Total Wine & More recently launched a new web platform that allows the business to further integrate their videos. “We had had more videos in our stores than online,” Jordan laughs.
Now the two video-mediums, digital and physical, and can be in concert with their content. The same videos that play in stores are also available online. “It’s all about the omni-channel experience,” Jordan says. “They’re synergistic for each other.”
This makes sense in the Digital Age, when so much of our days involves looking at and working with screens.
To the latter, Total Wine & More is already experimenting with in-store touchscreens. Customers could chose which content they want to watch, or press a button onscreen that summons employees for help.
“We have so much rich content and we want to build that into an interactive experience,” Belmar says. “One example of this interface could be wine regions of the world. Customers could use the touchscreen to drill into sub-regions, specific varietals and producers.”
The interactive content would then direct customers to where these wine varietals and producers are located within the store.
The whole setup — videos, tastings, interactive learning, knowledgeable staff — should help fight competition from online retailers. It’s a more richly educational experience than buying something online based on user reviews or website-provided tasting notes.
“What I see in retailers now is a movement back towards putting a lot of time and effort into how the handle the customer,” Belmar says. “It used to be that you wanted a customer to come in and leave as quickly as possible. Now you have to do more to get that customer to make a purchase.”
He continues, “Now your assets are going to be knowledgeable staff. They’re the face of your brand, and the customer expectation is that those people can help them. And that’s what staff are really going to be able to do by correctly leveraging technology.”
Kyle Swartz is the associate editor of Beverage Dynamics Magazine. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (203) 855-8499, ext. 225.