Here is a question for you, Does technology and Artificial Intelligence(AI) belong in the, Store Experience of the Future?
Today I was due to be flying to Seattle to present on AI in Retail & the Store of the Future, at Microsoft’s Digital Transformation Summit. A use case, I was going to focus on, was the Dolby Pop Up Store in SoHo New York.
Dolby created the experiential space to promote their premium headphones and sound experiences, through partner technologies, and they had created the best ‘Instagrammable’ store that I have ever seen, people could not stop snapping photos or recording videos of their experiences.
Young or not so young the reaction, was primal and instant. No hesitation, a single thought ran through your mind, “this place rocks and I want to rock with it”. Was this an analogue or digital instore experience? Was there any AI technology being used? Was it a physical to digital experience? Was there a fast check out? Was there a cross-sell or up-sell opportunity? Could I buy it at a discount online from Amazon? Who the hell cared, people just wanted to be a part of the brand experience.
The Brand Experience & AI
Dolby were masterful in their ability to deliver on their websites description;
DOLBY SOHO IS AN EXPERIENTIAL SPACE, WHERE SCIENCE MEETS ART, AND TECHNOLOGY MEETS IMAGINATION!
My message to my fellow colleagues at Microsoft would have been, be careful what those media experts are telling you about technology and AI in retail, Millenials just don’t care, retail is still theatre, retail is passion, love and art, technology is secondary to experience, like love to infatuation. If your customers do not emotionally connect with the brand you will not return or spend, irrespective of the smart AI telling me your age, sex and ethnicity. AI in retail is and should be the secret sauce that connects us to the brand without us even realising it and that is why inclusive design and experiential architecture has to be built into any Store of the Future.
What do you think? What has been your most Instagramable in store moment?
Thank you for reading this post, agree or disagree? You may like to have a gander at some of my other posts.