Case Study – Interactive Shop Window Boosts Sales
Digitization initiative in stationary retail yields strong results
The pandemic that started in 2020 and the associated lockdown quickly put businesses in dire straits due to the lack of customers. Small businesses in particular were heavily affected. For a fashion store in Wegberg, Germany, PROVISIO provided SiteKiosk, a software solution that enables secure contactless shopping on site and turns the storefront into an interactive customer experience.
The German Retail Association (HDE) observed massive sales losses in the pandemic years 2020 and 2021, as well as a continuing decline in customers at retail locations. The shift in purchasing behavior from retail locations to online business continues even after the end of the lockdown. This has accelerated the rate that companies are expanding their digital offerings.
Owner Jennifer Schmitz‘s women‘s fashion store Lieblingsstücke - Mode & Accessories in Wegberg (Germany) which was founded in 2019, also lost important sales at the beginning of the crisis. Sandra Ottensmann from the IMC Institute for Marketing and Controlling developed the concept for the fashion store. She applied for financial support from the NRW state government and explains: “The special program Thinking Digital and Stationary Retail Together is designed to promote digital projects that help small businesses participate in online growth and thus revive business that was at a standstill in the stationary sector.“ However, the search for a digital signage provider with an interactive solution that would draw customers‘ attention to Lieblingsstücke at the store window and encourage them to buy was difficult: “The focus was always on a contactless shopping experience with the store closed. During my research, however, I kept coming across applications via touchscreen. But these had the disadvantage of multiple contact via the window pane, which is not hygienic,” says Ottensmann from the IMC Institute.
Finally, the decision was made in favor of the SiteKiosk kiosk software, which met the requirement for secure and contactless operation of the kiosk at the store window. The hardware for the digital storefront was provided and installed by Smart Electronics Components GmbH, a PROVISIO sales partner.
While the kiosk application ensures stable and tamper-proof operation of the shopping terminal, display navigation with the customer‘s own mobile device enables shopping even outside opening hours. The customer scans the QR code shown on the display at the shop window and then navigates within the online store using gesture control. “At that moment, the user‘s own smartphone functions as a remote control. The kiosk creates a bridge between the mobile device and the fashion store‘s online shop for interaction with the content displayed. The direct connection is protected at all times by SiteKiosk,” explains Martin Kurze, Business Development Manager at PROVISIO. Sandra Ottensmann from IMC Institute, who managed the project for her client, is enthusiastic:
This is the perfect solution for the touch problem. 100% contactless shopping could be fulfilled with SiteKiosk‘s remote control feature.
Sandra Ottensmann, IMC Institute
The effects of the lockdown have hit the retail sector hard and have created permanent changes. Consumer shopping behavior is increasingly shifting toward online retail. Service stores and store locations in various sectors such as fashion and textiles, gastronomy or electronics can counter this online trend with intelligent digital concepts.
Digital sales solutions at the point of sale (POS), such as the SiteKiosk kiosk application implemented at Lieblingsstücke with remote control via smartphone as an additional function, help to increase interaction between customers and the point of sale and boost sales. Jennifer Schmitz, owner of the fashion and accessories store Lieblingsstücke, is already receiving positive feedback:
The customers are very interested, the display catches their eye directly when strolling through town. This is of course a new shopping experience for a small town.
Jennifer Schmitz, Lieblingsstücke
About Lieblingsstücke and IMC Institute
Lieblingsstücke is a retail store founded in November 2019 specializing in the favorite pieces for women – fashion, decoration, jewelry and accessories.
IMC Institute for Marketing and Controlling specializes in marketing consulting and implementation for SMEs. The IMC Institute was founded in October 2015 and its customer base consists of service companies and trade. Already since 2016, Ms. Ottensmann is a certified BAFA consultant and since May 2021 authorized digital consultant in the funding program digital aufgeLaden of the state of Lower Saxony, Germany. She supports SMEs in selecting and applying for subsidies, designs concepts and implements them according to the customers‘ wishes.
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