Q&A: Samsung Dives Into Data with Retail Pop-Up Solution
Not long ago, we detailed a major announcement from Samsung at the National Retail Federation’s BIG Show that it was launching a pop-up retail service. Samsung Connected Spaces, as it’s known, is described as an IoT-ready solution that can give retailers access to loads of in-store data.
“Bringing digital best practices to in-store environments enables retailers to shed light on data darkness and create a model for smarter business decisions,” Ian Son, Senior Vice President, Mobile B2B division, Samsung Electronics America, said in the statement at the time.
In reaching out for some clarification on the new service, Dealerscope ended up having a valuable and informative conversation with a couple of the brains behind the service: Ian Hutchinson, Lead for Connected Spaces at Samsung Electronics America, and Jessica Mok, Solutions Marketing & Partnership Manager at Samsung SDS America. Here’s a look at that conversation:
Dealerscope: In short, what is the Samsung Connected Spaces solution?
Hutchinson: Samsung Connected Spaces solution is an all-in-one pop-up store solution that enables retailers to take advantage of a turnkey, fully functional business presence in order realize the full potential of its physical space. Developed in collaboration with Barrows, the pop-up store is infused with Samsung’s mobile devices, real-time data collection and analysis capabilities.
What kind of tech is involved in these connected pop-up spaces?
Mok: The solution uses Samsung Nexshop software – the company’s cloud-based digital store platform with real-time behavioral sensing capabilities- along with IP-enabled cameras and Samsung mobile devices.
Other technology included in the solution allows store associates to use organized cloud-based content via Samsung tablets or interactive displays to interact with shoppers and ultimately improve customer experience.
When hearing the term pop-up, we think about off-site, short-term retail locations. Is this solution intended for existing retail spaces, or is it a traditional pop-up store concept?
Hutchinson: It’s for both. This solution is intended to meet the needs of the retailer- whether that’s for an existing retail space or for a new pop-up store in a separate location. If a retailer already has a store, Samsung can provide a ‘pop-in’ service that adds to the existing retail space. Additionally, if an online retailer wants a physical retail space, the pop-up solution can fill this request. The flexibility of Samsung’s pop-up stores echoes results from a survey Samsung administered at NRF this year- finding that over half (53 percent) of respondents see the greatest benefit of pop-up stores as “offering a way to experiment with and implement new digital technologies.”
Could this be a storewide solution in an established retail location, or is it intended for just a portion of the store?
Mok: The data analytics technology that senses and captures the customer’s behavior can scale across multiple locations and stores—whether that be storewide or a specific section of the store.
What is the target audience or client for this solution?
Hutchinson: The target audience is for any retailer, mall owner, or consumer packaged goods company with the need to gain insights to the customers’ behavior in any physical space. We allow for those insights to be data driven and ultimately create data-driven personalized experiences. These stakeholders also have a need for speed, simplicity and short-term engagements. This solution is also for online retailers who want to experiment with having a physical retail store but don’t have the time or money to handle logistics. Through Samsung’s collaboration with Barrows, services such as ideation, location scouting and implementation are provided and the pop-up store can serve as a cost-effective means for testing a physical space.
Can you explain the process a retailer would go through to participate in this program?
Hutchinson: When looking to set up a pop-up store, retailers will first reach out to Samsung’s partner, Barrows Global, to share details on specific needs, such as location, size, scope and ideation. Following this discussion, retailers would speak with Samsung to share what they are looking for in terms of technology deployed within the pop-up solution. All of this information is compiled and used to provide a customized pop-up solution.
What benefits would the retailer see by implementing this in their store or going the pop-up route?
Hutchinson: The three primary benefits are: Reduced time to market and capturing real-time data, reduced cost of implementation via Samsung’s Retail-as-a- Service model, and reduced risk associated with making changes to brand experiences.
Overall, retailers can improve engagement and immerse customers in brands while capturing vital data insights and preferences to make the most of a pop-up store (or any physical retail space) and produce faster and smarter business decisions.
Typically when someone’s hears the name Samsung they probably think smartphones/TVs/appliances. Where does this retail services piece fit in?
Mok: That’s a great question. We are enabling our customers to ‘do what they can’t’. That means new business models with integrated and connected services driven by data analytics and hosted in the cloud. Samsung’s sister company, Samsung SDS, specializes in enterprise IT solutions and services and joined Samsung on this venture. As a result, Samsung offers customers the ability to create best in class retail experiences, incorporating mobile security, mobility, digital identity, and analytics.
Hutchinson: Samsung Connected Spaces allows retailers to look for new ways to connect with consumers in data-rich settings. As Jessica mentioned, our mission is to allow enterprises to ‘do what they can’t’ and in this case, it’s bringing light to data darkness in physical retail locations. Typically, stores are data dark from the receiving dock to the point of sale. This solution allows retailers to fill in missing data points and analyze the use of physical properties in similar ways to their web properties. We also adopted a new ‘Retail-as-a-Service model’, whereby retailers can rent fully supported pop-ups by the week. The pop-up format allows retailers to experiment and audit merchandizing programs, in addition to receiving real time updates on store activity by the square foot. Ultimately, retailers can spend more time focusing on core competencies, gathering consumer insights and bridging the gap between the experience customers get online versus in brick-and-mortar stores.