Dawsons Music and GoInStore partnership aims to “close gap between online and offline worlds”

(Picture credit: Dawsons Music)

A new initiative from GoInStore and Dawsons Music aims to enable customers of the retail chain to browse its inventory through smart glasses worn by shop staff.

Visiting the Dawsons Music retail website takes you to a video stream where a member of staff can guide you through the store's products. The audio is two-way, meaning customers are essentially on the phone to a representative but with the key added visual element. Naturally a set of analytics, based on behaviour, product and geography, underpins the GoInStore technology aiming to give customers the most personalised experience possible.

Dawsons becomes the first retailer to implement GoInStore, having previously worked with one of the co-founders on another personalisation platform. The service has not yet been launched to the public, so no customers have tried it, yet it has been extensively tested by staff members. According to Dawsons Music managing director Mark Taylor, the service was "widely applauded" by staff, with further tweaks expected.

"Further feedback will be gathered when we launch to the public," he tells MarketingTech in an email. "Customer feedback will be invaluable in helping us refine the service, and we will be continually improving the functionality and overall service."

This is not to say there weren't teething troubles in development, however. According to Taylor, there were four key challenges faced during setup and testing: variances in user environments, such as device settings and configuration; fine tuning video and sound quality; integrating the user experience within a responsive environment; and baking the Dawsons brand and website design into the GoInStore platform.

For London-based GoInStore, there are three metrics where it aims to improve retailers' margins through its platform; increasing online conversion rates, increasing the productivity of in-store staff, and marrying up online and offline silos. Given Dawsons was founded in the 19th century, the importance of maintaining its heritage while bringing through the latest technological innovation is of vital importance. Taylor argues it "very much closes the gap" between e- and m-commerce and classic bricks and mortar retailers.

"GoInStore uses the Internet to bring staff and customers closer together in a familar, yet new, format," he explains. "Customers are able to interact with store staff from the convenience of their home, workplace, or even whilst on the go."

Taylor argues the current technology preferred by retailers and businesses, such as LiveChat services, are not up to the mark. He says: "LiveChat can help when you have a question but it is limited to text based responses. GoInStore allows for a much greater dynamic interaction, both from a technological and human perspective.

"Being able to see and hear the store assistant, and the products - very important when selling musical instruments - allows customers to feel as though they are actually in the store," Taylor adds.

You can find out more about the GoInStore platform here.

Do you think augmented reality is the next step for retail? Let us know in the comments.


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