Over the past five years, shoppable walls have become a viable means to buy and sell products with minimal physical interaction. Shoppable walls use virtual images with 2D barcodes that uses a companion app to scan and make purchases within an interactive screen.
The demand for shoppable walls began with the populated subway stations in Korea. In order to profit from the high traffic and to add convenience, shoppable walls are still frequently found in commuter stations. The shoppable walls originally were made up of illustrations of vegetables and meat, offering commuters the convenience of buying and ordering groceries during their commute instead of making a separate trip to the supermarket.
While on a recent trip to Toronto, I was greeted with many shoppable walls at the Eaton Center Mall, in many of the stores. It was not surprising that shoppable walls would be integrated to so many stores, but it was surprising just how far ahead both retailers and consumers were to use the technology.
The Eaton Center, located in the core of downtown Toronto, often sees high volume traffic and waiting in long lines to be common practice. To alleviate the pressure on employees and give the customer a more efficient way to get help and source available customizable options, using a shoppable wall makes shopping easier.
In an overcrowded sporting goods store, custom professional league jerseys orders could be made through a shoppable wall. All I had to do was pick a product, insert the text, approve and pay through an app and within minutes, my custom purchase was available to me.
This concept is now widely practiced and being utilized by many companies globally. Kate Spade, an early adaptor, uses shoppable walls for temporary construction barricades while stores are being built. A release by Kate Spade outlined what customers can expect to experience, “Customers can take short quizzes centered on personality traits and style preferences. Once complete, the customer receives a personalized statement that celebrates her as an individual, such as “she adores pretty things and witty words,” directly on her mobile device, allowing her to share it across her own social media platforms. In addition, Kate Spade New York curates a customized collection, unique to the shopper’s tastes, and delivers it to her mobile device along with complimentary, one-day shipping”.
Shoppable walls have also evolved into being a strategic area of retail planning. Over populated stores and restaurants use shoppable walls to make accessibility easier and eliminate being short staffed or offering subpar customer quality.
Rebecca Minkoff’s flagship store offers shoppable walls, “Customers can use these interactive displays to browse and order different styles or sizes. Plus you can use it to get a staff member to bring you a different size” said Minkoff on how these technological advances can make the consumer experience better.
The goal for shoppable walls is to allow 24/7 business opportunities, improve quality and innovative digital engagement.
Have you used a shoppable wall before? I’d love to hear about your experience.