Blog: Trends, Tech, & Team

Smart Entry Kiosk

Ignite Prism is proud to introduce a smart entry kiosk that has been developed by our partner Ic-onic in the United Kingdom. The unit is designed to help manage the volume of guest entries for retail stores based on occupancy count powered by Ignite Prism camera analytics. A simple plug-and-play solution for locations with the Ignite Prism footfall service or a same day addition for new locations.

Video Demo

Full Display Control

The Kiosk display is controlled via a powerful cloud-based CMS by Wallboard which allows for a fully customizable screen experience. “Go and Wait” graphics, safety tips and advertisement can be distributed on a location by location basis.

The system can be customized for each store to comply with maximum occupancy and social distance requirements for indoor guests or customers. Please contact us for pilots, pricing, and availability in your area.

Overview


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Ignite Prism

Newly formed, San Diego based Ignite Prism, Inc. is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Intellectual Property and technology platform of San Francisco based Prism Skylabs. Prism’s unique camera agnostic Business Intelligence solution is the perfect complement for Igniteble’s (igniteble.com) existing geofence and BLE proximity customer engagement platform. The newly formed company will operate under Ignite Prism, Inc.

While existing Prism partners, customers and users will continue to enjoy the same level of service with the same supporting staff, Ignite Prism has also embarked on the integration of both technology platforms to further strengthen the Business Intelligence data set and to better engage retail shoppers, restaurant guests and large venue visitors.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions.

High Tech vs. Right Tech

With much debate surrounding whether a Retail Apocalypse truly did occur in 2017 — or is still looming on the horizon in 2018 — it begs the question of how retailers can prepare, if at all.

There’s no question that the retail landscape is constantly evolving, with customers demanding more while their shopping habits change as often as the weather. This makes it even more challenging for businesses to keep up, let alone be successful.

If you read the retail news headlines (including our own), you’ll see more and more experts advising that retailers embrace technology to stay ahead. This is true, but what isn’t always clear is what type of technology. For example, Walmart’s Store No 8 innovation hub just announced its acquisition of a VR (Virtual Reality) platform. This is clearly a sign of the company’s commitment to adopting the latest in technology. But is it the right technology?

Retail Technology

Depending on how it is implemented, this type of technology may positively affect the customer experience — making it more immersive and interactive both online and offline. At the same time, this may not be what their target customers need or want, and thus might not be the best tool to ultimately drive sales for the company. Only time will tell.

Instead, the sweet spot in retail technologies is most often centered around data. Data is instrumental in helping businesses of all types to better understand their customers, validate decisions (quantitatively and qualitatively), improve the customer experience and more — whether online or offline. At its core, data is what will undoubtedly drive the most change. And technologies that provide this data are the key to a retailer’s survival.

Which of course brings us to Prism. Prism’s software harnesses the power of A.I. and machine learning — the latest in technology — to provide data that is most vital for businesses. How many customers walked into the store? Where did they go? Which products did they touch the most? How long did they stand at that display? All of these answers (and more) arm a retailer with the necessary data to stay ahead in the current environment.

Rather than embracing the latest in technology for the sake of it, when businesses select the right technology (like Prism), they are able to not only survive the threat of a Retail Apocalypse, they’re able to thrive.

New Year, New Features, New Pricing

It’s a new year, and with that comes new innovations and trends for retail.

In particular, Forbes is calling 2018 the “year of technology” with more integration of it into mainstream retail. If retailers want to continue bringing in new and repeat customers, they can’t keep doing what they’ve always done — they truly have to stay one step ahead.

Especially in a world where online is king, customers have come to expect bigger selections, quicker turnarounds, and personalized experiences — even in a physical store. To keep up with this, retailers must embrace the latest in technology.


“The trick for retailers will be to focus their technology firepower on creating unique experiences,” advised Susan Reda, Editor of STORES Media, the National Retail Federation’s magazine.

Retail analytics software can be the missing link that bridges the gap between online and offline commerce. At a minimum, this technology can provide data on customer traffic into a store, giving retailers a better understanding of conversion and how customers react to specific promotions and launches. But so much more is possible.

And that’s where Prism comes in.


We’ve been hard at work adding new A.I.-powered features that will empower retailers with even more data and visualizations to take their stores to the next level. In addition to Prism’s popular features such as traffic counting, dwell, occupancy, heatmaps, pathmaps and reporting, we’ve also developed a mobile app — providing access to all of this powerful information even when on the go.

But we didn’t stop there.

To make it easier for businesses to get started, we’ve completely revamped our pricing structure. Now Prism offers even more options at different price points to fit the needs of all types of businesses.

If 2018 is indeed shaping up to be the year of technology as retail experts predict, then there’s no better time than now to get started with Prism.

Prism’s 5th Anniversary Field Day

We recently celebrated our fifth anniversary, marking just one of many milestones since our founding in 2011. Earlier this month, we commemorated Prism’s growth and success with a company-wide field day in Golden Gate Park. In our matching team-Prism jerseys, everyone came together for games of Bubble Soccer, Spikeball, volleyball, and other fun outdoor activities, in addition to enjoying some delicious food! We are proud of our accomplishments and the team that has made them possible. We can’t wait to see what the next five years have in store for Prism.

