Can we make the exhibition industry sexy?

For hundreds of years businesses have been creating and attending exhibitions because they are one of the best ways to showcase products to consumers or the trades. Exhibitions let businesses talk to customers directly and provide an opportunity to check out what the competition is doing. Think of the World Fairs and Exhibitions of the 1800s, which started with the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London, and you get a sense of their importance.

It used to be that only larger corporations could afford to attend an exhibition but, with the development of materials and the portability of display stands, the market has opened up even more, making it feasible for small businesses to attend and make a success of an event.

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A look at the exhibition industry

Over time the biggest change has been around the need to immerse the consumer in “the experience of your brand” and this is one reason we need a fresh approach in the industry. Take the theatre for a second – every good actor has an army of talent behind them, from designing and building the set, operating the AV, painting the backdrops and working the front of house. These people could get paid more in other industries but they choose to work in the theatre because they love it, it’s their passion and it gets them excited!

For most businesses these days, their exhibition stand is a mini piece of theatre. And the whole exhibition is the stage. There are some clear parallels to the theatre which should not be ignored, such as design and build, lighting and front of house, but no-one seems to be selling the sizzle! Why?

Our biggest obstacle is perception.

Truth be told, it all comes down to perception. The exhibition and display industry is simply not seen as a sexy industry to work in. It’s not seen as a single business in the same way as film, theatre and music. Even though many young people attend music events and festivals these are considered to be in the music industry not the event industry.

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The need to get young blood into the industry.

We only have to look at how much has changed in the last decade with technology to see how it affects the industry. The new products and materials that are being introduced to the industry enable designers to really think outside the box. This gives them the opportunity to design and build a solution that not only attracts but gives consumers an experience or enables them to see something they may never have seen before.

This opportunity to build a ‘make believe world’ is not something that happens in every industry and it’s one that should be talked up and promoted. We must engage people on a stand in the same way that someone is engaged during a show or concert.

Cadbury-marvellous-creations

The exhibition industry provides so many different career paths for young people, whether it’s specialising in a particular area or learning about the industry as a whole. There are so many opportunities including designing the overall concept, the design and build, the use of technology such as VR, the consumer experience, lighting or the actual running of an exhibition. All of these areas are exciting and sexy but if we don’t make our industry more glamorous and desirable soon then we are in grave danger of being left behind.

If you are interested in learning more or pursuing a career in the event and exhibition industry, then we are always looking for good candidates. Please contact us at Displays 2 Go, we would love to have a coffee and a chat!

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Expert Help When You Need It.

Exhibiting at a show takes a lot of planning, organisation and time. But even the best laid plans can go wrong.

Imagine the scene

You’ve spent months developing and designing the perfect exhibition stand so it’s ready for exhibition season. Everything has been delivered and now all you need to do is set up the stand and start selling! But, upon installation you discover a horrible unsightly gap between the stand flooring and the carpet tiles. Oh no!  You booked a 6m x 6m space and were careful to ensure your flooring is exactly 6m x 6m too, but it still doesn’t fit!

At this point you don’t really care who’s in the wrong, you just need it fixed.

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Who do you call and what can you do??

As we all know, setting up a stand is time critical – you need to be ready when the first consumers walk through the door. This is where it pays to be connected to people in the know, people who can react and get the problem fixed pronto. Luckily if you purchased your stand from a reputable company, and have built a rapport with them throughout the build, then you can simply put in a call and get the situation fixed. However, if you bought all of your display gear online, it can be very difficult to know who to call and how to get it fixed before the doors open on show day.

At Displays 2 Go we pride ourselves on always being available to our clients, both prior to show day and beyond. We understand that things can go wrong and we encourage our clients to involve us in the process from start to finish – this means from initial concepts to final installation. That way we can be on-site should anything not go to plan. Although we always test each product before it leaves the factory, we do understand that some things don’t always work as originally designed and small amends may be necessary.

So next time you are planning an exhibition stand, or are looking for some help, give us a call we would love to help!

The importance of colour matching.

Colour is something we often take for granted. Whether it be the colour of the sky, the greeness of the grass, or the way colours react with each other, we all see colour in different ways. However, our eyes can be extremely sensitive to subtle variations in colour. While this might not be the case if they are across the room from each other, if items are in our field of vision at the same time, we will often notice a colour difference.

