Digital Mannequin for Retail Clothing

Digital Mannequin for Retail Clothing
Use a "live" model, display more views and more product

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The "I" effect on Digital Signage

I love my iPhone.  Ipad owners love their iPads.  Ipod users love their iPods.

You know why that is?  Because they're great products: they're well-designed and they work great and do more than you really need them to, but it's great just knowing they can do all that cool stuff.

Digital Signage and Digital Out of Home devices have only partial coolness.  The technology is usually pretty good, but content and ease of use, as well as method, are hit and miss.

That is the great burden which we must bear and find ways to ease:  we live in a generation that is conditioned to unbelievably great products like what Apple has produced and ubiquitously popularized, so everything and everyone else has to try to measure up.  This is a heavy burden indeed.

With DS and DOOH there are very very few places you can go to receive the type of integrated great end result for purposes like retail, at a cost effective price.  The hardware company wants to sell their components, the SaaS or Signage management company wants to sell you their system, the integrator wants to tell you they can put it all together for you, and the content provider wants sell you on their content capabilities.  Imagine if iPhones were sold that way.

You'll argue that apps have to be sold or downloaded separately.  True, but the devices themselves come with so many useful apps and valuable capability, and then the downloading of free apps is so easy, that DS and DOOH pale by comparison.  It is not a end-user-friendly proposition, especially for retailers.

But that is what it needs to be.  Discovering the right level of user tolerance and acceptance/ease-of-use is the task.

I put it to you retail merchandisers:  What would you expect to pay for a Digital Signage solution that was easy for you to use on a daily basis in your store window?  More specifically, what would you expect to pay for a window video system, like a Digital Mannequin, such as the one shown here:

Or such as the one depicted here in the Oakley store:

I would be interested in all your thoughts on pricing such systems.  Let me know!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Engagement is the Goal? What about the Wedding?!

I read a lot about engagement these days, especially as it relates to social media, but also as it relates to DS and DOOH.

One guy wrote:  "It's all about engagement!"

I said to myself, "really?"

If I had told that to my wife in response to her questions about wedding planning, I think there would have been a major sit-down-hash-it-out discussion.

Social media promoters keep telling us it's all about the engagement, but as a consumer/viewer/target audience member, I want to know "When's the wedding?"  What's in it for me?  What's the pay off?  Where's the beef?

And every good business decision maker asks the same thing from their point of view:  "When's this stuff going to start producing a profit for us?"

Engagement is good, but it is only a step in the process which must lead to a wedding, a consummation, a business transaction.  There's got to be a point to it, at least, for us business people who want to make money.

So here's my point:  Engage me, FOR THE PURPOSE OF LEADING ME TO PURCHASE.  If you want to make money, you must engage for the purpose of having a business relationship.  Not just any old relationship, not a casual fling, or a one-night stand.  An honest-to-goodness business relationship, where something is actually sold, something purchased, a want or need is met.

If it's only about engagement, that sounds like an exercise in futility and time-wasting.  I would not suggest investing a cent in a game, event, or display if it doesn't lead, in a direct way, to a purchase, and a successful, satisfying, win-win "relationship".

Now that's something I can "Like".