How Interactive Can Change the Cannabis Dispensary Industry
Usability and Accessibility: Guidelines Brands Must Consider When Developing a Kiosk Program
The Psychology Behind Retail Marketing
On the Road with FMA
Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. is a leader in the development of in-store merchandising displays, interactive kiosks, and store fixtures for brands and retailers nationwide. The company helps retailers and brands utilize the latest display solutions and technologies to create engaging customer experiences.
Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. introduces expanded line of self-ordering kiosks
GRAFTON, WI – Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. is proud to present the latest additions to its self-service kiosk line. In addition to its original freestanding Approach floor unit, available as both a 32- and 22-inch touchscreen, the company has now expanded the roster to include a countertop unit, tablet, and wall unit.
The new line marries smart design with different sizes, offering an array of customization options and brand personalization – all while being backed by Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.’s trusted name in delivering experience and unsurpassed quality in the interactive kiosk market.
“From the quick service restaurant utilizing the freestanding unit to the luxury hotel looking for a countertop kiosk, the Approach line gives brands a wide selection of self-service kiosks to meet their specific needs,” says Mike Mayer, President of Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. “The Approach kiosks provide solutions for any self-service environment.” In addition to operating within quick service and fast casual restaurants, Approach self-service kiosks offer functionality for a variety of other markets including retail, hospitality, automotive, home improvement, grocery, cannabis dispensaries, and more.
Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. is a leader in the development of in-store merchandising displays, interactive kiosks, and store fixtures for brands and retailers nationwide. The company helps retailers and brands utilize the latest display solutions and technologies to create engaging customer experiences. For more information on the Approach family of kiosks, visit www.frankmayer.com/approach.
David Anzia, Senior Vice President of Sales Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. 1975 Wisconsin Ave., Grafton, WI 53024 (855) 294-2875 | [email protected]
Self-Service Kiosks Meeting Customer Service Needs – Frank Mayer Expands Line was last modified: March 22nd, 2019 by News Editor
If you’re anything like me, you’ve visited that magical, wholesale warehouse Costco with good intentions to pick up the necessities – paper towels, cheese, yogurt, the like.
Fast forward an hour and you’re now walking out with an economy size bag of Tootsie Roll pops, a jug of raw honey, and a party-size serving of chicken salad for your young family of four.
Whoa. What just happened?
We’ve all seen the silly memes about Costco, Target, and the other big box stores, gently teasing the point that there’s no way to shop these retailers without deviating from your list.
But it turns out there’s a lot of psychology behind encouraging you to go rogue during your shopping trip, and below we detail a few of the insider tricks retailers use to inspire the impulse buy.
The Science of Discovery
Much has been written about Costco’s “treasure hunt” approach to in-store merchandising, a strategy that involves constantly shuffling staple items to different locations in the store. The science behind this is simple. Rearranging items forces shoppers to walk by tempting triggers in the search for their usual goods.
Ever notice the lack of signage above the aisles at Costco, too? Chalk that up as another element of the treasure hunt, designed to encourage exploration.
But wait a second. Every article written about retail in the past few years has the word “frictionless” in it. Why is Costco so popular, consistently scoring high on the American Customer Satisfaction Index, if it’s constantly making shoppers jump through hoops to find their favorite products?
It boils down to science.
When humans discover unexpected items or experience something new, our brain releases the same chemicals associated with joy and love. So, in essence, stumbling upon the row of smart lighting solutions on my way to buy diapers makes me feel happy because my brain is programmed that way. And the fact that Costco changes up their endcap displays in addition to rotating store merchandise means I’m always entering the store subconsciously anticipating the thrill of discovery.
FOMO and the Impulse Buy
The fear of missing out, or more commonly referred to as FOMO, is another hardwired human trait that brands and retailers use to their advantage.
In the book “The New Rules of Retail: Competing in the World’s Toughest Marketplace” by Robin Lewis and Michael Dart, the authors write, “Neuroscientists have proven that the anticipation of rewards – or the potential of not getting what you want – will produce dopamine, which actively drives behavior.”
They go on to use fast fashion retailer Zara as an example of a business model that draws shoppers to its stores more often than the average retailer. Why? Because Zara releases new clothing lines constantly.
As Lewis and Dart state, “Customers visit Zara seventeen times per year, compared to only three or four times for traditional retailers, because they are afraid of missing something new and exciting. The connection is so strong that customers are compelled to buy in fear of the item’s being bought by someone else.”
It’s why marketing messages like “Act now!” and “Hurry! While supplies last!” trigger our knee-jerk decisions. We appease the FOMO anxiety and release that good-feeling dopamine when we keep from missing out.
Tell Me About Yourself
Marketers have become hip to how millennials, now the largest consumer demographic, want to interact with a brand. Not only is this generation hit with traditional marketing in their everyday lives, but these digital inhabitants are also bombarded by a whole different wave of brand messaging online. And because access to product review information, pricing, and more resides at the tap of a finger, they’re known for seeking out authentic experiences to cut through the information overload.
While companies regularly use online platforms like social media and websites to share organic content and brand stories, it’s just as alluring to shoppers when done well in-store.
Merchandising displays and interactive kiosks can play a big role in helping to paint a brand picture to customers. A sleek free-standing display with a monitor featuring a video loop of a runner wearing her fitness tracker draws in the person who identifies with that woman. A shoe display with signage detailing how proceeds go to charity gives potential buyers the warm and fuzzies. Predictably, these little details help people feel more invested in your brand.
Interactive displays that allow shoppers to test a product are equally effective. Just ask the crowd of children waiting their turn at the video game demo at Best Buy. These displays are magnets, drawing in the customers and promoting the products while people eagerly test drive them in the store.
The Grocery Game Plan
It’s not just big box stores that employ consumer psychology to encourage shoppers to buy. Grocery stores follow their own set of guidelines to persuade additional purchases.
Your journey to impulse buying starts before you even step foot in the door. In an interview for a Today.com article, “Supermarkets wage war for your dollars,” marketing consultant Martin Lindstrom details an experiment of doubling the size of a shopping cart. The results? People ended up purchasing 40 percent more. So grabbing a cart the size of a Cadillac has already primed the customer to fill it.