Check out the complete album on Facebook to see more pictures from our fifth anniversary celebration!

Prism All-Stars pose for a group picture.

Marcus shows off his cornhole tossing talents to Brian and Andrew.

Ben and Huu take on Bob and Joe in an intense game of Spikeball.

Intern Andrew slams the winning shot for “Team Ann-drew.”

Vivian and Stephanie bump into each other in the sumo wrestling suits.

Henry accepts a sumo wrestling challenge.

Aaron showcases his excellent volleyball form.

We fueled up for all of these activities with yummy catered food.

The Blue Team organizes in the first match of Bubble Soccer.

The Red Team prepares to sprint for the ball.

The two teams clash…

And then crash!

Spectators watch the hilarious Bubble Soccer match.

Behind the Lens: Elizabeth Wu, Design Intern

Prism is always looking to attract and nurture top talent locally and globally! Summer is a great time to find the next generation of new, up-and-coming talent and boy did we score big! Elizabeth Wu joined Prism this summer as our Design Intern and hit the ground running. We caught up with Liz (by which she likes to be referred) to get to know a little more about the person behind the talent.

Liz Wu

Favorite Food

For a really long time, pho used to be my favorite food but then there’s also pozole. I don’t know!!

Favorite Quote?

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

What’s your role at Prism?

I’m the Design Intern here!

What are you working on currently?

I’m currently working on getting all of our branding to be consistent across different platforms.

What drew you to Prism?

The idea of being able to create more out of a space that has finite dimensions continues to blow my mind.

What aspects of your job at Prism do you like best?

I love having dogs around me but most of all I love how well everyone works together.

What do you like to do outside of work?

When I’m not at work, I can usually be found eating hot pot or cooking!

What’s your background outside of Prism?

My background outside of Prism is one of eating lots of guacamole and missing Mexico.

Baby Boomer vs. Millennial Shoppers: Why Retailers Must Appeal To Both

multi-generation

As the generation gap between shoppers widen, so do their shopping habits. It’s important for retailers to understand their preferences in order to create an all-in-one shopping experience that appeals to different age groups. Baby boomers and millennials comprise the largest shopping demographics and remain the focus for most retailers today.

Gen X, (born between 1965 and 1981 ) comprises a smaller population than the boomers and millennials and often demonstrate similar shopping behaviors to both their older and younger generations. Their buying potential is not to be overlooked and a successful retailer should aim to capture the attention of all shoppers.

Baby Boomers (born between 1943 and 1964)

Most retailers attribute up to 50% of their sales to baby boomers. While their population is being gradually outpaced by the growing number of millennials, baby boomers still have stronger purchasing power and account for nearly five times more retail spending. While the love for coupons and promotions span both generations, baby boomers are less motivated by price. They place higher value in the overall shopping experience including great in-store customer service. Baby boomers are very brand-loyal and are often willing to pay a higher price for a brand they trust and have personally deemed “high-quality”. They’re also more likely to make a purchase from brands that offer loyalty rewards. Contrary to popular belief, baby boomers are relatively tech-savvy and have no problem browsing, researching and making purchases online. However, when it comes to mobile, baby boomers are less likely than millennials to use a smartphone or tablet when making a purchase.

Millennials (born between 1981 and 2000)

Digitally connected and highly informed millennials use technology to their full advantage. They’re more price-conscious than older generations and will often compare multiple options (often on a mobile device while in-store) before making a purchase decision. They’re less motivated by traditional advertising and strongly influenced by product reviews, word-of-mouth, blogs and social media. Although they are highly discerning shoppers, millennials will happily endorse a brand that provides them with a great experience or sells a product that they love. Millennials are more likely to advocate for their favorite brand on Facebook, Pinterest, or their personal blog.

Millennials have recently surpassed baby boomers in numbers and although their level of disposable income is currently lower, retailers must not ignore the value in nurturing this generation with exceptional brand awareness. They will become retailers’ core clientele in the next few decades, and creating a sense of brand loyalty in this group will be valuable as they develop more purchasing power. Experts also caution retailers to not abandon the boomers either as their their ability to be a significant revenue driver is expected to remain strong for the next 20 years. Retailers that are able to create a unified brand experience that attracts and retains both generations will continue to see success.

How Retailers Can Use Technology to Keep From Falling Behind

retail technology

In response to the ever-changing landscape of the retail industry, many large retailers are being forced to take drastic business measures. Companies like Macy’s, Walmart, Office Depot, Sears, and Barnes and Noble have already announced plans to greatly reduce their number of stores. Sports Authority, once the largest sporting goods retailer in the country, recently announced the closing of all its remaining stores this year. These closings don’t necessarily signal the end of brick-and-mortar retail, but serve as a warning to physical retailers who need to adopt instrumental practices in order to stay relevant. Unfortunately, for companies like Sports Authority the chance to evolve their in-store business may have come too late.

