Setting the scene

Anyone who works in retail understands that it is an industry historically underpinned by an ever-growing need to innovate shopper experience and modernise internal processes.

This is particularly true when it comes to in-store displays, which can be a tricky business, especially when they don’t engage customers enough to justify running costs.

That’s why Darty (one of France’s leading electrical retailers) turned to us for help developing an interactive retail application, carefully designed to enhance the “out of the box” experience of their products for customers.

It would also remove the need for paper tags and constant manual updates, as well as vastly reducing the chances of errors in pricing.

A division of labour

While the purpose of the software was preliminary to replace paper tags and provide an improved, modernised shopping experience, there was also an equal need to control the advertising media and promotional messaging for different products.

This new application would build on the success of Microsoft’s Retail Demo eXperience (RDX) platform, developed specifically for use in the retail environment.

We could therefore focus our efforts on the user experience, while the platform itself handles many of the technical considerations.

On top of this, the application would also connect to Darty’s databases to present the most up-to-date product information and pricing. Any new content could then be accessed, customised and deployed in-store via the easy-to-use online customisation platform.

Darty dark theme screenshot

Getting the details right

The ability for retail staff to access and manage the information quickly and easily was critical. Scheduled automations would remove the need for daily manual updates and ensure the right content played at the right time.

The majority of the work involved the creation of a bespoke interactive layer, which would be inserted into the existing RDX software to give Darty customers a much more considered, engaging and fully branded experience.

Customers would be able to see a whole range of useful information, including:

  • Digital fact tags displaying all information related to the PC (current price, previous price, tech
    specs, etc.)
  • A promotional banner to showcase Microsoft products
  • The relevant logo for each PC manufacturer
  • Star ratings and customer reviews from the Darty database

Each display would also offer an option to ‘Experience Windows’ which, when clicked, gives customers access to the Windows 10 operating system in a ‘sandbox’ environment. Once a user is finished, this is then reset automatically, ready to be used again.

What’s more, the display would also feature an attract loop, giving Darty the freedom to upload scheduled media and play it in the application whenever they wanted.

Darty custom media screenshot

Rapid deployment

As content control was such a key consideration, we wanted to make sure the online customisation platform empowered Darty staff with an intuitive and comprehensive set of tools.

We also added the option to delay the publication of content – which would prove useful when preparing for big dates in the retail calendar like Black Friday or Christmas.

Once uploaded and published, content can be viewed in-store within 20 minutes – a special indicator in the application shows the status of the delivery using red and green dots.

How did it perform?

Today, there are over 4,000 PCs connected and successfully running our RDX app in-store. How do we know? We can view the live stats in the management console.

Feedback from the stores has been positive. Once the store colleague installs RDX on the displayed PCs, they aren’t required to manage anything regarding the price and marketing messages – as all information can be securely managed through the customisation platform.