If the buzz coming out of NRF 2014 is any indication, the timeline is advancing for the Internet of Things (IoT), and society is poised to reap the benefits of visionary technology. As Bill Wasik, editor for Wired Magazine puts it, “In our houses, cars, and factories, we’re surrounded by tiny, intelligent devices that capture data about how we live and what we do. Now they are beginning to talk to one another. Soon we’ll be able to choreograph them to respond to our needs, solve our problems, even save our lives.”
When considering the list of places where devices will talk to each other for the betterment of our experience, we must include retail. Through our involvement with the Internet of Things product displays for some early entrants we know that retailers will play a key role in making the possibilities of the IoT evident to consumers. Retail product displays will educate us about the hubs and apps available to control devices like thermostats, locks and, light bulbs with our phones – and of course the smart devices we can purchase and control. They will also sell us biofeedback devices that help us track our fitness and other kinds of wearables.
Estimates on tracking the explosion of the Internet of Things vary widely. ABI Research projects more than 30 billion devices worldwide will be wirelessly connected to the Internet by 2020, while analysts for Morgan Stanley predict the number will be 75 billion.
Initially consumers may be focused in on what it means to control devices in their homes or on their bodies. Increasingly they will reap the value that the IoT can bring to shopping where devices communicating with each other will make operations more efficient and in-store communications personally relevant. Some of the more noticeable benefits will accrue to:
The tracking and more effective deployment of inventory has value that is highly visible to consumers since item location and availability have a direct impact on the ability to complete a purchase. A study by WD Partners presented at NRF revealed that 79 percent of respondents felt “instant ownership” was the most appealing attribute of any retailer. Retailers will increasingly be able to provide up to the minute inventory availability for customers as they more effectively connect the digital to the physical and employ insights to improve their operations.
The connection of devices, processes and people makes possible innovations like smart shelves which can signal when they are getting empty, trigger restocking at the store level and communicate back through the supply chain. Fewer out-of-stocks mean more satisfied customers.
Beacons that recognize the presence of mobile operating systems will usher in more finely targeted proximity marketing inside stores. Some retailers who have customer data tied to mobile apps are already doing this at the store level. In the Internet of Things, newer Apple and Android devices using Bluetooth Low Energy can intercept messages from beacons at the aisle or shelf level. Retailers must experiment and learn as they go from generalized to customized messaging, but when married with customer data and the requisite permission, they can deliver highly relevant messages and offers that may help forge closer relationships with customers. Indeed about half of online consumers say they are comfortable revealing personal information, if they get customized offers and rewards in return.
There were some technical conversations at NRF by people who have built their careers in the era of connectivity that went something like this: We are evolving from a time where the phone serves as the storehouse for myriad apps to one where the phone becomes, as mobile CEO Gary Schwartz phrased it, “an intelligent server interacting with the world of wireless signals” based on consumer preference.
The Internet of Things is poised to touch society on many levels from personal satisfaction and efficiencies to revenue improvements for businesses to real wealth creation.
Retailers are both optimistic and realistic about challenges heading into 2014. Either way, they should be intent on making each touch point with the customer as meaningful as possible. Here are some of the ways our thought leaders see this imperative playing out in stores.
What role does in-store merchandising play in positioning retailers for a new and challenging year ahead?
Mike Mayer, President: Our success and that of our clients going forward will come from helping marketers face a changed environment, changing consumer and rapidly evolving technology. The biggest challenge we can help our clients meet is keeping the in-store experience vibrant and relevant in the midst of upheaval.
We create solutions that keep shoppers coming into stores, help them make sense of categories, and keep them engaging with products so that in the end they appreciate the advantages of the in-store experience and are enabled to shop the way they want to. Sometimes it isn’t the newest, shiniest technology, and sometimes it is. Fitting the right technology to the environment and the consumer leads to the best outcome.
Are there new tools that will be put to use in the realm of interactive retailing?
Ron Bowers, Senior Vice President Business Development: I’m watching to see if 2014 will usher in a new wave of in-store communication with shoppers. Proximity marketing enabled by beacon technology gives retailers a new tool to interact with connected consumers at precise locations in stores. People in retail, entertainment, transportation and other industries are paying attention to news about Apple’s iBeacon.
I’m rooting for this technology to work because from an in-store merchandising perspective, iBeacon has the potential to increase ROI and make even non-interactive displays “smarter.” A beacon could send a prompt to engage, a purchase incentive, or information. This solution helps address the “if you build it, will they come” question that often arises when ambitious interactive merchandising solutions are used, and it could enable something as simple as knowing when and where a display gets put up.