For this reason, if you are at all concerned about the colour output of your printed assets it’s important you supply your printer with a colour to match when getting them printed. Colour can vary significantly according to the material it is being printed on and the print technology being used. For example, a fabric backdrop wall may look a different colour to a demonstration table graphic wrap which in turn look different to promotional leaflets.

Using the right colour profiles.

Most graphic designers create their work on a computer using part of the Adobe Suite, whether Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator, and use a range of different colour profiles.

It’s important to let your designer know what you intend to use the design for so they can select the right colour profile. For example, anything that is designed for on-screen use will be designed in RGB, but anything that is printed should be designed in CMYK. It is imperative that you select the right profile for the job otherwise there could be a noticeable difference between how the design looks on screen and the final printed product.

Screen Colours versus print colours

But it’s not just on screen that we see a noticeable difference, there can also be a huge difference in colour between printed products such as paper, card, fabric, boards etc. Therefore supplying your printer with a CMYK colour does not always solve the problem. Why? Well there are a few reasons:

  1. colour can look different when printed on different materials;
  2. colours can easily be different if using different printing companies;
  3. inks can be slightly different on different technologies.

How do we combat colour differences?

You will be pleased to know that there are two trusted ways to avoid all of this uncertainty. Option one is to send a swatch of sample colour for the printer to match to. Option two is to use the universal system that all printers and designers use – the Pantone Matching System (PMS).

Pantone is essentially a library of various colour swatches that can be used as fixed colour references during the design process. Almost every professional design application (e.g. Photoshop) supports the Pantone colour profile, thus making it easily accessible.

How do I choose my Pantone colour?

If you are creating a new brand then it’s recommended that you choose a Pantone colour straight away so that all the promotional material can be matched accordingly.

TIP: Try to choose a colour that has a close CMYK equivalent. That way whether you’re printing in Pantone or CMYK, your brand colour will look very similar.

Pantone and CMYK colour matching

However, if you already have your brand guidelines and they do not include a Pantone colour then we recommend getting a copy of the book and selecting a colour that closely matches your CMYK. If your book does not have CMYK references then you will have to do some colour matching by printing off your CMYK colour swatch and matching it with some swatches in the book. This may seem cumbersome at the time, but it will ensure that when you sit back and look at your exhibition stand or display you will see a level of consistency that is pleasing to the eye.

Implications of not asking for a colour match

If you do not ask your printer to colour match, they won’t!  For this reason, if you end up with a colour you don’t want and you haven’t asked for matching, don’t blame your printer!  Many inexperienced event executives will have a stressful colour-related drama early in their careers and will carry the learning from it all through their career – one experience is generally enough!

Displays 2 Go have been in the display and exhibition industry for over 20 years and understand the importance of colour matching,especially when everything is brought together at the end for an event. If you need any further information then please get in contact with one of our sales team who will be happy to help.

 

Getting to your event on time

There is nothing worse than being late, especially when it’s to an appointment, event or exhibition. And there is nothing more annoying than being late when it’s not your fault! We all know that delays happen but when you book a flight between two of our biggest cities you expect (and rely) on them to be on time.

Delayed Flights in Australia

However, a recent report from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) has revealed that one in every five airline services between our two largest cities is running late!  Flights between Brisbane and Canberra have the dubious honour of being the worst, running late 45.8% of the time according to the report.  The report looks into on time performance over all routes operated by our major airlines and reports on the routes that are most likely to be cancelled.

Some top line facts from the report show:

Best performer for on-time arrivals and departures among major domestic airlines was Virgin Australia, followed by Qantas and Jetstar.

Best on-time performer of the regional airlines was Virgin Australia, followed by Qantas and REX.

The highest percentage of flight cancellations was from Virgin, followed by Tiger and Qantas.

The report also looks at the 66 routes flown by these airlines and has reported the most likely destinations to be on time and to be delayed.

Perth to Darwin route had the highest percentage of on time arrivals

Perth to Darwin and Darwin to Melbourne routes had the highest percentage of on time departures

Mount Isa to Brisbane route had the lowest percentage of on time arrivals

Port Macquarie to Sydney route had the lowest percentage of on time departures

Cancellations were highest on the Melbourne to Townsville route followed by Alice Springs to Darwin.

