Interactive Retail Store Ditches DMV Feel, Draws Customers In

Time Warner Cable Flagship store in New York City offers customers interactive technology and digital signage from Reality Interactive.

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Reality Interactive spent 2013 decking out 20 Time Warner Cable (TWC) stores around the country with small-scale digital signage and interactive displays.

In March 2014, the TWC Flagship Store in NYC officially opened, showcasing 14,000 square feet of custom-designed digital installations.

The goal was to transition the store from that awful “DMV experience” customers have when they need to be somewhere, to a more exciting, relaxed feel when they want to be somewhere.

TWC wanted the store to look a bit like the Apple Store, and so Reality Interactive partnered with Fame Retail to create a sleek, modern design – even including a product demonstration table that mimicks Apple’s Genius Bar.

Reality finished the installation with a custom digital fireplace, which in the warmer months becomes a digital fish tank instead!

Presenting the Intangible Product in a Tangible Way

The flagship store’s new technology includes a large video wall, several 21″ tablets to enhance product learning, multiple five-screen video walls with interactive product demos, and the 90″ tablet: a larger-than-life interactive screen that looks and behaves like a giant cellphone, touch screen and all.

TWC wanted a showroom-style store that positioned them as a technology leader, enhanced the brand and made sense in a retail environment. Interactive displays help customers learn about TWC’s products; the giant cellphone is the perfect way to promote apps; there’s even an area showcasing the company’s new home security system offerings.

“The customer experience was always the central focus,” says Doug Hampton-Dowson, creative director of Reality Interactive. “Our challenge was to create an environment where customers could experience intangible Time Warner Cable services in a tangible way.”

Engaging the Hurried Customer

Each piece of technology was strategically placed to maximize customer traffic flow, says Reality Interactive. The placement of each digital experience was designed to encourage traffic movement in some areas, discourage it in others, and draw customers into the store from outside.

The ultimate goal was for customers to find out about apps, learn about them using the interactive displays, and download them to their phones all while in the store.

Reality Interactive learned from its previous installations in the smaller stories that TWC customers were not typically in the mindset to explore, so its focus was on engaging and entertaining content, with light and pleasing interactivity. The lounge area with a digital fireplace (or fish tank in the summer) provides a place for customers to slow down and relax while in the store.

Today, the flagship store sees about 35,000 visitors a month, a number that is the envy of the industry.