and products.

If you could recommend companies do just ONE retail marketing initiative, what would it be?

A content strategy. Invest in allowing your customers the freedom to explore the story behind the merchandising or the marketing surrounding your products.

What are surf stores today lacking in visual merchandising and what can they do to increase their foot traffic?

The typical surf shop does OK communicating the essence of the sport through macro video playback of pro surfers, perfect waves, and general lifestyle content. They lack in bringing a more personalized storytelling experience through technology with specific brands and merchandise on the sales floor. Interactive content can serve as an attractor and increase traffic over static signage.

What are your favorite retail shops and why?

The Nike+ Retail experience at SXSW 2012 in Austin, Texas was unforgettable. They created desire through super-limited stock of the new Nike+ Fuelband. They provided a one-on-one experience with a helpful product specialist who walked me through the entire set-up with the product and my mobile device. Afterwards, I was escorted to content-based interactive stations that allowed me to explore the product stories and enthusiast communities online. My new product purchase functioned as my VIP pass to external brand events around town

I also enjoy Apple because they allow me to touch and trial products freely. They have an over-abundance of help on the floor, the onsite training classes make it feel like an event every visit and they’ve now moved to self check-out via mobile app and iTunes.

What kind of clients do you work with at Juxt Interactive?

We typically work direct to client with a large focus on business to consumer offerings. Our client lists ranges from major automotive brands to technology and consumer goods.

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 Whitney will present a case study as well as contribute during a panel discussion at SIMA’s Visual Merchandising and Retail Marketing Boot Camp on April 25, 2012, at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, Calif.

Along with Whitney, representatives from some of the leading creative agencies in the interactive retail landscape will share three case studies and interact in a candid panel discussion, sharing how they engage consumers in forming real brand relationships. To register for Visual Merchandising and Retail Marketing Boot Camp, visit www.regonline.com/visualmerchandisingbootcamp.

The deadline to register is this Friday, April 20.