On entry, grocers like to promote the seasonal treats that are hard to pass up. And if you manage to do so, you’ll see them populated through the store as tempting reminders.
Produce often comes next and for good reason. When you feel good about buying healthy items, you’re more likely to cave down the line when faced with junk food temptations. With all that healthy food in your cart, surely you deserve a treat.
And what about those staples like milk and eggs that brought you to the store in the first place? You’ll find those in the back of the building, forcing you to walk down an aisle or two of enticing food shelved at eye level.
Finally, just as you roll to the checkout line, congratulating yourself on avoiding the lure of snack food, you’re left waiting while staring at the array of chocolate bars and candy thoughtfully organized on the row racks.
Okay, fine. Just one candy bar won’t hurt.
The New Hip Spot to Hang
It’s no secret that, in the current market of online competition, retailers have had to get creative to get feet through the door.
It’s why there’s been so much buzz around experiential retail – the practice of offering an experience during what would normally be a traditional shopping trip.
We’ve seen it at places like Target stores that often have Starbucks coffee shops and retailers such as Tommy Bahamas that offer restaurants within some of their brick-and-mortar stores.
Even generous sampling can attract a crowd, as Costco knows all too well. (In fact, Costco’s sampling has its own fascinating psychology.)
Brand retailers are taking experiential retail even further. There’s been big buzz around Nike’s Live concept that not only offers services like style consultations and the ability to try out products, but also curates collections based on where stores are located. Nordstrom, REI, and countless other brands have jumped on the bandwagon as well, realizing that engaging with customers and “activating” their shopping experience leads to increased sales.
Us humans are a simple bunch when it comes down to it. We’re often driven by emotions, which means when retailers can capitalize on this fact, they’d be silly not to. So the next time you find yourself in an aisle seriously contemplating taking home a fancy juicer you didn’t know you needed, consider the neuromarketing behind what’s driving your behavior.
We’re big geeks about retail! Did we miss other strategies that brands and retailers use to delight shoppers and encourage more purchases? Let us know in the comments or on social media.
It feels like just yesterday I was opening a fresh Word document to start writing a wrap-up for 2017, and here we are rounding out 2018.
With retail transforming at a rapid pace, it’s not terribly surprising that the year has flown by. The industry has witnessed some undeniably innovative changes – checkout-free convenience stores, an embrace of self-service kiosks in the quick service restaurant (QSR) and fast casual industries, and augmented reality playing a larger role in personalizing the customer experience. On the flipside, we’ve also bid farewell to some traditional retailers that sadly couldn’t keep stride with their more inventive competitors.
All in all, though, 2018 really shone a spotlight on the winners of the brick and mortar sector of retail – those willing to regroup, reinvent, and reestablish a presence in their various verticals.
I sat down with my Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. colleagues to get their unique perspectives on the point-of-purchase and retail industries in 2018. My questions and their answers are below.
How would you sum up the last year in the point-of-purchase industry?
Mike Mayer, President MM: Still solid. Brick and mortar retail remains strong but will need to continue striving to provide a positive and exciting experience to attract customers. Then the retailers need to continue to change to keep them coming back.
David Anzia Senior Vice President of Sales DA: There appears to be more category-managed merchandising and displays. It’s about streamlining the shopper experience and removing competing graphics, colors, and messaging. I’m also seeing more measured, ROI-based models for all displays. Because brands tend to have a smaller inventory on the product shelves, ROI is tested even more in regard to how quickly the product sell-through takes place.
Cheryl Lesniak Integrated Marketing Manager CL: It’s been quite the shake-up in retail this past year. Those retailers who are willing to embrace technology to provide a customized consumer experience are proving why brick-and-mortar stores are still integral in the shopping experience.
Joe Holley Vice President of Business Development JH: OEMs and retailers have had a challenge this year. I’ve noticed in client meetings that many are trying to reinvent themselves to combat online ordering and home delivery as well as separate themselves from the rest of the competition. They’ve had to really examine brand equity issues with buying groups. How they shop and how quickly they want items has an impact.
Ryan Lepianka Creative Director RL: It appears the ‘pie’ is redistributing with less market share being used at major department store chains, and more warehouse outlets relying heavily on point-of-purchase to tell a product’s story in the absence of sales associates. In some retail stores, the level of style and experience in POP has increased, with brands at these outlets focusing their spending on portraying a ‘showroom’ appearance. After all, while customers may end up making their purchases online, a great display can still help purchasers make a brand decision as people feel better about purchasing something they have seen and touched under favorable circumstances and not just only viewed on their phones.
What changes or trends did you see emerge in 2018?
DA: A trend toward more category-managed displays as well as the use of more semi-permanent materials on permanent displays to reduce overall costs.
JH: I saw a lot of retailers take a step toward “pick up in store” capabilities. It seems to help them minimize some inventories and offers more products that don’t need SKUs out on the floor. It ends up being a win for the customers as well when they don’t need to pay for freight to the store.
CL: We’re seeing multiple e-commerce sites branch into the brick-and-mortar sector, but with nontraditional marketing and customer service plans.
RL: In 2018, I saw better looking, more dramatic, bigger, bolder, more innovative, higher-quality displays in focused retailers.
Was there anything that you thought would be big, but ended up being less impactful?
MM: With so much buzz around self-service kiosks, I expected greater implementation of order entry kiosks in the QSR sector. While slower than originally believed, I think 2019 will be the year we really notice them being executed in-store.
DA: Virtual reality still hasn’t quite caught on at retail. It’s a great solution for flagship locations or a small segment of a company’s overall store count, however, at this point, VR does not appear to be a technology-based resource that will help consumers make a buying decision at retail.
RL: I agree about virtual reality. Apparently, the overall cost and inconvenience (for example, dangling cords, obtrusive headsets, etc.) has been too much for the marketplace to overcome this year. More development is needed to bring this technology into the mass consciousness. I’m hopeful that phone processing power will one day reach a level to help this take off.
