We’ve been hearing a lot about “retailpocolypse,” which raises the question of what 2019 has in store for retail (excuse the pun). This question threaded the many topics we batted around with Perch Interactive CEO Trevor Sumner on the latest episode of Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast.
“2018 has been the year of retail reinvention. 2019 is going to be the re-crowning of physical retail as king,” he said. “And it’s going to be powered by technology, better analytics, supply chain optimization … but it’s also going to be about creating wonderful engaging experiences again.”
So what is Perch doing to help retailers get there? Its interactive LCD screens are embedded in retail shelving, cabinets, and endcaps. They employ computer vision to detect when you pick up a product, then respond with various digital media, animations, and product info.
The biggest thing this accomplishes, according to Sumner, is to fuse the best of offline and online shopping. The former dominates consumer spending due to immediate gratification and tactile experience … but the latter offers buyer empowerment, transparency, and cost advantages.
“You can imagine what Amazon would be like if you couldn’t click products … and [had] no ability to find out more information other than what’s on the image,” said Sumner. “That’s exactly your experience walking into [retail]. They throw the products on the shelves and miss all that digital content we’ve come to love.”
Sumner makes a strong ROI case too, given performance metrics and case studies that Perch continues to validate. That includes up to 144% sales lift, depending on the product category. It’s all about strategic points of influence on consumers and rethinking retail as media.
“Avino’s spokesperson is Jennifer Aniston,” said Sumner. “[They] spend millions of dollars to promote that on TV and social media. But the reality is there are 10x people in front of your product in stores than your Facebook page. So if you look at the amount of money you’re spending … at the point that your customers are about to purchase your product … Jennifer Aniston’s not there.”
Mike Boland is Street Fight’s lead analyst, author of the Road Map column, and producer of the Heard on the Street podcast. He has been an analyst in the local space since 2005, covering mobile, social, and emerging tech. More biographical information can be seen here.