For more detailed information you can view the report at https://bitre.gov.au/publications/ongoing/airline_on_time_monthly.aspx

Not enough consumer protection

According to Fairfax news, a spokesperson for the consumer group CHOICE said that Australian airlines had been “flying below the radar” on consumer protection for years. They believe that a fixed compensation scheme similar to those in place in Europe would be a welcome idea and may improve the service levels.

The European scheme states that any passenger arriving more than 3 hours late because of an airline’s fault would receive compensation of between €250 ($400) and €600 ($964), depending on the length of the flight. Even across the ditch in NZ consumers are entitled to claim compensation if the delay is the airline’s fault. Customers can claim back what they paid for if they missed a connecting flight or even tickets to events they missed, up to 10 times the value of the airfare!

So what is being done about it in Australia?

The simple answer is nothing. Each airline has its own policy on compensation for delayed or cancelled flights and it is at their discretion whether compensation is given. CHOICE believe that given these shocking stats in the BITRE report a compensation scheme should be introduced, but airlines have said  this is not necessary. A spokeswoman for the Virgin Australia Group said the industry was highly competitive and it was “in the interests of airlines to look after customers in order to keep them coming back”.

The results speak for themselves however, so there would seem to be a lack of incentives (or disincentives) for the airlines to be on-time more consistently.

So the next time you are booking a flight, be it business or pleasure, make sure you take a quick look at who you are flying with and what city because you just might need to book an earlier flight to arrive on time!

How Virtual Reality (VR) Affects The Way We Do Trade Shows and Exhibitions

As a business exhibiting at trade shows or exhibitions, one of your key objectives is invariably to stand out and capture the attention of potential customers. However, this is becoming harder and harder to do, particularly within highly competitive industries. So how do you make your audience interested in visiting your stand and deliver content that your customers want to experience?

Virtual Reality at Exhibitions

Virtual Reality brings an experience to life

Enter Virtual Reality!

Virtual Reality (VR) allows you to create something powerful for your brand. First, it gives your audience a reason to visit your booth and second it gives your audience a reason to stay!

Let’s be honest; looped videos and handing out brochures is very much the norm and can be quite bland. VR, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to tell your story in an immersive experience and puts your products front and centre. Whilst most businesses stick to old routines, you can use VR to engage your audience using a multi-sensory experience that very few in the exhibition space are doing!

Studies suggest that of those that have tried VR before, 81% say they tell their friends about the experience and 79% seek to try it again! Think of all the word-of-mouth marketing you can benefit from that!  Those number really are extraordinary.

3 ways to use VR at your next exhibition:

Transporting customers to a virtual showroom

Trade show space can be limited, and it can be hard for you to have activities where you can truly tell your brand story. With the use of VR you can change all this and have unlimited floor space where you can create whatever experience you want for your audience. Let’s say you sell furniture, for example. Want to transport your visitors to your store and let them see your range of styles? With VR, you can! Give your customers a walk-through of your entire showroom and let them zoom in on every detail, see your full product range and get a feel for each product, just like in real life! You’ll definitely set yourself apart from the crowd and leave a lasting impression.

Check out below how McDonald’s used VR to give customers a VR tour of what it’s like eating at McDonald’s:

Sampling Your Products

Another great way to use VR is to use it for sampling your product. This may sound strange but demonstrating, or allowing your audience to experience the taste of your products, is something that can have a lasting effect. Take Boursin, for example, who designed the Boursin Sensorium roadshow and combined VR with a bespoke 360 degree CGI film. The experience was designed to make an impact on their audience and introduce them to new flavours without losing its luxury status. The campaign was a huge success with 5,097 consumers being immersed in the VR experience and two months after the event took place an amazing 92% of those asked recalled the experience.

Hands-on Training

VR also allows you to strike while the iron’s hot and give your customers hands-on training about your product right then and there. This is the perfect scenario if you sell complicated products or medical equipment. For example, you can give prospective buyers the training they need even before they place their order. This gives customers confidence in your product and brand, and perhaps an increased level of trust and value. Something definitely worth considering.