Retailers are the real harbingers with beacon technology. If several retailers have successful tests and roll beacons out to their stores in 2014, it will add an exciting new layer of relevance to in-store communication.
This development begs the question: Have we finally reached the point of cultivating true one-to-one relationships with important customers that Peppers and Rogers espoused in their book One to One Future a decade and a half ago?
What will 2014 bring from a display design perspective?
Ryan Lepianka, Creative Director: As online shopping options become more enticing due to cost savings and ever faster shipping, brick and mortar retailers must differentiate themselves evermore from their virtual counterparts. One aspect that really sets physical retail apart is the presence of well-crafted, hands-on experiences. A live demo allows potential purchasers to gain a tactile knowledge of products that is impossible to attain from a jpeg and a few questionable product reviews.
Heavily branded custom demo stations – for electronics and gadgetry for example - give premium products the pop they need to stand out in a crowded retail environment. They help consumers answer questions like: Does this product have the quality build I’m looking for? Do I trust this product?
The quality of the demo station itself helps to reinforce a premium message. These types of displays have elevated in quality of construction and features of late, and I see a continuation of this trend. More enticing lighting, less visible fasteners and more premium-looking materials are defining the preferred brands at retail today.
What worked well at retail in 2013 that we are likely to see more of in 2014?
Joe Holley, Vice President New Business Development–Displays/Merchandisers: The “less is more” trend from retailers this past year will carry into 2014. A growing number of retailers are focusing their efforts on a detailed consumer profile for a category and only offering products - including top sellers - that fit that profile. Omitting some SKU’s in the lineup creates opportunities to develop point of purchase displays on a higher level.
Displays and merchandisers have more real estate available to communicate to the consumer and can present a category with more style and simplicity. The “less is more” trend also opens the door for innovative ways to showcase the product as well as provide guidance to the consumer to shop the display/merchandiser with ease at the point of sale.
Have you noticed the sudden flurry? No, not snow…I’m talking about articles on iBeacon. There is a new feature on the recently released iOS7 operating system that enables micro-location based communication. The messaging you receive on your phone is triggered by your location in a way that is reported to be more targeted and workable than we’ve seen to date.
A lot of commentary about iBeacon has focused on its potential to transform retail experience because, frankly, that is where its use is most visible right now. Apple is reported to have turned on iBeacon in all of its stores and Macy’s is testing it through the Shopkick application in two stores. Retailers whose mobile strategies have matured to the point of offering targeted in-store engagement have a potentially exciting new tool.
The micro-location based mobile communication that iBeacon enables offers the promise of highly relevant mobile messaging not just in retail, but also in entertainment venues, museums, transportation sectors and beyond. iBeacon is technology that works with iPhones, iPads and iPod touches with iOS7. Beacons use Bluetooth Low Energy to constantly transmit finely targeted location-based messages that iOS devices (usually phones) running the right application can intercept.
From an in-store merchandising perspective, iBeacon has the potential to increase ROI and make even non-interactive displays “smarter.” A beacon could be built into a display or interactive piece that intercepts shoppers in close proximity to the unit or upon entering a store or department. It could send a prompt to engage, a purchase incentive, or information. This solution helps address the “if you build it, will they come?” question that often arises with ambitious retail merchandising implementations.
iBeacon seems to overcome some of the hurdles of cost or range or reception that are present with other location-based solutions we’ve evaluated. GPS doesn’t work well indoors and can’t pinpoint locations that are just a few feet apart. iBeacon doesn’t require the extremely close proximity or tapping of devices that NFC does. Beacons are reported to work as close as 4 inches to between 150 and 200 feet (reports vary on maximum distance). Beacons are low cost – in the range of $5 to $30, depending on the supplier.
Assuming all the technological pieces fit together reliably; there are a number of things that have to go right for iBeacon to deliver. We initially wondered about the critical mass of iOS7 devices, but Apple’s developer website reports 74% iOS7 adoption based on app store usage numbers.
The future of iBeacon as a retail breakthrough also depends in part on how receptive shoppers are to receiving notifications from a retailer while they’re in store. This is usually something users agree to upon initial download. A study conducted by ResearchNow for Swirl Network, an in-store mobile marketing company, found that 77 percent of the 1,000 consumers surveyed would be willing to share their location data in exchange for something of value. We’ve seen other reports in the past that about half of consumers are willing to share location.
