Harnessing the Power of Interactive Kiosks for Virtual Reality and Immersive Retail Experiences

June 19, 2024
Posted By: Big Digital
Interactive kiosks deployed for a Johnnie Walker activation in retail.

Retail consumers have high expectations. A recent CX and Communications Consumer survey shows that nearly 70% of consumers want retailers to improve the customer experience. They’re looking for features like more personalized in-store experiences, more personalized communications, and more curated in-store shopping experiences.

Retail brands can’t afford to ignore immersive shopping experiences, pop up brand activations and event networks, and innovative technologies that engage consumers and bring something big to the in-store experience.

Interactive kiosks are a powerful tool for integrating virtual and augmented reality into immersive retail experiences for product launches, marketing drives, and improving the everyday shopping experience. These are some of the ways that BIG Digital displays can help you create an immersive retail experience that will impress consumers and meet today’s elevated expectations.

Interactive Kiosks and Touchscreen Interfaces

Interactive interfaces are at the foundation of immersive experiences. They put consumers in the driver’s seat of their experience, allowing them to navigate, learn, and engage at their own pace. They can be used to teach consumers about new products, encourage them to take advantage of new promotions, and help them search products and find out more information. A self serve kiosk can also be used to process transactions and reduce the amount of time consumers spend in line.

Experiential Retail: Creating Big In-Store Experiences

One of the most important things a retail brand can do today is understand how to differentiate themselves based on the value of an experience. Providing a unique in-store experience is how retailers stand out.

It’s something that media retailers have understood for a long time. In a world where you can stream any song or get any book digitally, media retailers have turned to events like Record Store Day, in-store concerts, book signings, and comic giveaways to foster in-person consumer engagement, create great memories, and build a sense of community around their stores.

Retail brands can create all kinds of unique in-store experiences like immersive exhibits, live music events, and “retailtainment.” Interactive kiosks support in-store activations like these with innovative features like augmented reality, gamification, lift-and-learn experiences, and more.

AR Vanity Mirror made in partnership with DeepAR

Smart Mirrors and Virtual Fitting Rooms

Smart mirrors and virtual fitting rooms are quickly becoming a popular way to use a digital signage kiosk. Smart mirrors give consumers the option to virtually try on different products such as clothes, accessories, or cosmetics. Augmented reality technology uses a consumer’s live digital image and transposes the product they want to try onto the image. It’s a great way for people to see how they’d look with a certain lipstick, a pair of glasses, or any kind of clothes.

AR is the perfect solution for products that can’t easily by tried on, especially cosmetics, or in situations where there isn’t enough space for fitting rooms, such as a pop up shop. Virtual fitting rooms can even be used to supplement traditional fitting rooms, cutting down on lines by letting consumers see what a product would look like before they try it on to confirm the fit.

BIG Digital has recently partnered with DeepAR to deliver the cutting edge ShopAR platform, an Augmented Reality technology that brings eyewear, footwear, wristwear, and general fashion AR try-on directly into retail spaces. We’ve produced a number of AR products to deliver this one-of-a-kind experience, including interactive vanity mirrors, wall-mounted AR mirrors, and sleek AR kiosks that can be activated indoors or outdoors. Together with the help of DeepAR, we’re delivering new ways to engage and make a deeper impact for our clients.

Augmented reality isn’t just an immersive experience; it’s a major improvement to the consumer experience. Make the most of innovative technologies to keep your retail environment competitive with smart mirrors and virtual fitting rooms.

Virtual Showrooms: From Furniture to Sports Cars

Augmented reality doesn’t stop with smart mirrors. They can also be used as virtual showrooms, giving customers deeper insights into bigger products. Interactive kiosks can give consumers an opportunity to see how different homewares will look in their homes. Mobile integration can allow consumers to use photos of their own homes and play around with different digital mock-ups to better envision what it will look like. Virtual showrooms can also be used to give consumers a feel for what it would be like in the interior of a vehicle or other experiences best communicated in immersive media.

Smart mirror used for L’Oreal’s True Match Foundation event

Personalization and AI Shopping Assistance

A global 2024 study from the IBM Institute for Business Value revealed that four out of five consumers want to use AI for shopping and hope that it can help them research products, find promotions, answer their questions, and help them resolve issues.

Some brands have already started integrating AI to create personalization at scale. AI avatars can be integrated into interactive kiosks to bring artificial intelligence to the in-store experience. AI avatars can provide all of the guidance that today’s consumers are looking for without adding to your labour costs.

Using AI and encouraging people to use interactive kiosks to research in-store and find the right products also gives brands an opportunity to collect more data and refine the personalization experience even further in the future.

The majority of consumers already use their smartphones when they’re in-store. They’re looking for a way to gain access to all of the information they know exists online while they shop in the real world. Retailers that blend these experiences with AI avatars and interactive kiosks are giving consumers what they’re looking for.

Pop Up Stores

Want to expand your reach, introduce your brand to new markets, and create interactive brand experiences that will bring people out and turn shopping into an event? Pop up stores let you build buzz around your brand in new markets, test out new products or business models, and turn shopping into an event.

Pop up shops engage new potential consumers and build deeper relationships. They can also be used by online brands who want to test out a physical retail environment.

Interactive kiosks are a valuable support for creating a great pop up experience. They can improve the consumer experience by cutting down on wait times and facilitating payment transactions, or they can be deployed to create fun gamification experiences or social media engagements that make your pop up feel like the event where all the action is happening.

Today’s consumers expect more out of the retail experience. They want retail experiences to be more curated, more personalized, faster, more convenient, and richer with information, engagement, and assistance. Brands need to harness the power of interactive kiosks, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and the latest innovations to make the retail environment competitive in a world where digital experiences and discounts continue to eat into their market share. People want to shop offline and in the real world, but in order to maintain that preference, brands need to step up their game. Talk to us about interactive kiosks that will enhance engagement in-store.