Bridging the digital-physical gap

That customers are seeking differentiated, engaging and unique shopping experiences is needless to emphasise. They are still shopping in-store. But they don’t look at the store as a purely transactional space where they walk in, select a product, pay and walk out. Retail brands and shopping malls are, thus, ever-keen to optimise their customers’ shopping journeys by a blended, online-offline, experience.

Dubai-based technology company Nearbuy Group – which provides shopping malls and retail brands with a range of innovative phygital solutions – understands the importance of delivering an immersive shopping experience. And such experiences can be created by integrating digital technologies throughout the shopping journey – from smart displays to ‘retailtainment’ interactivity, which adds entertainment to the retail space.

Luxury retailer Chalhoub Group’s dedicated brand for children, Level Kids in City Walk was keen to drive traffic to the upper floors. Nearbuy Group came up with a solution. The decision was to deploy robotics to attract, engage and better guide shoppers through the store, offering them a unique experience. In addition, on the upper floors, Nearbuy Group developed phygital interactive applications – such as Magic Mirror and Save the Monkey – specially designed to attract the children, while mothers shop peacefully.

“The Nearbuy Group solutions not only enhanced our customer journey in the store, but also increased sales by around 50% in the products placed by the area where the activations were installed. It intrigued customers to go to upper floors discovering all the elements in the store, the categories, brands, services, ensuring a seamless journey for the customer within the store. Traffic and dwell time also increased due to curiosity, when you see a robot going around the store you are curious about it and want to follow him to see what he is up to,” shares Miral Youssef, general manager – business development at Chalhoub Group, who was former general manager of Level Kids.

Similarly at The Dubai Mall, Nearbuy Group implemented a new intuitive smart wayfinding solution called the Touch Map to better guide customers through the mall. With its “Plan Your Visit” option, visitors can enter one or multiple stores they want to visit and get the best and shortest route mapped out for them instantly. Using individual QR Code, the map can then be scanned into one’s personal mobile, allowing users to follow the map’s directions with ease, while creating a seamless and stress-free customer journey.

In addition, shoppers have access to relevant information, from promotions and events to store information. The solution is designed to run on digital kiosks, mobile apps and website – which makes the customer’s omnichannel experience integrated and consistent. Nearbuy Group has also provided interactive applications – such as Holograms, Wall of Fame and Find Your Scent – to attract, engage and entertain customers at the recently unveiled Fashion Avenue in The Dubai Mall.

Commenting on the Find Your Scent activation, Nicolas Standaert, founder & CEO of Nearbuy Group, says, “This solution is very interactive, engaging and informative. Through a unique experience of smelling different scents, consumers will discover which kind of perfumery suits them. Then they will be able to enter their details in order to get more information on products and offers.”

“We offer different kind of experiences. People enjoy the unique experiences, while brands are able to promote better. These digital activations are based on retailtainment, ensuring shopping malls and stores offer more non-shopping, entertainment-driven reasons for customers to visit them,” he concludes.


Published by Retail ME, May 2018.

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