Any surprises from certain industries?
DA: The proliferation of self-checkout across a number of retail chains. The momentum will only continue to accelerate through 2019.
JH: Home delivery being offered from grocery stores. Not only can you pick up curbside at the story, but now they’ll deliver your order directly to your home. In fact, Kroger is testing driverless cars that pull up to your driveway and require a code to access your groceries. Even George Jetson didn’t have that benefit!
RL: Not a big surprise, but I continue to see more QSR kiosk examples in the field.
CL: The department store sectors have had to reinvent their traditional models to extend a more experiential shopping trip to customers. Testing products, tailoring services, makeup tutorials, dining experiences – these offerings are drawing the consumer in while the merchandise feels less “center stage.”
So where do our trusty experts see the point-of-purchase market heading for 2019? Keep an eye out for our first blog post of the new year where we predict what the industry has in store!
A recent article from The Business Journals sums up a common retail challenge best when it states, “Successful new product launches are not to be taken for granted.”
There’s supporting research behind that declaration. A 2013 white paper published in the Journal of Product Innovation & Management cites a study done by the Product Development & Management Association (PDMA) that reveals the new product failure rate across various industries averages 41 percent. With so much at stake to ensure a product not only reaches consumers but delivers the revenue goals to keep it viable, it’s no wonder calculating return on investment (ROI) on the merchandising displays and kiosks that market these goods is a necessary, though sometimes difficult, endeavor.
Not only must marketing and merchandising teams keep in mind the different measurement standards on which to base the definition of successful merchandising, but they must also determine what hard factors play a role in estimating budgets for these display campaigns.
To simplify the process, a basic Return on Merchandising Investment (ROMI) calculator can benefit decision makers who want to feel confident their display and kiosk projects will offer the best value for the dollars spent. Read on to learn about outlining measurement standards and how to use our simple ROMI formula to help estimate cost and revenue baselines.
Defining Measurement Standards
When strategizing a point-of-purchase project, companies will first need to establish what factors will define if their program is successful. There are numerous options that can be measured, some more relevant for different types of point-of- purchase displays.
Dollars spent on a project versus sales dollars after implementing merchandising campaign
This measurement approach is common for companies producing traditional merchandising displays as it delivers quantitative results due to actual measurable revenue. A good example is Company A who manufactures portable speakers. Using this measurement practice, Company A judges their new speaker merchandising program by comparing the cost to produce the displays against the speaker merchandise revenue brought in after displays were deployed. Did the margin between the cost and revenue meet the company’s goals? (Hint: our handy calculator at the end of this paper can help you compute different variables to ensure your own program is successful).
Let’s chat about Amazon for a minute. (Apparently, I’m hardly a pioneer when it comes to conversation topics since Amazon is one of the most widely-talked about companies, but humor me for a second).
No other business comes close to being recognized as the face of e-commerce. In fact, I challenge you to find editorial on retail where the Internet giant isn’t mentioned as a major disruptor to brick-and-mortar stores.
Which is why currently it’s surprising to see more articles reporting on Amazon’s latest moves into this very sector. Is the e-commerce king really expanding (or would it be downsizing?) into four brick walls?
It appears so.
Here’s the latest evidence. We now have Amazon-owned Whole Foods representing the physical grocery market. Add to that partnerships with traditional retailers like Kohl’s and Sears to provide convenient return centers and tire installation locations. Don’t forget Amazon lockers at your local 7-Elevens, and of course we can’t overlook Amazon’s own Amazon Go convenience stores, with two already open in Seattle, and many more rumored to hit major cities across the nation.
Hasn’t Amazon picked up a newspaper? Isn’t retail dead?
Not in the slightest, and Amazon is a good example of why. (And let’s remember they know a thing or two about being successful and all.)
When you look at the list of their latest projects above, it’s evident Amazon isn’t entering the brick-and-mortar space to put its more than 12 million products on shelves. They’re seeing opportunities to provide frictionless physical shopping experiences to the same customers who turn to them when they’re looking for frictionless online shopping experiences. Omnichannel jackpot!
But investing across different channels is to be expected of a conglomerate like Amazon, right? Well yes, but if you’ve had your ear to the ground lately, you might have also noticed that many successful e-commerce sites in various verticals have been entering the world of brick-and-mortar, too.
Examples include eyebobs, an eyewear brand that features bold designs, Wayfair, a home furnishings and décor e-retailer, and online mattress retailer Casper. Even digitally-native athleisure wear company Fabletics is being aggressive with a plan to open 75 stores in the near future.
Why are so many online brands developing a physical presence?
“Digitally native pure-play e-commerce brands are finding it strategically essential to open brick-and-mortar locations if they are looking to scale, because customer acquisition and retention is such a difficult task,” says Alison Embrey Medina, Editor in Chief and Associate Publisher of design:retail. “And the brands that are opening stores are finding that their customers who shop across their channels —online, mobile, AND in their stores – are three times as valuable as the online-only shopper.”
Expansion into these physical locations is helping brands to target not only their existing digital customers but also a new demographic to them – the shopper who wants to experience the products and take advantage of the customer service unique to brick-and-mortars.
Ultimately, no matter how frictionless e-commerce can make our lives, nothing can replace the ability to try on a pair of glasses to ensure they complement our face shape or truly experience what a mattress brand means when describing its product as firm or soft.
That being said, these retail spaces will hardly mimic the traditional store format that has suffered under the convenience of e-commerce. Whether it’s providing exceptional customer service, offering ways to test out products, or appealing to the next generations’ comfort with sharing unique experiences on social media, brands are being mindful to implement experiential retail components into their brick-and-mortar game plan – a growing trend that is serving other big-name retailers well as customer expectations shift. So essentially, don’t expect the outdated store model you’re accustomed to.
The days of customers driving to their local home furnishings store or grabbing the new style of high-rise jeans to try on in the dressing room are certainly not dwindling. By putting a twist on the brick-and-mortar experience, e-commerce sites, of all places, are proving there’s still a demand.
