ASICS worked with Amaze to create a Product Advisor to enhance the customer experience
A groundbreaking new in-store technology, the ASICS Product Advisor offers a fresh and personal approach to the digital shopping experience in the physical retail environment. Working closely with the brand, the Product Advisor was designed and developed by digital marketing, technology and commerce consultancy Amaze and was introduced into ASICS’ flagship store in Hamburg in October 2014.
Incorporating more digital touch points within ASICS’ retail stores is a key part of the sportswear brand’s strategy to enhance its customer experience—whether a customer is visiting the store to buy or just to browse. Core to the design of the Product Advisor was the recognition that personal information was required to generate the best product recommendations, but it was also specifically adapted to include a personal iPad screen, recognising that customers would be reluctant to display personal information publicly.
The design also responded to research into the sporting goods market, which highlighted that products are most likely to be purchased in-store, with many shoppers opting for a try-before-you-buy approach to decide which purchases to make. Retail websites are mainly used for browsing. The Product Advisor, therefore, needed to be capable of highlighting specific products to customers which were well-suited to meet their needs, maximising the opportunity to encourage them to buy in-store.
With this in mind, it was essential that Amaze developed an interactive piece of technology which would capture the attention of the customers and encourage them to engage, giving ASICS the opportunity to communicate its product offering directly to customers in a personal and fun way.
Retail technologies that support product range browsing can now be found in many stores; however, Amaze wanted to deliver a truly personalised and immersive user experience, using a variety of carefully selected interconnected technologies.
The solution Amaze developed established four key pillars for success:
• Branded experience for non-ASICS retail environments
• Visual impact to attract and engage customers
• User detection to respond to customer activity in store
• Product discovery to showcase and filter the ASICS range to the customer
A large connected wall-mounted screen, iPad, rich 4K video and depth and motion tracking cameras are used to attract and react to passing customers. This intelligent system is theatrical in its nature and has been designed to initiate interaction, rather than wait for customers to approach. This innovation ensures that even the customers who are simply browsing will be approached in a highly personal way and encouraged to engage.
As part of ASICS’ ‘Mix Up Your Run’ campaign, which encourages customers to get more out of their running, the new Product Advisor presents customers with other suitable shoes from related categories. By answering a series of questions through the iPad, customers are gradually matched to their recommended shoe, in line with their personal preferences and current running habits. Keeping information private ensures maximum customer interactions and more accurate product matches. The iPad itself is also considered to be a more intuitive device for customer interaction rather than simply touching a large screen.
The ASICS Product Advisor is a fully-immersive and interactive experience, which is not only memorable and able to capture the attention of customers who may otherwise have left stores empty-handed, but also allows customers to interact with the brand on a one-to-one basis and match them with products which directly meet their needs.
To date, ASICS, together with Amaze, has launched the initial version of the Product Advisor at three European stores (Hamburg, Munich and Toulouse) and it has been featured at two major marathons, most recently in Barcelona. More stores are also in development.
In terms of quantifiable results, there has so far been an average 85 per cent completion rate against a target of 50 per cent. It is currently being used by 40 per cent of all store visitors, completely out-stripping the required target of 10 per cent.