ComQi Engage Connects Chicago Shoppers to Global Yoga Celebration

Active Wear Retailer Taps Into Shopper Social Media To Join In On International Yoga Day

(PresseBox) ( New York, NY, )
ComQi's shopper engagement technology tapped into social media to connect a major active wear retailer's customers with a global celebration of yoga this past weekend.

Shoppers at the downtown flagship of the national retailer were asked to post messages and images during Sunday's International Yoga Day using their hashtag. Curated Tweets and Instagram posts were then displayed on ComQi-powered screens in the store through the day.

"A lot of retailers don't really think about the value of live content, and this is a great example of how technology can easily enable a retail brand to share an interesting experience with its customers, by asking for and reflecting their thoughts and photos they've taken," says Stuart Armstrong, Chief Revenue Officer ComQi.

Social media visualizations in retail environments - run through moderation and approval tools - are a powerful way to connect retail brands and their customers, particularly when the "conversation" is around a health and lifestyle pursuit like yoga, says Armstrong.

Live-streaming video is also emerging as an in-store tool to connect with shoppers. Several factors are combining these days to make live-streaming video much more easily planned and executed:

- The stable, high-speed connections needed for quality video streaming are now commonplace, affordable and easily arranged;
- High-priced cameras, teams and trucks can be replaced by low-cost but HD quality IP-connected cameras;
- Content management and video compression software make it easy to set-up, run and deliver quality streams to remote screens.

"We see a lot of potential for live video as a new part of the retail experience," says Armstrong, "primarily for shoppers but also for those people who spend their time thinking about retail operations."

Scheduled live-streams make it possible, as an example, for authors to do book talks with fans at dozens, hundreds or 1,000s of stores. An intimate concert by a pop star could be exclusively viewed, only at stores, by invited customers of a retail sponsor. The Paris runway show of a hot new designer could run on screens in shops back in the US, for all shoppers or as a loyalty perk.

Armstrong says experiences at places like theme parks and large shopping malls could be elevated simply by using high-quality live cameras to show what's happening in areas too far away to see. If theme park visitors could see lines are heavy for one attraction, and lighter for another, that would inevitably influence visitor traffic and help "load-balance" attraction line-ups.

Live streaming can also be used by retailers and other businesses as powerful communications and training tools. With video conferencing now commonplace in businesses, it's now easy for content management systems such as ComQi EnGage to schedule an Internet-based video feed and run it before and after store-hours.

That could be anything from a motivational speech to store staff from the CEO, says Armstrong, to product knowledge and training sessions from manufacturers or even celebrities associated with a brand or clothing line.

Armstrong notes that ComQi's EnGage platform is already optimized for social media and for scheduled, full-time or even triggered video streams. "It might be a big task for some platforms, but with our system design all we really need are the details on that live stream, and we're ready to turn it on and give shoppers engaging and, perhaps unexpectedly great, in-store experiences."
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