December 7, 2018
Digital Signage Strategy

Real-time Analytics in Retail: Inside One Retail Brand’s Playback Model

How Retailers Use Real-Time Analytics to Improve Customer Experiences

At 162 years old, sporting goods retailer Orvis has decades of knowledge of what their customers want and need. But no metrics are quite as precise as digital, and Orvis definitely values precision. Today, digital signage is enabling the company to go above and beyond in understanding their customers -- and the ultimate results are rewarding for both shoppers and Orvis employees.

Building the most innovative, engaging customer experience possible starts in-house. Prototypes are taken throughout the company to all different types of departments, where employees are asked to give their feedback with total disregard for obstacles like money or time constraints.

After this extensive work by the team to create the best interactive experience their minds can fathom, a prototype is installed inside a bustling store location, typically their 5th Avenue store in New York City. (It’s right in midtown, near Grand Central Station, which means city locals as well as tourists from all over the world are stopping in to check it out.) That’s when the exciting stuff really unfolds.


Perfecting Products: How the Playback Model Works


On Day 1, a Monday, customers in that NYC Orvis location were able to play with the cross-channel digital experience. What’s grabbing their attention? What elements make them touch, feel, respond? The team gathers that information in real-time and tweaks the system based on their feedback for a Day 2 on Tuesday. Brand-new customers get their hands on it, revealing what they like and dislike, and the appropriate improvements are again made for Day 3 on Wednesday.

By the time Friday rolls around, the team has collected invaluable data to take an already-awesome product to the next level. And they can also put all those insights to use for future projects down the line.

We all know what it’s like to spend countless hours on a project and never really know what became of it. You just move on to the next task. But at Orvis, employees are able to get instant gratification for their grueling efforts. And that’s pretty rewarding.


The Data Playback Reinvents the Retail Customer Experience


If a “usability sciences study” sounds boring, that’s because you haven’t seen it in action. We sat in on a playback of one of these studies earlier this year, and it was nothing short of incredible. The whole Orvis team was pumped to see exactly how customers engaged with the interactive experience. Seriously, the vibe was like everyone was heading into a party.

Orvis’ playback model gives other businesses a lot to think about. First and foremost: Data. Are you gathering information that really tells you how your customers think and behave? Interactive digital experiences give you the facts -- what works and what doesn’t. But, maybe even more importantly, after you get that data, what are you going to do with it?


And most important of all: How can it energize and mobilize your team to keep thinking bigger and better? To see more about Orvis’ playback model, watch Episode Two of our Business Impact Workshop.

After this extensive work by the team to create the best interactive experience their minds can fathom, a prototype is installed inside a bustling store location, typically their 5th Avenue store in New York City. (It’s right in midtown, near Grand Central Station, which means city locals as well as tourists from all over the world are stopping in to check it out.) That’s when the exciting stuff really unfolds.


Perfecting Products: How the Playback Model Works


On Day 1, a Monday, customers in that NYC Orvis location were able to play with the cross-channel digital experience. What’s grabbing their attention? What elements make them touch, feel, respond? The team gathers that information in real-time and tweaks the system based on their feedback for a Day 2 on Tuesday. Brand-new customers get their hands on it, revealing what they like and dislike, and the appropriate improvements are again made for Day 3 on Wednesday.

By the time Friday rolls around, the team has collected invaluable data to take an already-awesome product to the next level. And they can also put all those insights to use for future projects down the line.

We all know what it’s like to spend countless hours on a project and never really know what became of it. You just move on to the next task. But at Orvis, employees are able to get instant gratification for their grueling efforts. And that’s pretty rewarding.


The Data Playback Reinvents the Retail Customer Experience


If a “usability sciences study” sounds boring, that’s because you haven’t seen it in action. We sat in on a playback of one of these studies earlier this year, and it was nothing short of incredible. The whole Orvis team was pumped to see exactly how customers engaged with the interactive experience. Seriously, the vibe was like everyone was heading into a party.

Orvis’ playback model gives other businesses a lot to think about. First and foremost: Data. Are you gathering information that really tells you how your customers think and behave? Interactive digital experiences give you the facts -- what works and what doesn’t. But, maybe even more importantly, after you get that data, what are you going to do with it?


And most important of all: How can it energize and mobilize your team to keep thinking bigger and better? To see more about Orvis’ playback model, watch Episode Two of our Business Impact Workshop.