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Retail
Published: 2 Sep 2015

Heal’s ‘Digital Discoveries’: Digital-Physical Integration

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Heals Digital Discoveries

British furniture retailer Heal's has just revealed the results of a year-long near-field communication (NFC) trial in its London flagship. The tablet-oriented Digital Discoveries service was part of a wider mission to understand consumer behaviour across all its platforms, and help shoppers move between them smoothly.

Oliver White, director of e-commerce, said: "While Heal's has been excellent at understanding its customers' behaviours on its website, in-store has admittedly been a real blind spot. Given most customers prefer to view in-store before purchasing online, it was essential to create a more seamless integration between their physical and digital spaces."

Visitors can scan RFID (radio frequency identification) tags on products via in-store tablets to unlock additional information such as where the product was made, availability and complementary items. Selections can be added to a wish list and emailed for future reference (see Start-Pause-Go: Retail in Hyper Flow for more).

The project also boosts connections to related marketing thanks to its underlying partnership with British 'remarketing' specialists CloudTags (see Closing The Digital Physical Loop in Start-Pause-Go: Retail in Hyper Flow for more).When consumers click any of the product URLs in the wish-list emails, CloudTags is then able to re-engage them via targeted display ads on other sites.

Within the first week, 20% of customers used a tablet, 30% emailed themselves a wish list and 75-80% opened a link. Collaborating with UK-based real-time marketing platform Fast Thinking resulted in a click-through rate of 11% – 16 times greater than a standard online-only remarketing ad campaign. This contributed to 30% greater spend compared to Heal's average online customer.

Heal's partnered with Google's Nexus on the tablets and is currently installing the NFC technology across its five other UK locations in preparation for the Christmas shopping season.

For more on physical/digital integrations, see The Omni-Channel Store Space, Data Tracking & Human Response Monitoring, and our Industry Trends Roaming Retail and Anywhere Retailing. See also Reactive Retailing, Sales-Boosting Beacons and Future-Facing Fitting Rooms.

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