Some clients and contacts have been telling me lately that creative production software giant Adobe is starting to get active in the digital signage space – a logical move as the creative they enable – like print and OOH advertising – shifts from analog to digital.
The company has its big annual Adobe Summit on in Las Vegas this week, and one of the things the company is talking about is how Adobe products and partners play together in retail. Visitors to the Experience Center Pavilion can get a preview of how digital services and IoT work for store owners and shoppers.
“The one thing we all want back is time,” says Kim Smith, Adobe’s global head of digital services innovation, on Adobe’s events blog. “We can help retailers engage earlier in the in-store funnel, and create lifetime value for both the buyer and the seller.”add value for retailers and customers.
The signature tech for this conceptual in-store environment is an RFID-enabled Smart Bag that can track what shoppers put in it, add extended information, and process the transaction.
Here’s the scenario:
When a shopper arrives at a store, a sales associate hands that person a Smart Bag, and the sweater the shopper spotted while looking online the night before, and put into an online shopping cart, is already in the bag.
You browse in the store and, along the way, you find a scarf and a hat. As soon as you put them into your Smart Bag, they are added to your online shopping cart, too.
When you step into the dressing room to try on the sweater, a flat screen on the wall brings up a detailed view of all items you have in the bag. To check out, you click a button on your app, and it’s immediately ready for an e-signature. The transaction is complete before stepping out of the dressing room.
Our re-imagined retail experience offers upsides for both the customer and the merchant. “If we can do a better job of streamlining the shopping experience, then it becomes a much cooler and productive way for retailers to engage with their customers,” says Smith.
The SKUs have a small RFID tag that can be read by the RFID reader in the Smart Bag. All this would cost more than a couple of bucks (tags aren’t cheap, never mind readers), so if it went mainstream you are more likely to see this in a Kate Spade than a K-Mart.
Adobe, I am told, sees its Adobe Experience Manager as the software/cloud hub to drive content, experience and engagement to various screens, including (I’d safely assume) that flat screen in the dressing room.
Another big company to watch. The Adobe people may not know a lot about digital signage, but beyond the practical operating challenges, I’m not sure they need to. They have name recognition no pure digital signage software companies can match.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.