The Future of the In-Store Experience is about Digital Immersion

We knew it already, but an article in today’s AdWeek affirmed our predictions: the future of retail stores is much more Jetsons than Mad Men.

As the story illustrates through an example of AT&T’s flagship Chicago store, walking into a retail outlet today means all your senses will be engaged, including those that have only developed in the past decade. It describes iPad weilding sales associates assisting an 85-year-old with his first iPhone, which he’d only bought the day before. While being helped, he’s surrounded by an environment of what AT&T calls innovation sounds, part of the atmosphere of digital eye and ear candy that infiltrate the store. An 18-foot tall video wall with motion-sensory software is included in that list.Screen shot 2013-06-04 at 5.32.36 PM

Other retailers are also stylizing their stores to meet that wow-factor which is becoming ever harder to attain as technology’s pace of change quickens. Apple, Nike, Burberry and Adidas are just a few other retailers who have opened brick and mortar locations that impress.

And it’s not just about using iPads as cash registers or iPhones to check you out any place you stand in the story. Stores are employing fully immersive digital environments and people are noticing.

The AT&T store, for instance, features a section devoted to using music apps not only for listening to but also writing tunes. To show how Square, an AT&T partner, can be used by small businesses, there’s a display with real cupcakes and a handmade sign reading “Bake Sale.”

At our upcoming Future Stores conference, we’re going to have a whole slew of people talking about this very trend. If you think it’s something you’d like to explore further for your brick and mortar locations, you’ll want to hear from these speakers.