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Creative Realities Releases "2011's Critical Five: Top Digital Strategies for Revolutionizing the In-Store Experience"

Brand Experience Innovators Share In-Store Strategies for the New Year

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 02/07/11 -- Creative Realities -- a digital brand experience company that has helped brands such as Nike, Mercedes Benz, and AT&T bridge the physical and virtual worlds of digital marketing -- today released a list "2011's Critical Five: Top Digital Strategies for Revolutionizing the In-store Experience."

"What every good marketer and retailer came to recognize in 2010 is that the in-store experience needs to equal or outperform the online experience or you potentially dilute the incentive for the consumer to visit a physical location," said Paul Price, CEO, Creative Realities. "By incorporating the high tech initiatives we've identified here, retailers can immediately enhance the customer's experience and serve up the same kind of advanced/informed recommendations consumers have come to expect online."

Laura Davis-Taylor, author of "Lighting up the Aisle: Practices and Principles for In-store Digital Media" and Experience Strategist for Creative Realities, collectively monitored the retail technology landscape, and identified the top five digital strategies for retailers in the coming year.

"Shoppers today have the same needs that they had 10 years ago -- it's how they go about meeting their needs that has changed. Retailers today need to be proactive in how they meet shopper expectations; we believe that incorporating these five strategies will make the biggest overall difference for any retailer's physical shopping experience," noted Davis.

2011's Critical Five: Top Digital Strategies for Revolutionizing the In-store Experience

1. Converge the mobile and in-store experience.
Now that the smart phone has penetrated more than 25% of households, apps and handheld solutions are becoming a key part of the shopping experience. Get on board by letting shoppers quickly compare prices, locate competitors, cash in on coupons, and read product reviews on their phones while walking through your store. Go further and offer up "hyper-relevant" incentives based upon their browsing and purchasing history.

2. Socially empower the shopping experience.
Get inspired by how Facebook and Google's Shoppybag let customers organize product favorites and wish lists for their social networks to see and respond to. Levi's is also leading the way in this area by letting consumers post their personal jeans profile and share it with friends via social media networks. Dell Swarm and Groupon's Grouponicus have gone even further by creating volume discounting that incentivizes rallying friends and peers to buy products together.

3. Personalize the mobile and digital experience in-store.
Shoppers today love the personalized incentives and suggestions that they enjoy on websites such as Amazon. Consider bringing this same level of service into the store via mobile phone technologies, where they can 'check in' and receive in-store promotions via their personal shopper. Take this digital assistance even further with the help augmented reality technology to offer in-store shoppers virtual makeovers and magic mirrors that allow them to virtually "try on" everything from eyeglasses to apparel to makeup within a physical location.

4. Learn from the digital marketplaces and similarly service customer's needs.
Take a page out of Google's boutiques.com playbook. Utilize technology for the consumer's benefit, and start documenting shopper preferences on products, styles, prices and more for the purpose of offering them personal recommendations that they will be sure to love.

5. Digitally empower associates.
Technology is the answer to empowering your associates with the information that they need to sell more effectively. Apple's smart use of hand-held devices for helping associates manage queues, check inventory, identify appropriate accessories and facilitate check-out so broke the mold, brands like Old Navy are now licensing it from them. Every retailer should be thinking similarly about how technology can make consumers feel that they're getting more, not less, when they engage an associate in-store.

Thanks to the exciting new digital technologies available today for brands and consumers alike, marketers now have the opportunity to evolve shopping experiences inside stores. Price notes, "2011 will be a critical time for brands to start planning how they'll take advantage of these digital capabilities to impact both their bottom line and competitive advantage."

About Creative Realities

Creative Realities, a digital brand experience agency, designs innovative brand experiences that bridge the physical and virtual worlds, evoking powerful emotions from consumers. Utilizing the next generation of digital technologies, the agency has created brand experiences for clients including McDonald's, Nike, Mercedes Benz, AT&T, Bank of America, and others. Creative Realities has offices in New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, and London.

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