If you’d like to consider Virtual Reality for your next trade show or are curious to know how you can get the most out of it, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1300 240 250 or email us at sales@displays2go.com.au

What’s trending right now..?

Everyone talks about things that are ‘trending’ but what does the term actually mean?

A trend is a general direction in which something is developing or changing. It is something that people are attracted to, they resonate with and are drawn to because they find it attractive or useful.

Often the current trends in the furnishing and interior design industry are reflected in our exhibition stands, pop up shops or sampling tables. Companies will ask us to encompass these trends into our designs as a way to connect with consumers.

Here are a few highlights from one of the latest trends…

Scandinavian Look

The whole Scandi look and feel is something that we are seeing a lot of at the moment. The light-coloured timbers and wood grains, the exposed beams and the hessian mats. This look makes for a fresh, modern, stylish feel with clean lines.

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A great example of the Scandi look and feel

The colour scheme follows some simple rules. It has to look natural – hence the use of wood – and the main colour is usually black or white. The timber used in the stand gives the display height, and the black of the furnishings draw the consumer’s eye to the products on show. The look is usually quite minimalistic so whatever product is being exhibited should be a real showcase on the stand.

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Lighting is also a fundamental part of this trend with lots of lights hanging from the beams. These tend to be made out of natural elements such as brass, wood, or simple metallic fittings. The lighting is not bright but adds a warm, cosy feel to the stand and can be used to highlight certain products on show.

The final important element in this trend is the use of greenery and plants. This not only adds some colour to the stand but continues the ‘natural’ theming and brings life to the display. You will often see plants presented in ceramic or glass pots, or used as hanging foliage to complete the natural look and feel.

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If you would like to know more about incorporating this trend into your next display activity, give us a call on 1300 240 250.

5 Reasons to Choose an Inflatable Display.

Inflatable displays are becoming a more common sight at trade shows, sporting events and road shows. Event organisers love all their benefits, but most of all they love the convenience. Inflatable display materials make life easier!

Here’s 5 reasons why you might try an inflatable display for your next big event!

  1. Quick and Easy Set-up

No need to stress over how much time you need. These blow up displays can be set up and are fully functional in just minutes. Inflatable displays such as demo tables or ottomans take less than 2 minutes to set up!

  1. Portable and Lightweight

Inflatables deflate just as quickly as you inflate them so are easy to pack away ready for your next event.  They are extremely light weight – a gazebo tent weighs as little as 9kg and can easily be carried by one person.  All products in our inflatable range come with a carry bag and portable pump, making it easy to pack down and store.

  1. Customisable

When you want to go for something eye-catching and appealing, a customised inflatable is what you need. Blow up marquees, furniture, inflatable tables and pedestals – these can all be branded with your logo or marketing message. Just tell us what your specific display needs are and we can make it a reality!

  1. Stunning Graphics

Depending on which type of inflatable you choose, there are different fabric options available. For example, our inflatable furniture covering comes with two fabric options: dye sublimated for stunning graphics or there’s PU leather with white silk print or embroidery for a premium finish.

  1. Strong Impact

Inflatables are ideal for events, POS, sampling and exhibitions, not only because they’re convenient and easy to use but because they are impactful and impressive!  The perfect solution for standing out from the crowd or when you want to etch your brand in your customers’ mind! While still new in the marketplace, inflatable display materials create a talking point and differentiate your business from the other display materials around.

 

 Looking for ideas?

If you want to know more about how inflatables could work at your next event then please send us a message here. We’re happy to share more insights on various display solutions and provide quotes so you can better plan your next event.

ROI VS ROO: Which Should You Measure?

Marketers have been throwing around the words return on investment (ROI) for centuries as a yardstick of effectiveness for every post-event report. It’s been a common term for so long that it’s often an assumed goal for almost any business project or activity.

ROI, at its root, measures the effect of an event based on financial value. But what about when event success isn’t directly attributed to revenue value? Does it have to be? Many an accountant would say that everything reverts back to a monetary return. But we believe that it’s possible in some cases to measure ‘return’ in different ways.

Enter: return on objective or ROO!