I was maybe 15 or 16 when I went with my dad to buy the next family car.
It was the late 90s, so the purchasing experience was done in that traditional way of which we’ve grown nostalgic. I remember a collection of thick, glossy pamphlets from each car brand accumulating on our kitchen table, and I’d flip through pages of different models, reading about the various features each offered. When my father had finally narrowed down his “Favorites” list, we set aside a Saturday to visit the dealerships.
Each appointment involved poking around the car, listening to the sales person’s pitch, and taking a test drive. When a winner was finally chosen, we sat down to do that usual song and dance to secure the best price.
Fast forward to 2018. Think of the most recent time you bought a car. Did you refer to those glossy brochures or did you go straight to the Internet to visit the brand’s homepage and find your nearby dealer location?
Did you read reviews, view photos, and look up the fairest pricing?
The car buying method has changed immensely, with digital sales tools creating an omnichannel experience that helps prospective clients come to a dealership armed with more insight than what was typically found in the catalogs.
But how can car brands capitalize on the modern-day consumer’s demand for convenience and immediate information while also benefitting their bottom line?
ADUSA and Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. Announce Partnership
Combined Self-Service Kiosk Technologies Target QSR & Fast Casual Restaurants
Hoffman Estates, Ill. (July, 5 2018) – ADUSA, Inc. today announced that it has established a partnership with Grafton, WI-based manufacturer Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. The partnership will combine ADUSA’s Qi™ Digital Engagement software with Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.’s Approach line of kiosk hardware. The primary objective of the partnership is to deliver a combined best-of-breed solution to the QSR and Fast Casual restaurants industry.
According to Juan C. Perez, CEO of ADUSA, Inc., “Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. has a long tradition of providing high-quality manufacturing and services that meet and exceed retailers’ expectations. Their Approach kiosks are the perfect design match for our self-ordering software. We are pleased to be able to combine our efforts to deliver best-of-breed self-ordering kiosk technology to QSR and Fast Casual restaurants that are looking, not just to keep up with, but to improve on, what the major brands are doing in this space.”
“An ADUSA and Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. partnership benefits QSRs and fast casual establishments looking for a seamless experience when navigating the elaborate details of implementing self-ordering programs,” Mike Mayer, President of Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. states. “Our experience designing award-winning kiosks coupled with ADUSA’s history in offering turnkey software solutions means clients gain from the overall expertise both companies bring to the table.”
Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. exhibited two of its Approach kiosks in ADUSA’s booth at the National Restaurant Association show earlier this year, and the two companies are actively demonstrating their combined solution to interested restaurant operators. Both the hardware and software, as well as the delivery, installation and long-term support processes, are all scalable to meet the needs of QSR chains of all sizes. ________________ About Applied Decisions USA (ADUSA), Inc. Based in Hoffman Estates, IL, at the Prairie Stone Business Park, ADUSA is the leading provider of self-service systems designed solely for the grocery industry, and now also for the restaurant industry. With over 1,000 systems installed in supermarkets across the country, ADUSA’s singular focus and experience over more than a decade have made its integrated turnkey solutions the #1 choice of grocery retail companies throughout the US. For more information, please visit the web site at www.adusainc.com
About Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. is a leader in the development of in-store merchandising displays,interactive kiosks, and store fixtures for brands and retailers nationwide. The company helps retailers and brands utilize the latest display solutions and technologies to create engaging customer experiences. Visit www.frankmayer.com for more information.
ADUSA and Frank Mayer Announce Partnership was last modified: July 17th, 2018 by News Editor
Ron Bowers Retires From Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. After 35 Years
Senior Vice President of Retail Technology Business Development Ron Bowers will retire from Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. on July 31, 2018.
GRAFTON, WI – After 35 years as a member of Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.’s staff, Senior Vice President of Retail Technology Business Development Ron Bowers will retire at the end of July 2018.
Bowers began with Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. in December of 1983 as a sales coordinator and quickly moved into an account executive position the following August. His passion for retail, technology solutions and point of purchase displays helped him develop relationships with well-known companies like Allstate Insurance, Irving Oil, Eagle Foods, Kroger, Miller Brewing, KEO, MacGregor Golf, Arnold Palmer Golf, Nancy Lopez Golf, Nicklaus Golf and John Deere.
Bowers’ projects often earned gold Outstanding Merchandising Awards in the display industry, including a Display of the Year award from the POPAI organization in 1992 for his work with the John Deere shop-in-shop program.
In 2005, Bowers was promoted to Senior Vice President of Retail Technology Business Development and used his vast experience and superb relationship-building skills to generate new project opportunities for Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. His expertise concerning the point of purchase business has made him a well-known thought leader in the industry, and he’s been invited to serve on countless speaking panels and interviewed for numerous trade publications over the years.
“Ron’s professionalism, drive, loyalty, passion for sales and the relationships built with clients and associates were the foundations for his success,” says Mike Mayer, President of Frank Mayer and Associates., Inc. “His infectious positive attitude should be an example for all of us to follow, and he’ll be missed by clients and associates alike.”
Bowers’ retirement plans consist of spending more time with his wife, children, and grandchildren as well as pursuing his hobbies of golf, reading and retail technology writing.
Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. is a leader in the development of in-store merchandising displays, interactive kiosks, and store fixtures for brands and retailers nationwide. The company helps retailers and brands utilize the latest display solutions and technologies to create engaging customer experiences. Visit www.frankmayer.com for more information.
CONTACT: Cheryl Lesniak, Integrated Marketing Manager Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. 1975 Wisconsin Ave., Grafton, WI 53024 (262) 834-1489 | [email protected]
The Present-Day Kiosk and Its Benefit to Today’s Consumer
Kiosks are an effective tool in branding efforts targeting the modern connected consumer. Offering customers everything from convenience to personalization, kiosks maximize the patron’s experience while delivering steady opportunities for a brand or retailer’s return on investment.
Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.’s newest account executive Pete Balistrieri brings more than two decades of experience working with global brands on integrated marketing campaigns. His extensive understanding of targeted brand strategies and consumer preferences allows him to partner with his clients to effectively impact their customers’ purchasing decisions. Pete is based out of Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.’s headquarters near Milwaukee.
Maybe you’re a routine user of the grocery store’s self-checkout line, or perhaps you just admire from afar as you wait your turn behind a long line of coupon clippers. Either way, the traditional self-checkout kiosks found at countless grocers and box stores across the nation have become a mainstay at those big name merchants, making shorter work of our daily errands.
So, it comes as no surprise that, after years of witnessing the convenience these self-checkouts serve, many retailers are using the concept as a launching pad for even better and more innovative programs to enhance the consumer experience.
The following examples showcase the best of nontraditional self-checkout processes that have been introduced to consumers in the recent year. Kroger’s Scan, Bag, Go
According to Progressive Grocer’s recent “85th Annual Report of the Grocery Industry,” 24.3 percent of grocers are now offering in-store mobile product scanning compared to 8.5 percent from last year’s report. This double-digit increase highlights the quick adoption of scan and pay systems in the grocery industry, with Kroger being a popular example because of its objective to roll out its Scan, Bag, Go program to 400 stores in 2018.
The program allows customers to use a handheld scanning device or a mobile app on their phone to scan and bag items as they grocery shop. Participants can easily pay at the store’s self-checkout area or, in the future, directly through the app. Extra perks include keeping a running order total, access to weekly sales ads and receiving digital coupons.
The obvious benefit of this program falls in line with the big trend in retail over the last couple years: convenience to the customer. With e-commerce providing the ultimate in frictionless shopping experiences, consumers want the same simple and speedy checkout to which they’ve grown accustomed.
Not only does scan and go technology provide this, but it also offers many other advantages to both the customer and retailer. Digital receipts and coupons save consumers the hassle and retailers the money, while a post entitled “The rise of scan and go technology and how it works” on Rambus.com also states a benefit as “[p]roximity-based in-store advertising, pushed out as notifications to shoppers’ phones, can adapt displays and offers to customers’ individual preferences as they approach different beacons in the store.”
Since Kroger’s Scan, Bag, Go pilot program started last year, feedback has been positive, and the grocery retailer has continued with its plans to roll out the program across the country.
Walmart’s Check Out With Me
In a recent press release, Walmart announced it’s testing a new program called Check Out With Me at more than 350 of the store’s Lawn & Garden Centers across the nation.
The goal behind the service is to ease a pain point often associated with purchasing items from the lawn and garden area of a big box store – the time expended to transport awkward or messy items such as plants, mulch or dirt, through the physical store to checkout.
To address this checkout friction point, Walmart associates at the select Lawn & Garden Centers are equipped with devices and Bluetooth printers to ring up a customer, accept payment, and provide a receipt on the spot. The simplicity of the process not only saves patrons time, but allows them to carry bulky items straight to their cars instead of waiting in a traditional checkout.
As of now, Walmart has only confirmed plans to roll out the service to the 350 stores, however many speculate this program could be replicated within Walmart stores to offer convenience and a faster checkout to store patrons. Amazon Go
There’d be no way to write an article about nontraditional checkouts without citing the most apparent example of all. In January of this year, Amazon unveiled a shopping experience like no other with the opening of its first Amazon Go store in Seattle.
If you think scan and pay makes checking out easy, you haven’t experienced Amazon Go’s automatic checkout. As commonly reported, Amazon has been discreet about the details, but the overall system works with an array of miniature cameras and special technology that recognize items being taken from the shelves. When customers enter the store, they walk through gates that confirm they have the mobile app. Once they select their purchases, they simply walk back out and their mobile app is charged for the items taken.
Aside from the novelty of a checkout experience that hasn’t been done before, the store has garnered quite a bit of attention because of the future impact this technology could have on the retail experience.
With Amazon’s reach, many wonder if we’ll see a program like this at Amazon-owned Whole Foods (so far, reps have denied this) or offered as a service to other businesses looking to integrate a new level of convenience to retail customers. Time will tell, of course, but recent reports show the company is planning to expand to the San Francisco and Chicago markets, which likely indicates the initial metrics must be favorable at the inaugural store.
We’re seeing once novel options like self-checkout aisles become the more traditional predecessor to innovative programs from Kroger, Walmart and Amazon that offer convenience to customers at the point of sale. And as the technology constantly evolves and inspires, all grocers and big box retailers will need to take note as they invest to improve their own customers’ experiences. Is your company looking to expand its nontraditional checkout system? Take a more detailed look at our work on Kroger’s Scan, Bag, Go program, and read up on our partnership with Amazon on its college campus kiosks. Then, contact us for a professional consultation.
Kroger’s Scan, Bag, Go program, designed by Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.
A Walmart employee utilizes the Check Out With Me program to ring up a customer. Photo courtesy of Walmart.
The Rise of the Nontraditional Checkout was last modified: June 20th, 2018 by News Editor
The following is excerpt from the latest whitepaper by Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. covering Self-Service Kiosks in Quick Service and Fast Casual. See the complete whitepaper on the Frank Mayer website.
Enhanced Customer Service
Recent industry news pertaining to quick service restaurants (QSRs) and fast casual establishments has shined a spotlight on a growing trend in both sectors – the desire to enhance the customer experience through digital measures.
Included among the numerous digital options has been the growth of self-service kiosks where customers independently order food and pay using a touchscreen versus placing an order to a cashier behind a register.
In the April 2018 Restaurant Readiness IndexTM by PYMNTS.com in collaboration with Bypass and Bank of America Merchant Services, 41 percent of restaurant participants surveyed regarding 2017 Q4 data indicated they had implemented in-store kiosks, a four percent increase over the previous quarter. Kiosks were also the in-store feature that represented the greatest improvement since the previous study, showcasing the steady momentum behind restaurants incorporating self-order kiosk programs into their growth plans.
