CompUSA and TigerDirect Expand Retail 2.0 Innovation
Systemax, the parent company of CompUSA, TigerDirect and Circuit City, showcased new in-store kiosks for AMD and WD that are designed to take the company’s Retail 2.0 strategy to the next level.
The Retail 2.0 concept rolled out two years ago at CES and has since been deploying elements of it throughout all CompUSA and TigerDirect stores. Retail 2.0 is a sales and marketing strategy that marries online technology and tools to in-store merchandising displays. The displays are designed to give consumers the rich-media information they need to choose the right products and to deliver stocking, supply-chain, sell-through and analytical information to the retailer’s sales floor and corporate offices.
The new kiosks build upon those capabilities by offering richer information and tools to the consumer, retailer and manufactures. While the two kiosks have a different look, they accomplish similar tasks.
AMD, for example, approached Systemax to create a kiosk that would help the processor maker increase its sales into the PC system builder market. By clicking different sections of the kiosk’s touch screen, shoppers can receive recommendations as to which processors, components and accessories are most compatible with the system they are trying to build or upgrade. The kiosk is designed to help shoppers of all tech levels, from novice to expert.
At the end of the session, the kiosk can print out a list of suggested components and prices, which the consumer pass along to a sales person for help. (CompUSA and TigerDirect will also add the components to the system for free.) Since the kiosk is tied into the store’s main system, it can immediately tell the associate what components are in stock or the closest store that has them.
“All the information is localized so we can leverage it all in real time,” said Lonny Paul, vice president of marketing and strategic initiatives at Systemax, at 2011 CES. Those improvements to Retail 2.0 have helped increase the “buy up” of AMD processors and related components because consumers can readily see the additional benefits and features of the more expensive products, Paul said.
The Retail 2.0 back-end system has also been enhanced to improve merchandising and sales’ analytics. Store managers, for example, can tell how many times a product has been lifted from a display, which helps retailers and manufacturers optimize product positioning and forecasting.
“Retail 2.0 provides all the benefits technology to the consumer, while we get the benefit of becoming much better marketers,” Paul said.
Manufacturers and vendors can also manage their own information on the kiosk screens, pushing out new or updated information without having to go through the retailer. That constant flow of updated information straight to the kiosks also helps sales associates self-educate themselves on the latest products and technologies when customer traffic is light.
Sytemax will also implement its latest Retail 2.0 solutions in the new TigerConnect mobile divisions, beginning this quarter within its TigerDirect flagship store in Miami. The kiosks will help consumers find the right device, carrier and accessories to fit their lifestyle and budget, Paul said.
Systemax will continue rolling out more Retail 2.0 innovations within CompUSA and TigerDirect stores throughout the year, he said.
“You have to drive by each of our competitors to get to us. So we have to give consumers a reason to shop with us. It’s all about differentiating,” he said, adding that the strategy is working. “Our same-store comps are up, while everyone else’s is down. There has to be a reason for that.”