ROO recalibrates the marketing focus and allows marketers to look at post-event reports with a richer perspective, rather than just looking at the revenue alone. So whilst ROI focuses on ice cold sales, ROO focuses on defining metrics like increased awareness, brand impact, and purchase intent. It creates a set of metrics to build on, driving towards purchase of course, but not fundamentally built on this one measure.

ROO takes into account that events are instrumental for increasing brand awareness, accelerating anticipated timeframes for purchase, and strengthening customer loyalty to increase likelihood of recommending the brand. These metrics may not be directly tied to sales and may not have an immediate value but are most certainly crucial for creating movements in the sales funnel for future value. Is it not better to nurture a loyal customer than one who makes one purchase and then never buys again? Some campaigns can and should focus on loyalty rather than instant sales.

Exhibition standWhen it comes to events, it pays to understand that audiences don’t go to events wanting to be viewed as potential revenue. People come to events to be part of some amazing interactions and have a great experience. When analysing event success, it’s also worth noting that it takes some time after the event is over to really make a true and realistic evaluation of an event’s impact. So instead of just talking about event ROI, it’s also important to understand ROO and let its data drive marketing objectives beyond the numeric value.

The bottomline? ROI is all about the long game, but ROO helps check progress and goals throughout. Taken together, ROI and ROO provide a complete picture of the business value an event can create.

At Displays 2 Go, we are a strong believer of understanding data metrics and analysing results that come from organising an event. This includes not only sales, but also the importance of customer relationships and brand building as a whole. When we look at a brief, we always want to understand the objectives the client is searching to tick off. And interestingly, they’re not always about sales!

Global trends to watch out for in 2018

The events and exhibition industry is a rapidly growing and competitive market. Every year we see new technology being developed and new display solutions being created, all designed to appeal to attendees.

We’ve taken a look at the exhibition and events industry and highlighted four global trends that we think you should look out for:

  1. Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) has definitely enhanced the experience perspective – and will continue to do so in the upcoming year.

Boursin Virtual Reality

According to the 2018 Global Meetings and Events Forecast published by American Express Meetings and Events, the use of VR will continue to create a level of advancement in the way attendees interact at exhibitions and events. The incorporation of this immersive technology may come as no surprise, but still draws major excitement and will continue to change the way attendees interact at events. In Australia we are seeing more and more articles published on VR, so it is clear that it is THE tech talking-point of the moment.

  1. Hybrid Events

You’ve probably heard it already – hybrid events succeed on virtually every level.

In 2018, hybrid events are predicted to make an impact on the end-to-end delivery of event communication.

Furthermore, the “live” in-person event with a “virtual” component has become extremely valuable in deriving greater reach and participation, valuable data collection, and cost effectiveness at events. The big tech companies do it very well, but now the technology is available to other companies, combining several communication channels into one event.

  1. Engaging the Apps

Mobile apps may have emerged years ago but their usage at meetings and events continues to evolve.

Along with other technology innovations, mobile app usage is extremely effective in transforming the way event owners and attendees communicate, inform and engage with each other. In 2018 mobile apps will go from a nice-to-have to a must-have. They have proven themselves in improving attendee engagement, sharing agenda details and facilitating networking among attendees.

  1. Wellness

Enhancing attendee experience is not limited to having fun activities on your exhibition display. A 2018 Global Meetings and Events Report also forecast Wellness as an emerging trend to watch out for throughout 2018.

An increasing number of companies are now looking to appeal to attendee well being throughout meetings and events. This trend is predicted to be seen more in hotels around food and beverage offerings. Meeting and event owners also take this emerging trend as an opportunity to differentiate themselves and focus on healthy lifestyle and work with purpose.

Wherever you are in your planning for events in the upcoming year, these global trends indicate how much advances in technology impact the whole industry. It’s always important to create a meaningful engagement with your attendees, to stand out on the show floor and get noticed.

At Display 2 Go we are always updating our display solutions to accommodate these changes and to keep our products fresh and new. We offer a broad range of interactive digital solutions that help to give attendees a more immersive experience. Our range of inflatable products deliver a portable display solution that gets noticed – it’s fresh thinking combined with design flair.

 

Global Trends in Retail

There’s probably no other industry that is going through as much evolution right now as retail; whether it’s in the mall or on the street, retail is definitely under pressure . Customers are demanding more and more in terms of store layout, payment options in store, customer engagement and staff knowledge.

