Interactive shop windows – an idea that has been talked about on and off for the past few years. It’s an interesting concept, but it hasn’t had its breakthrough moment yet. But now, the age of digitalization is here and milestones like IoT (Internet of Things) and Big Data are adding fuel to the fire. Every day, new possibilities and opportunities arise. Of course, the Digital Signage industry looks to capitalize on these new innovations and bring the interactive show window to life.

Creativity generates individuality – and customers

Engaging, vibrant video will usually attract more attention than fixed images. However, as the number of digital signage screens increases, the novelty is also wearing off. Whoever wants to continue to stand out from the crowd needs to prove their creativity and focus on the future. Keeping the customer’s undivided attention should be the goal.

Digital Signage has already made inroads into the retail industry. In many cases, they are already successfully installed and used in many point of sale (POS) systems. Additionally, Digital Signage can be found in the checkout area, digital menu boards in restaurants or information displays in shopping malls. They are an integral part of daily life.

However, most of these applications are reduced to playing a preinstalled playlist. However, you don’t need to limit yourself. Instead, think outside of the box in the form of an interactive store window. There, you will be able to see precisely where exciting ideas can be realized, which promises real interaction with customers.

Update: We went beyond the boundaries of the typical signage ideas and developed hardware for a powerful and scalable interactive digital signage.

Approach customers visually

The store window serves as a central point in the transfer of information and the first point of contact between the POS system and the customer. This is where the gaze of the seeker meets the decorated goods landscape of the seller. Elaborate product presentations and seasonal adjustments are supposed to keep the mood of the observer happy and entertained, while visual stimuli wake new interests. However, the content of the display remains static, at least until the next calendar redecoration.

A digital renaissance?

Even though the store window plays a big, important role in the purchasing momentum, the digitalization processes of retail stores are hardly considered. Again and again, new possibilities were presented to enter into dialogue with the customer through technical innovations. None of which have, up to this date, been completely convincing. But time means progress, especially in the technology sector. And so the slightly dusty presentation area – store window – could soon experience a digital renaissance.

What we should learn from Nintendo Wii

Interactive store windows are a really great tool to link online and offline and to lure the customer through an unprecedented shopping adventure back to the inner cities. Thanks to technological advances, consumers will be able to interact with digital signage applications in the near future. The idea behind this is new. For example gesture control, an invention that was founded 11 years ago and was made accessible to the masses through the game console Nintendo Wii. Followed by face recognition and speech recognition, this is how different building blocks were often used as isolated applications. Now it is about bringing together the individual technologies.

Interactive store windows – create experiences in real time

Thanks to the IoT (Internet of Things) and the accompanying network expansion, the time has now come to combine the various techniques together to create a holistic experience. In this way, screens will be able to react to fixed events in real-time, or, in the opposite direction, to control analog objects in a targeted manner in the future. This results in numerous application possibilities, which promise great potential, especially in the retail business.

Through this digitalization new stimuli are created to lure customers into ones’ store. The individual approach and the direct integration of the customer into the content is the key to success. In addition, the interaction that was limited based on store opening hours will now be extended to a 24/7 service.  Thus, customers have the opportunity to shop at their favorite store in the city, even on a comfortable Sunday afternoon, from online through the interactive store window.

Big Data: From the Internet to the retail market

This scenario is possible with the appropriate content. Various tools, such as cameras, sensors, and actuators scan the direct surroundings of the interactive store windows. Thereby movement and persons are perceived in the possible radius of action. Besides the determination of sex, the approximate age, as well as the emotional state of the observer can be recorded with the aid of software and then evaluated.

The technological cooperation allows a precise evaluation of the respective person and provides information about the potential buyer. Digital signage software, contrary to the status quota, not only provides content management but also delivers marketers and management meaningful data. The targeted approach, as well as the low scattering losses, will make the jump from the online to the offline world – Big Data meets the retail market and presents the Brick-and-Mortar business a promising future.