There are many advantages to QSRs and fast casuals adopting self-order strategies, but three well-documented beneits include enhanced customer service, improved productivity and increased profits. The solid growth and attractive benefits of self-service kiosks means we’ll continue to see our favorite QSRs and fast casual restaurants set themselves apart from the competition.
In the Wild – King Sooper City Market Scan Bag Go Checkout Kiosk
We stopped by our friendly King Soopers off 120th today for a green matcha tea at Starbucks ($9 showed on mobile app as available) and at the front door were greeted by Scan Bag Go. City Market has installed these first two out by Boulder where we live.
Seemed pretty easy to do. We’re going to work up a grocery list and put it to the test. Vegetables, paper coupons, online coupons and anything else we can throw at it.
As trade show season starts winding down, we sat with Vice President of Business Development Joe Holley, Account Executive Carl Maglio, and SVP of Business Development Ron Bowers to discuss their immediate takeaways from three recent spring shows: The M-PACT Show, GlobalShop 2018, and the Digital Signage Expo 2018.
The M-PACT Show
About: The M-PACT Show brings together leaders in the energy and convenience industry as well as support companies affiliated with the trade. This year’s show was held March 13-15 in Indianapolis.
Insight: A key takeaway for Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. representative Holley was the interest from big energy companies to expand their loyalty programs using self-service kiosks in their stations. Utilizing these kiosks not only allows fuel stations an opportunity to encourage customers to walk through the door, but offers convenience to patrons who can sign up for reward programs, print coupons, view their accounts and more. Holley predicts an increase in these loyalty program kiosks at convenience stores and fuel stations as more energy companies recognize the benefits.
About: The largest retail design industry trade show, GlobalShop brings together representatives from store design, visual merchandising, retail technology, and shopper marketing industries. GlobalShop 2018 took place in downtown Chicago from March 27 through March 29.
Insight: Often a hub for the latest innovative ideas in the industry, the show provided companies an opportunity to showcase the latest trending products. Smart flooring equipped with built-in sensors to track the movement of customers through a retail store has been generating more buzz lately, and Maglio saw more exhibitors featuring this technology at the show. In addition, he noticed more creative use of LED lighting, with some businesses highlighting dramatic shelf-edge light capabilities that could bring a new look to merchandising displays.
Digital Signage Expo 2018 (DSE)
About: According to the DSE website, the show “is the world’s largest and longest running conference and tradeshow exclusively dedicated to showcasing innovative digital display and interactive technology solutions for customer and employee communications.” Insight: Staying true to the industry move toward “personalization,” the show’s buzz was all about the importance of collecting data on the consumer so the retail experience could be customized to the patron. Big name companies presented on the significance of data management in retail systems.
Bowers states, “Many companies had exciting demonstrations that utilized data gathering and input utilization of consumer interaction with face recognition and product interaction.” He continues, “It is now becoming mainstream for self-service digital screens and touchscreen systems to gather and use the consumer information to offer real-time analysis of customer interaction with brands and services.”
From self-service kiosks and trending technology to personalizing the customer experience, recent trade shows have illustrated what’s important to both brands and retailers as well as customers in the coming year. Stay tuned for more recaps detailing the latest developments in the point-of- purchase industry as we continue to attend shows throughout 2018.
Industry People – Reggie Medford joins Frank Mayer & Associates
Reggie Medford brings more than 20 years of experience in the retail store fixture industry to his new position as Regional Sales Director at Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. His background working with leading global brands on full store and POP display programs has given him an in-depth understanding of the entire development, production and installation process. His areas of expertise include consumer electronics, footwear, sporting goods, luxury and apparel.
Once upon a time, it was all about the millennials.
There’s probably a terrible joke in there somewhere, considering the fact this group is often plagued with the reputation of being the “participation trophy” generation.
Kidding aside, for years, millennials have frequently stolen news headlines that highlight the powerful group’s impact on consumerism, the changing workforce, and even the shifting trends on how we communicate with each other.
But in the last few months, several industry newsletters have appeared in my inbox with surprising editorial about the upcoming generation, dubbed Gen Z. Have millennials officially passed the baton to the next up-and-comers who will be the driving force behind retail and marketing trends?
Spoiler alert, Marketers: you’ll want to get your game plan ready for this group. Quickly.
As with all generation groupings, there’s often discrepancy amongst the various sources regarding which birth years make up the classification. Most cite the oldest Gen Z’ers being born in 1996. Regardless, this group of teenagers and early 20-somethings have become a much-talked-about dynamo as people start looking to the post-millennial era.
To understand the impact this latest generation will have on retail and branding, one must first understand the collective mentality ascribed to the group. It should come as no surprise in our digital culture that a defining feature of this generation is being continuously connected, naturally shifting between an online and offline world without friction. And while millennials are instinctively comfortable with technology due to growing up in the Internet era, Gen Z brings the term digital natives to a whole new, mobile-friendly level – the soundtrack to their lives isn’t the click of a mouse, but the tap of a thumb.
Along with boasting a natural ease navigating mobile technology, this latest generation also expects lightning-fast Internet speeds, enjoys easy access to instant information, and are often champions behind social causes.
As consumers, they tend to be pragmatic with their spending. After all, this generation’s formative years were spent witnessing a major financial recession in 2007 and 2008. Furthermore, they’re wary of more traditional marketing initiatives in favor of recommendations and product reviews and prefer to engage with a product versus viewing it behind glass door displays.
To reach this generation of social media connoisseurs, brands will need to meet them on their turf while speaking a language that resonates. According to a white paper titled, “Uniquely Generation Z: What brands should know about today’s youngest consumers” by IBM Institute for Business Value and in association with the National Retail Federation, when asked what they do in their free time, 74 percent of Gen Z respondents listed spending time online.
Naturally, marketers would be wise to engage these individuals using social media and mobile opportunities while utilizing easily-absorbable media and messages like video and push notifications.
This group is also savvy about tuning out ads in fast-paced newsfeeds and media, so companies should aim to pique interest using branded or socially-conscious content that aims to help, inform or entertain. Companies who team up with trusted peer influencers or encourage this generation’s feedback will additionally have a leg up against the brands employing more traditional advertising.