Retailers need to stay ahead of the game, and the bigger players must predict the next trends in order to create a future for retail beyond online shopping.

At Displays 2 Go, we provide a broad range of solutions perfect for the retail environment, including in-store sampling, mobile sampling and demonstration solutions, as well as merchandising units and systems.

We took a look at the four global retail trends set to dominate the retail industry over the next couple of years. 

#1 An immersive customer experience is king!

Retail is becoming increasingly digitalised, with physical retail stores embracing technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality. These are no longer sci-fi dreams, but real experiences delivered in a real retail setting. This innovative technological approach takes a customer’s buying experience up a notch!

Nike has now taken a multichannel approach to retail. Customers can look at shoe styles in-store but then use interactive kiosks to customise their style choices. Once purchased online, the order is then delivered direct to the customer, with order processing monitored through their smart phone.

Take a look at IKEA’s AR catalogue below which allows customers to visualise how certain furniture will look inside their homes! This is a brilliantly delivered cross-over between an in-store and digital experience.

#2 Unique in-store experience

As online shopping continues to grow, the need to create remarkable in-store experiences has become more pressing. A new buzzword “Retailtainment” is now gaining ground as a way to combat the juggernaut of online ordering.

Brands are using retailtainment to create a point of difference and maintain their place in the market.

We see luxury brands, like US fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff, using smart walls attached to fitting rooms which enable shoppers to browse for sizes and/or products – as well as order a champagne! We clearly need more of this in Australia! It would be easy to see these solutions as gimmicks, but note that this creative retail strategy resulted in a 30% boost in sales, with customers reportedly requesting additional items as recommended by the smart mirror – not such a gimmick after all!

Displays 2 Go’s Smart Screen/Touch Screen solutions can be programmed to deliver a whole world of solutions, including champagne delivery! With in-built camera options, NFC capabilities and a range of sizes and mountings, perhaps it’s time to talk to us about changing your retail space.

Smart_Screen_Solutions

Some retail kiosks are also changing the game with nifty dispensing machines in place. One notable example is Sprinkles Cupcakes which has “cupcake ATMs” at its stores. People craving something sweet during the wee hours don’t have to wait for the store to open – they can just head to the nearest cupcake ATM machine, swipe a card and instantly get their fix!

#3 Pop up shops are big winners!

Pop up shops may have been around as a niche concept since the 90s, but still prove to be popular amongst consumers! The great thing about pop up shops is their appeal to customers with a ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ concept, thereby creating a sense of urgency. The pop-up shop operates on a sense of scarcity and so places pressure on the customer to purchase. The idea is to bring a certain blend of seasonality and creative experience to what can otherwise be a boring mix!

Interactive pop-up experiences like IKEA’s Breakfast in Bed Cafe in London, for example, opened for three days and allowed customers to enjoy breakfast in a snuggly bed – for free!

pop-up-breakfast-in-bed

Concepts like this gain not only press coverage but generate incredible amounts of social content, shared amongst many.

Brands like Nestle have also discovered the power of the pop-up store, seeing it as a tool to raise brand awareness. Known as the The Kit Kat Chocolatory, this pop-up shop allowed customers to customise their own KitKat, made fresh to order, with packaging that customers could design themselves!

If you need some help in bringing a concept to life then talk to our production experts and let’s create an retail solution that turns heads.

#4 Self-service technology

Otherwise dubbed as the ‘Help Yourself Technology’, these self-service technologies are popping up everywhere in retail! From McDonald’s self-order kiosks to self-service checkouts at supermarkets, retail stores are now expected to bring more convenience to customers.

We see Amazon’s physical store providing a futuristic approach to customers, where shoppers can just walk out without the long queue to pay. Shoppers simply swipe their Amazon app upon entry, then their smartphones track what items they leave the store with. These are then charged back to their Amazon Prime accounts.

Customers want to shop fast at times but they also want to slow down and be entertained at other times. How can retailers win? One thing I think we can all agree on… don’t make us queue!

Let’s talk

Delivering great retail experience doesn’t have to be a hit or miss approach. As leaders in the display industry, we make sure your brand delivers the best experience possible to your audience. So get in touch today, and we’ll show you want we can do.