STI Group STI - Gustav Stabernack GmbH

Experience, Understand, Buy: Interactive Store Concept from Microsoft encourages customers to test products

Some of the Microsoft products require explanation and advice, yet still need to be displayed in an eye-catching manner.

As the world’s leading standard software manufacturer, Microsoft generates excitement among millions of users with its products. Some of these products require explanation and advice, yet still need to be displayed in an eye-catching manner. The solution? Interactive displays that set Microsoft products apart from the competition, both visually and conceptually.

Designed by STI Group in collaboration with More Success Marketing GmbH, these demo displays have a modular structure, meaning the interactive area can be adapted to the amount of space available in each retailer. Open product display encourages shoppers to touch and test the products, and experience the benefits for themselves. This opportunity to make direct comparisons and increase product understanding makes it much more likely that shoppers will purchase the product, and ultimately results in higher levels of customer satisfaction.

Combined yet independent. Is that possible? ‘Yes. With Microsoft products and a Microsoft account.’

In the Microsoft Reinvention areas, the boundaries between TV, PC and handheld devices are broken down and products can be tested in any combination. Whether at home on the Xbox or a Windows 8 Tablet, on the go with a Windows phone, or in the office sitting in front of your Notebook or PC, all Windows devices can be linked with one another. Digital media – pictures, music or data – can be accessed anytime and anywhere. This gives shoppers a ‘real world’ experience of using the products just as they would if at home or in the office.

Longer engagement through interaction

The Microsoft Surface actively engages shoppers, in line with the latest trends. A continuous video loop attracts shoppers and communicates information, even from a distance. When a shopper stays in front of the surface tape for longer than three seconds, the video stops and the shopper is guided through an interactive product scenario using step-by-step instructions. This guided interaction engages shoppers with the product for longer and more extensively; they learn new uses, experience added value, and subconsciously feel a sense of accomplishment.

A multi-touch sales assistant

What looks like a bright design desk is in fact the second interactive highlight: a multi-touch display. Touch screen interactive menu navigation leads shoppers intuitively to the specific details they seek. Just touching products on the display brings up related product information, product comparisons and visualisations of how these can be combined with other Microsoft products.

Not only are shoppers given product information in an attractive manner, retail staff can also benefit by using the multi-touch display as a sales aid.

Product focus

The large glass screen attracts shoppers even from a distance and draws them towards the Microsoft stand. Illuminated by a projector, the glass screen looks like an oversized monitor and can play preset videos and display other devices. The highlight is connection to a camera that can transmit live images from the store. Local sales representatives can decide what contents should be displayed.

Double protection, longer placement

A dark walnut decor body is coated with white protective varnish, giving the premium unit a classic look that is also flame-retardant. This material choice, along with a stable design, allows longer placement in retail. All Microsoft products integrated in the display are protected from theft by security cables. The display is also available with lockable glass doors if desired, transforming the desk into a cabinet with additional product storage space.

First shops are a success

This store concept is being implemented in leading German consumer electronics stores and ranges from 2 to 40 sq. meters. The first shop was installed in December 2013 in Saturn, in Ingolstadt, and more shops are currently under construction.

‘The store solutions not only help to theoretically explain the combination of different Microsoft products, but also allow live testing of the products by shoppers. Customers can better understand the possibilities of combination and the complete scope of possible applications. This facilitates marketing. The sales of Microsoft products have increased significantly since the installation of the Microsoft Store.’ Carsten Geilert, Managing Director, Saturn Ingolstadt

Technical finesse impresses shoppers and retailers

The intuitive store concept is intended not only to meet the needs of shoppers but also to create new needs. Technical finesse allows specific product knowledge to be provided even in the absence of sales representatives, giving customers a positive ‘experience-understand-buy’ experience, which led to a substantial increase in sales.