In a recent article, experts weighed in on what may have lead to Sports Authority’s downfall. Some speculate the company’s inability to keep up with their competition by providing an optimal in-store customer experience lead to their demise. They also made the point that certain competing retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods who put effort into making their stores a shopping “experience” have fared better and managed to keep up with the changing tide.

Leveraging available technology is one way retailers can stay ahead of the curve as emphasis on the shopping experience becomes crucial for survival. Here are five advantages of having access to real-time visual access and analytic data in-store.

Identify and Address Layout Issues Promptly

A product display that drives strong revenue may receive a lot of attention one week and much less the following. This sudden pattern change may be due to the placement of new merchandise, which could redirect shopper attention. By relocating these items, merchandisers have the ability to refocus shoppers back on to high value items. Real-time insight into these changing patterns and their impact on store performance allows retail professionals to immediately address potential sales “road blocks.”

Up-to-the-minute Performance Monitoring

Retailers can access daily or weekly performance metrics of multiple stores at once, and act quickly to implement any necessary adjustments. For a store looking to increase its overall conversion rate, a real-time glance at their stores’ traffic and customer flow can provide vital insight. High volume traffic yielding low conversion may seem counterintuitive until visual context reveals that excessively crowded stores may be putting shoppers off due to long check-out times or poor customer service.

Product Placement and Store Layout Testing

Measuring the efficacy of a store’s signage, product displays, lighting, merchandise placement and promotions is essential to optimizing a store. What may seem like a simple change in placement could have a significant impact on store profitability.

Timely Staffing Optimization

Historically, retailers would hire and schedule associates’ shifts based on simple intuition and employee availability. Having fixed headcount in store during all business hours can generally cover sales needs; however, if at any time a store experiences a spike in traffic, inadequate staffing could result in loss in conversion. Real-time views into a store’s daily and weekly traffic flow helps retailers schedule their staff according to a specific store’s traffic patterns, which reduces labor costs while optimizing sales opportunities.

Live, Low-cost Auditing

Retailers have the ability to look into one store or multiple stores from anywhere in the world. By making sure that shelves are stocked, customers are being helped, and the store is always presentable, stores can forgo the expense of sending a district manager on-site.

In today’s retail market, unlimited options and the ability to quickly compare costs produces a highly informed consumer. Physical retailers need to stay ahead of their competition, and tools like Prism, can provide the insights and data to do so.

Watch: Prism and Store of the Future Video Case Study

We’re proud to show off our latest video case study, which highlights our partnership with the Store of the Future, a retail innovation lab based in the Netherlands. The Store of the Future selected Prism as their sole analytics provider — out of 70+ technology companies that have come together to bring all of the most cutting-edge retail solutions into a single brick-and-mortar experience.

Check out our latest announcement to learn more about our partnership with the Store of the Future!

The Brick and Mortar Experience: What Shoppers Value Most

It’s no secret that online shopping has exploded in the past few years. Shoppers have almost everything in the world available for purchase right at their fingertips. While some retailers scramble to increase their online offerings, other large retail companies who once operated solely on the web are taking their products to the streets. Amazon recently announced its plan to open nearly 400 new stores after trying out their first physical location in Seattle last year. It’s an interesting paradigm, highlighting the fact that brick-and-mortar shopping is still relevant and for many people, the preferred method of shopping. So what do customers value in the retail experience that can’t be fulfilled online?

Multi-sensory Interaction

Inside a store, retailers have the opportunity to share the full brand experience with their customers using every one of the human senses. An optimal layout will not only create a seamless shopping experience but a full immersion into a brand’s culture. From the moment a shopper walks into a store, they’re greeted with the sight (lighting, colors, layout), smell (scent of the store), and sound (music, chatter) associated with the brand. Shoppers can then examine and experience a product first-hand such as listening to the sound quality of a new speaker, trying on new shoes or sitting on prospective sofa. When these factors are collectively on point, retailers have the opportunity to generate not just a single sale but more importantly, loyal return customers.

Personal Attention

One irreplaceable aspect of shopping is face-to-face interaction between customers and sales associates. Shoppers value the expertise and tailored recommendations that a knowledgeable associate can provide especially when purchasing big ticket items such as a computer, jewelry or home appliances. In fact, a recent poll showed 90% of shoppers felt more likely to make a purchase after receiving help from an associate. While e-commerce sites have the ability to make general product recommendations based on customer browsing history and search behavior, physical interaction presents the opportunity for more relevant suggestions based on conversation and real-time feedback.

Instant Gratification

Many people consider spending time at the mall a fun activity with the possible reward of taking home a same-day purchase. For most people, the satisfaction received from an immediate purchase will always trump the delay that comes with delivery, even if it’s same day.

Playing up these points is advantageous for brick and mortar retailers. Lucky for them, innovation and emerging technology platforms like Prism are empowering retailers to gain insights and optimize their customer experience using data. The ability to track customers’ path to purchase and analytics tools once reserved for online retailers are now available for real-world businesses. As breakthrough technology becomes mainstream practice, brick and mortar retailers now have the opportunity to level the playing field and keep their business booming.