Can high tech and high touch coexist to create a better in-store experience? 

The simple answer is, “Yes.” However, we all know because something is simple doesn’t mean it’s easy to implement.

Here’s the dilemma—retailers and brands have a myriad of choices for slick high-tech tools to engage their customer. Let’s look at some recent examples:

  • Sephora leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to help customers find their perfect shade of foundation, or experience a new fragrance via a touchscreen and a poof of air.
  • Sephora Virtual Artist uses artificial reality (AR) to let customers virtually try on new shades of their favorite beauty brands.
  • Target has a slick app called Cartwheel, which provides customized offers and coupons for their customers to use in-store.
  • Last year, Zara implemented self check-out for anyone who wants to skip their lengthy lines.

Sometimes these cool ‘value add’ technology solutions feel vastly disconnected from the actual in-store experience. The built-in touchscreens intended to share product knowledge sit dusty and unused, and the interactive kiosk has been relegated to the corner of the store. Why? Well, the answer may appear obvious: no one told the store employees about the cool ‘value add’ technology or taught them how to leverage it to improve the shopper’s in-store experience. The in-store team may view most tech solutions as completely separate from their world. Alternatively, worse – v