Appealing to the group’s mobile astuteness, companies can provide seamless shopping by offering mobile apps to complement the in-store experience. This self-reliant generation will feel comfortable in a familiar mobile environment, using it to shop, peruse reviews and communicate with customer service.
When it comes to designing store displays and kiosks that will attract this age group’s attention, brands and retailers will want to be mindful of implementing experiential components. As a generation accustomed to self-directed learning (thank you, YouTube), they’ll appreciate accessible products that can be viewed, touched and manipulated.
Self-service kiosks will also be a beacon to this crew to eliminate checkout hassles, long lines and reliance on store employees. This trend toward self-order kiosks, wayfinding stations and check-in units has already started to emerge in restaurants and stores today as the technology is embraced by this next generation.
In sum, with retail already undergoing monumental shifts in operations to stay relevant in a changing market, these same companies will need to keep their fingers on the pulse of this next generation to produce an experience that speaks their language and captures their spending dollars.
Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.’s self-ordering kiosk delivers an interactive dining experience that offers expediency and order process efficiency to both customers and store employees.
GRAFTON, WI – Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. announces the launch of Approach32, a self-service kiosk designed to meet the quick service restaurant industry’s demand for customer convenience, order accuracy, and faster service by enabling consumers to browse a digital menu, customize an order and pay at the kiosk.
Outfitted with a 32-inch touchscreen monitor, the kiosk also features a payment terminal and printer, assistive technology and a software package option to integrate with various POS systems.
The enclosure marries smart design with a small footprint, offering an array of customization options and brand personalization – all while being backed by Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.’s trusted name in delivering experience and unsurpassed quality in the interactive kiosk market.
“With our history of serving the kiosk market, designing Approach32 to fit the distinct needs of quick service restaurants and fast casual dining was a logical step,” says Mike Mayer, President of Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. “The Approach kiosk is the answer to the growing movement toward self-service.”
Approach32 is also available as a smaller unit, containing a 22-inch monitor and tailored for restaurants with less floor space.
In addition to operating within quick service and fast casual restaurants, Approach32 also offers functionality for a variety of other markets including wayfinding, product selection, self-service checkout, and registration check-in.
Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. is a leader in the development of in-store merchandising displays, interactive kiosks, and store fixtures for brands and retailers nationwide. The company helps retailers and brands utilize the latest display solutions and technologies to create engaging customer experiences. Visit www.frankmayer.com/approach for more information about Approach32 and Approach22.
CONTACT: David Anzia, Senior Vice President of Sales Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. 1975 Wisconsin Ave., Grafton, WI 53024 (855) 294-2875 | [email protected]
MORE SELF-ORDER KIOSK IMAGES
Self-Order Kiosk Approach Announced by Frank Mayer was last modified: April 3rd, 2018 by News Editor
How using the latest innovative software and products can save clients time and expense
As the Creative Director at Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc., a big perk of my job is staying immersed in the tech world and discovering the latest software and products developing at rapid speed.
With an unending catalog of options available, it’s an exciting task to curate the programs we use to benefit our clients. Below is a sampling of tools we employ to better serve our customers with their point-of-purchase projects.
Unreal Engine 4
In the not so distant past, creating a video to stage a client’s display would require days, or even weeks, of work carefully piecing together each frame. Unreal Engine 4 has completely revolutionized the presentation landscape. Now, we can create instantaneous renderings at any size and resolution and can make modifications that don’t require large time commitments.
Originally developed as a software for first-person shooter games, the earliest development of Unreal Engine was significant because the program supported “modding,” or allowing players to modify code, insert artwork, and more.
Fast forward nearly two decades, and the latest edition, Unreal Engine 4, continues to improve its capabilities as more industries outside of gaming find the program useful.
At the time of Unreal Engine 4’s release, I was exploring how to get our design models into virtual reality and saw this software as a perfect avenue. Not only does it offer a great physically-based material creation kit that allows designers to quickly craft true-to-life materials and finishes, but it also has a blueprint system, which means I can make designs interactive without having to learn special coding.
So, what does this mean for our clients?
Unreal Engine 4 allows us to showcase their displays in real-time with superior quality graphics. Companies can view their designs as a fully representative 3D model on a desktop, or experience it in VR even before prototypes are built.
Interacting with a display can be an important undertaking before a client invests in the prototype phase. Virtual reality makes this possible.
Repurposing the same modeling/texturing/lighting work we did to create rendered images from Unreal Engine 4, virtual reality can simulate how a target audience will engage with various features. In this fully computer-generated world, clients can test their merchandising display by swiping a credit card, using a kiosk’s touchscreen, pulling product off a shelf, and much more.
This rich experience enables brands and retailers to document any immediate design or engineering modifications to their project, saving money and time before a prototype is created. 3D Printer
Sometimes you can’t beat seeing and feeling a physical replica or segment of a display. With our in-house 3D printing capabilities, we can provide a 3D visualization or proof of concept prototype components in a fraction of the time it takes to go through full engineering and traditional prototyping.
Often an image can go from a designer’s screen to a printed part in less than 24 hours, providing a fully visually and mechanically representative prototype on a greatly accelerated schedule.
Like virtual reality, offering 3D printing provides an opportunity to evaluate key components before moving on to the next stage of the process.
As with all new technology, it’s important to decipher the programs that will save on time and costs for both our business and the clients we serve. Along with the programs listed here, we strive to seek out the latest services to ensure our customers benefit from the newest innovation, and we look forward to what comes next.
Frank Mayer March 2018 Blog – Virtual Reality and Other Tools was last modified: March 13th, 2018 by News Editor
At this time last year, we sat down with our colleagues to discuss what 2017 had on the horizon for retail and how that would translate to in-store merchandising programs and displays. Their thoughts were captured for our blog post ‘What’s In-Store for 2017.’ Were their predictions spot on? Let’s review…
Prediction #1: Retailers and brands are asking how they can shrink footprints within brick and mortar establishments and still focus on a targeted product mix for the consumer.
