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With digital in mind, what is the future of in-store retail?

I caught up with Perch Interactive CEO, Trevor Sumner, to find out more...

02 Jul 2019
Ludo headshot

Ludovico Fassati

Head of Vodafone IoT Americas

Now more than ever, providing in-store shoppers with an engaging experience is critical.

At Vodafone Business we are excited to announce that we are now working with Perch - a leader in physical and digital displays for retail marketing - to provide reliable, consistent and engaging digital experiences in stores via IoT.

I was able to interview the CEO of Perch, Trevor Sumner, to discuss his approach to enhancing the platform connectivity in-stores to offer a better experience to their clients. We also touched on how Vodafone Business has played a role in enhancing the customer in-store experience through our IoT network.

Perch image 1 Go_Sport
Perch Interactive display, courtesy of Go Sport

Ludo Fassati: Why was it important for Perch to enhance its in-store connectivity?

Trevor Sumner: Perch collects real-time behavioral data to see how digital messages convert to physical behaviour, like picking up a product or interacting with a screen. In addition to this real-time behavioral data, Perch monitors real-time network health with active screenshots of what’s currently on display in any store at any time.

This real-time monitoring must be stable and consistent, making exceptional in-store connectivity a priority. We need to be able to update the apps on our screens with rich video and applications that can have a sizable payload. Reliable connectivity is needed to update the experiences, do A-B testing and manage the content experience across thousands of units.

LF: How has Vodafone’s IoT Network enabled your company to deliver a more connected digital in-store experience to consumers?

TS: By partnering with Vodafone, we can be confident that our interactive displays are always available and providing engaging content for consumers and critical business data to marketers, even when poor Wi-Fi or other network limitations exist.

Beyond that, Perch needs a partner that understands IoT at its core, which includes providing the right tools to confirm the health of all devices, manage complicated global billing structures, as well as provisioning and de-provisioning of devices. As we continue to scale, having a partner who can scale with us will become increasingly crucial.

LF: When did you realize that the company would benefit from IoT technology?

TS: As we explored ways to best serve our clients, we identified the three pain points they all experienced in one way or another: in-store displays are static and expensive to update; insufficient data on how customers interact-in store; refresh timelines were long and required a lot of partner effort.

Now, for the first time, brands and retailers could message every single product with integrity; bring in all the rich content from the web including branded videos, ratings and reviews, and more, and even a QR code to buy and checkout using a mobile app, further deepening the relationship with the customer across channels. Brands and retailers can have insight into middle of the funnel shopper behavior around product discovery and purchase in-store while allowing the shopper to discover products in-store more naturally.

Perch Sunglasses Hut
Perch Interactive display, courtesy of The Sunglasses Hut

LF: How does a connected display of digital content help retailers increase sales?

TS: The mission of Perch is to lead the change in retail from static physical stores to interactive, media-rich digital stores. Our focus is on embedded systems that merge physical and digital interaction to engage consumers, track behavior and drive sales.

By collaborating with Perch, retailers and brands can deliver brand messages for each product on the counter magically, the moment a customer touches a product using computer vision. Perch’s interactive retail displays include embedded IoT technology that unites digital content with physical products, delivering highly personalized product messaging that drives 5-10x customer engagement, 30-80% product sales lift and 300-2200% ROIs on average - while creating a magical experience for customers.

LF: How has Vodafone contributed to the efforts of revolutionizing the shopping experience with Perch?

TS: By using Vodafone’s global SIM and Internet of Things (IoT) technology, Perch can rely on a secure, reliable network connection to ensure that the service and experience is always-on.

LF: Why did Perch select Vodafone as its partner to enhance the in-store experience?

TS: Perch requires a partner that not only has a proven track record in the IoT space, and understands IoT at its core, making execution of future projects quick and effective.

LF: What’s next for Perch in IoT?

TS: The future of retail is experimental, and we plan on building our physical and digital experiences to revolutionize in-store shopping, and optimize brand and retailer data analytics. We are expanding on our already robust data analytics platform, and we’re excited to provide retailers and brands deeper insights into in-store customer behavior and demographics.

Many thanks to Trevor for taking the time to share more about Perch and their experience with Vodafone Business. You can find more about Perch on their website here.

With digital in mind, what is the future of in-store retail?

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