Take a cue from art world to build retail store excitement

ORLANDO, Fla. — Furniture retailers looking ahead to the future are certain to face continued competition for consumers’ discretionary dollars as history’s most tech-savvy generation of buyers comes of age.

Accustomed to spending on technology and utilizing in-app purchase options as well as lightning-fast access to product information, Millennial and Gen-Z furniture consumers demand more than the usual run-of-the-mill retail experience, and one company at the Furniture Today Leadership Conference offered a creative solution.

Dale McGiboney, owner of Highland Media Works, explained and demonstrated how retailers can utilize the technology that introduced millions of art aficionados to Van Gogh during an immersive exhibition that toured the world in 2020 and 2021.

Through precision projection mapping onto walls, floors and products including upholstery, framed art and rugs, furniture retailers can create dynamic, experiential store environments that entertain and engage retail customers while reinforcing proven marketing psychology to help close the sale.

“The immersion experience is part of the projection mapping technique, and these technologies are really multitools that retailers can use to connect with consumers and create dynamic interactions in any space,” McGiboney explained. “Projection mapping allows a product such as a rug to become a communication vehicle, a possibility to expand any messaging you need to do to sell that piece.”

The immersive demonstration at the Leadership Conference featured a room with three walls of moving scenery that included coastal, forest, urban and abstract vignettes, along with two 5×7 rugs and a white Manwah sectional motion sofa.

During the demonstration, colors shifted on the sofa to coordinate with the wall scenes, while one rug featured graphic motion and another messaging and logos. McGiboney noted that every individual immersive experience is customized to the specific company utilizing the technology and added that the potential use is limited only by imagination and budget.

“Retailers could create something for a front store window or exterior of a building that could play at night, generating interest for a return visit to the store,” he said. “Or if they have a mattress gallery, a program could be designed that would use projection mapping on each mattress to highlight specific product features or even pricing, perhaps freeing up salespeople.

“This technology really opens up opportunities for the marketing teams.”

McGiboney added that while projection mapping and immersive experiences increase the “wow” factor of a retail setting, there is also a direct path-to-purchase correlation for consumers.

“Science supports the concept that if we have adrenaline in our brain and we’re really excited about something, then we will always remember that experience,” McGiboney said. “It’s like etching something into our brain, in this case, the experience with the furniture and the store.

“In communication, the goal is to connect with somebody and creating this type of environment creates an immediate interaction with the customer,” he concluded. “If we see something of ourselves in a product, then that connection is established and that consequently increases the odds of a purchase. And in the future, there will be even more integration with technology and an increased capacity to gather more data. It’s really going to create a universe of possibilities.”

See also: Live at Furniture Today Leadership Conference

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