Retail digitalization is one of the hottest trends for 2017. The internet has vastly changed our expectations for service, product selection, and product availability. Google has even re-branded the “www” moniker; “WWW now stands for ‘What I want, when I want, where I want it.’” More important to digitization is the retail execution of trends like social connectivity and personalization on a personal, yet widespread basis. Digitization removes retail borders, and creates a more complete retail experience than would be possible in either a web-based or retail environment alone.

For brands and retail stores, digitization presents a unique opportunity to gather quality merchandising and marketing data in store, in real time.

Take a look at how these 5 business are capitalizing on digitization to improve sales, brand recognition, and customer engagement.


New Balance

In 2015, New Balance created interactive digital kiosks that allowed customers to design custom shoes, which the customer receives in under a week. The kiosks, which are available in some Footlocker locations and New Balance stores, link up to New Balance’s order management, inventory, and manufacturing systems. This is especially good since customers can choose from over 48,000 billion combinations. The integration of touch screens with physical products creates a unique shopping experience not possible in retail or online settings alone. More importantly, New Balance gives control to the customer.

American Apparel

Combining VR with social and sales, the American Apparel Shopping Assistant facilitates the shopping experience by allowing for augmented reality and faster checkouts. The augmented reality feature of the app, which only works in store, shows color lines and styling options (among other features), when the customer scans a barcode. American Apparel’s use of augmented reality engages customers and boosts conversions with the app’s ability to offer deals based on a user’s history.


The Nike Digital Retail Experience was launched for the 2015 Champions League, and was implemented in their Berlin store. Key to Nike’s retail digitization here is the complete integration of social, CRM, and product lines. Free WiFi, a custom app, and rich media integration compose the social features. In-store digitization include the ability to see product availability, order products, and customize orders. Available in many Nike retail locations is Nike Assist, which helps customers purchase products online from mobile devices instead of buying Nike gear sight unseen. This integration of physical and digital is a small, but important shift in the way Nike reaches customers in their retail execution.


On the forefront of retail digitization is the beauty retailer, which has (among its mobile initiatives), created the Sephora Innovation Lab to foster further digital creativity in retail spaces. Sephora unveiled four major updates to its integrated experience: Sephora Flash, augmented reality, pocket contour, and mobile beacons. Sephora Flash is an opt-in program offering free two-day shipping. Its augmented reality innovation comes through the mobile app, which helps customers experience more depth to their in-store experiences. Pocket contour helps customers perfect their makeup application with their mobile device, and when used in-store, helps drive conversions. Mobile beacons caps off the digitization updates with this opt-in program that delivers contextual coupons and specials when customers enter the store (or on special occasions.


While not surprising that tech brands would digitize their retail spaces, telecom giant AT&T has followed suit in its Chicago retail location. Interactive screens and only one physical POS (equipped with biometric scanners). App stations allow customers to interact with new apps curated by AT&T, while a designated space for Square shows customers that own businesses the potential for mobile POS in their everyday operations. At&T goes all in when creating this space to bring interactions and transactions together.

Digitization is here to stay – make the transition seamlessly with Simplifield and watch your sales index increase by as much as 15%. But before you can digitize, be sure that your business can handle it. So whether you need a comprehensive retail audit, merchandise audit, or just help your teams work better together, Simplifield will help you get into the future and begin digitizing your retail space.

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