The Revival of Customer Experience in Retail

It is interesting to listen in on the recent buzz around customer experience in retail. Pundits highlight that competition now is fierce as keen new businesses launch into the market, while industry behemoths flex marketing muscle to capture precious market share. I doubt that retailers ten years ago would have stated anything differently; however what is true today is the variety of flashy tools available to promote your business. This could include the practical necessity of social media in marketing or the wide array of digital signage options that will undoubtedly be on display at the Digital Signage Expo next week in Las Vegas.

The other week I listened in on a DSE Webinar called “Enhancing the QSR Customer Experience with Digital Signage,” hosted by QSR Magazine and featuring Paul Flippo and Tyler Torti from North Highland.

The emphasis of the presentation was how customers are now looking for a real experience in retail. Three years ago, the big emphasis was on improving quality of products (particularly those in Quick Service Retail, which, over years of perfecting FAST and CHEAP, had left much to be desired as far as QUALITY, and a market opportunity). Now, driven partially by millennials, but embraced by the other generations that don’t want to feel old, market research is showing that quality needs to be high, but customers want a physical store that provides them an experience that makes they want to shop there. Buying items online shipped right to your door is very convenient, but there is zero “experience” for the customer, hence little loyalty.

Food trucks are a great example of this kind of experience. They provide high quality food items, in a novel package that has customers waiting in lines to buy.

For QSR, experience enhancements take many forms including updated decor, and store branding to more active experiences such as self-order kiosks, and mobile order and pay. In fact, Dunkin Donuts recently announced that they would build dedicated pickup lanes at their new stores specifically for loyalty card and app users that order with their mobile device.

This makes considerations of digital signage to be of even more importance, if you want to ensure that technology is enhancing the experience you want to give your customers, clients, or your even your employees. Digital posters, and short loop video may be missing the mark..


Andrew Pease Founder of By Jove! Consulting Corp., a technical guru of many hats who has an insatiable curiosity for finding out how to make it work. Part time gardener and sometimes artist, I bring all my experience to all the challenges I face. I am also an all around nice guy!