Valuable floor space in brick and mortar stores means displays have to adapt to the needs of retailers and possess a smaller footprint.
Red Robin is an example of a brand that implemented this plan while not forfeiting important marketing initiatives. The restaurant group’s branded gift card merchandiser offers gift cards, menus and brochures on an unobtrusive display that requires little restaurant real estate.
Prediction #2: In the New Year, retailers and consumers will be expecting more personalized experiences through today’s technology that will enable a truly personalized offering.
It’s no surprise that personalization is key to enriching a person’s interaction with a brand. After all, customizing an experience can help brands better meet a consumer’s needs. Nike’s Digital Retail Experience is an exceptional example of seamlessly blending the retail experience with a shopper’s desires.
PPG Pittsburgh Paint’s Voice of Color program also brings a level of activation to the buying process with its PPG Color Work Station. Featuring a 42-inch touch screen mounted between paint chip display panels, customers can visit the interactive unit to browse paint choices by color, style and personality as well as find coordinating palette inspiration, view color-tip videos and product information, and paint a virtual room.
Prediction #3: With an increasing number of millennials becoming primary household consumers, self-help retail will likely be expanding, making an effective point-of-purchase program essential for brick and mortar stores in 2017.
Imagine running into the grocery store for a few essentials and skipping the wait in line. Currently, Kroger is testing its ‘Scan, Bag, Go’ shopping experience to address this longstanding consumer pain point. Customers use electronic devices found on kiosks at the front of the store to scan items and bag them before paying electronically and heading home.
Prediction #4: The industrial internet of things will come into its own in 2017 because of the strategic benefits that IoT affords, such as cost efficiencies, convenience and consumer personalization experiences.
The internet of things buzz phrase has gained traction, with HubSpot’s marketing blog devoting an entire post on “why we should care – a lot.”
From smart refrigerators to in-home puppy cams, 2017 has seen people embrace the convenience of being connected at all times. But how does this continue to influence the POP industry?
As brands focus energy on ensuring their products create accessibility for customers, point-of-purchase manufacturers will be trusted to envision ways to highlight those features to intended audiences through in-store merchandising.
“We are the last three feet of marketing,” says Ron Bowers, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. “It’s the point where consumers make the decision to purchase. And because smart home technology is still new and constantly evolving, it’s our responsibility to create awareness and educate customers through displays that showcase product benefits, convenience and more.”
As the internet of things flourishes, the POP industry will remain an essential component to brands looking to inform customers on how their products can make life simpler.
The overall consensus? We think we did pretty well anticipating what 2017 would bring. Did any big trends miss our radar? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
And of course, stay tuned for the ‘What’s in Store for 2018’ post next month!
2017 – What’s in-Store for Retail – Frank Mayer thought session was last modified: December 23rd, 2017 by News Editor
Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc., West Coast Office
Chelsea Fisher brings more than 10 years of experience in retail services to her new position as account executive at Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. With a diverse background in visual merchandising, packaging, POP and retail, Chelsea will use her comprehensive knowledge of product positioning and implementation to help brands deliver the best in-store shopping experiences to their consumers.
The growth in e-commerce does not mean the death of bricks and mortar retail. While it is certainly true that e-commerce is growing quickly, bricks and mortar sales still account for most total retail revenue.
How bricks and mortar retailers can benefit from shoppers’ e-commerce habits
The growth in e-commerce does not mean the death of bricks and mortar retail. While it is certainly true that e-commerce is growing quickly, bricks and mortar sales still account for most total retail revenue. Data from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows that in-store retail sales were more than 11Xs greater than e-commerce sales ($4,459 billion vs. $389 billion) in 2016.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that bricks and mortar retailers can ignore the impact of e-commerce on the way consumers shop. In-store and online shopping habits have become increasingly intertwined and are particularly impacted by mobile devices and their influence on our lives. Today’s consumers use their phones to research potential purchases, often in micro-moments, such as while standing in line or sitting in a waiting room. However, the ease of research does not necessarily lead to more on-line sales. Retailers report that 82% of customers conduct research online, but more than 90% of all retail sales are made in a physical store.
This is good news for bricks and mortar retailers, if they can create a seamless omnichannel experience for their customers.
We see 3 ways omnichannel experiences can be accomplished
1 – Make sure that your displays are branded.
Recognize that consumers do online research, even while in the store. Shoppers will be trying to find what they see online. If merchandise is shown in a way that duplicates what is seen online items can be easily recognized.
2 – Make sure your displays convey important information.
If your website provides size, product features, or benefits, your displays also need to share that same information. This will give the shopper confidence that the item found in store is the same one that was selected online.
3 – Look to incorporate technology into your bricks and mortar experience.
Interactive kiosks can facilitate multimedia immersive experiences, help shoppers find items in other locations, or improve wayfinding at large retailers. When these in-store kiosks are well designed and match your branding perfectly, they can become a seamless facilitator of an enhanced customer experience.
Bricks and mortar retailing is far from dead. However, it is important that retailers recognize that technology will become an increasingly important part of the in-store experience. Retailers that embrace opportunities to integrate shoppers’ new habits will become the success stories of the future.
New whitepaper by Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.
In the last few years, the Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR) industry has begun to explore how the addition of self-serve kiosks within the restaurant can impact the ordering experience, shape the types of employees needed, and transform the customer experience. Chains began experimenting with the technology in 2014, and the initial customer feedback has been positive, leading more QSR restauranteurs to consider implementing selfserve ordering kiosks within their chains.
The acceptance of self-serve ordering in restaurants is hardly surprising. Consumers have extremely high expectations for their retail and restaurant experiences. They want immediate answers to questions, customization, high levels of personal service, and easy forms of payment all in one. We understand that a well-designed self-serve kiosk can help meet these needs.
We see four trends that have led to the acceptance of self-serve ordering:
Shifting Forms of Communication
Empowered Consumers: Individual Experiences
Integrating Digital Technology & Physical Spaces
Today’s customers are ready for self-serve ordering. Are you? If not, you may want to consider how these trends will impact your business.