When programming messaging retailers will have to find the line between welcomed and irritating. It is critical to get message and frequency right. As an article appearing on Wired.com bluntly put it, “businesses will have to be careful not to inundate us with crap, lest they kill the future of retail before it arrives.”
There is always a lot of excitement surrounding the next new thing, and it is sometimes difficult to filter out the noise. We’ll want to stay attuned to see if iBeacon turns out to be the most exciting interactive breakthrough of 2014. Are we finally creating the opportunity for true “one to one marketing”, for the engaged and connected consumer? What do you think?
Nikki Baird recently wrote an article for RSR talking about brands as storytellers and the importance of setting in conveying a sense of what a brand stands for. Sometimes this task can seem pretty straightforward. The example she used was Tommy Bahama with stores and restaurants that convey a relaxed, casual, beach lifestyle. Communicating that kind of brand story dictates some obvious natural-looking choices of design and materials in creating the environment.
Given what we do here at Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc., the RSR thought piece got us reflecting on the importance of delivering on the brand’s promise when designing merchandising. Of course, we always work with brand, environment and user in mind. Different projects can offer vastly different paths to completion.
Sometimes in-store merchandising is called upon to fit into a clearly defined environment. The Tommy Bahama example above or a Nike flagship store might come to mind. The brand story is already clearly conveyed and an in-store merchandising piece fits into an easy groove.
There are other times when the brand is clearly defined, but the setting the in-store merchandiser or interactive piece goes into may vary. There is a real opportunity through the choices of design and materials to grab onto a brand story and convey it through merchandising that will stand out within its environment. If you think that sounds like a tall order, here are two very different examples that illustrate.
The Nintendo Wii U gaming system is an entertainment product that conveys the motion and light and high definition graphics of next generation technology. The award-winning Nintendo Wii U retail display simulates the immersive experience of gaming with a three-sided back-lit enclosure. The materials and lighting reinforce the high tech product story.
The user is surrounded on three sides with a branded Wii U blue enclosure that screens out the distractions of the retail environment and provides the perfect setting in which to view the 3-D monitor. The game console is displayed in a clear, jewel-like, injection molded case. Everything about the display connotes that the user is about to have a cutting edge experience. It is an exciting space within a space that makes the user a part of the Wii U story.
Designed for a totally different kind of atmosphere than the Wii U retail display, the goCharge mobile charging stations for sports and entertainment venues convey warmth and a casual feel although they are intended to support high tech products. The brand in this case is not a product but a team or venue.
The first noticeable design element is that they are circular. The shape helps to promote the sense of camaraderie and social interaction that is a hallmark of sports and entertainment experiences. With a table top and a foot rest, they’re designed for people to “belly up” to. While individual logos employed on each mobile charging station can brand them for specific venues, these pieces universally convey the communal experience of being a fan.
Good retail merchandising helps amplify the message of the brand. The story you want to tell and the main character in the story, the user, should clearly inform the look. When all the pieces fall into place the result can enhance the environment and can even be a real standout!
The instance a shopper encounters a product at retail is sometimes called the “moment of truth.” Now the action she takes at that moment can lead in a number of different directions.
Both McKinsey and Company and Harvard Business Review have attempted to describe the new path to purchase. McKinsey and Company uses a looping model to illustrate a circular journey with four phases: initial consideration, active evaluation, moment of purchase, and post-purchase experience. One brand marketer has even likened the path to a pretzel instead of a loop.
The Harvard Business Review blog describes the buying process as both continuous and intermittent and identifies six key states in which a consumer with mobile capability can exist.
A study by Compete identified multiple paths to purchase involving anywhere from 3 to 35 steps. One wonders what shape the path with 35 steps would be.
Whatever the path, consideration of the customer journey is a preamble to effective execution. We’ve identified five steps that can help those involved in retail merchandising plan for a more customer-driven experience:
1) Evaluate the Effectiveness of Current In-Store Displays
Are your displays truly differentiating for your brand? Do they take into account customers’ varied paths to purchase? Do they serve as a call to action to connect to other digital assets that impact the point of decision or post-purchase communication?
2) Research New Display Options
The range of displays and interactive merchandising is always evolving. The availability of floorstands and counter units with iPads and other kinds of streamlined touchscreens has given rise to new category-specific or promotional uses for interactive merchandising. Kiosks and digital signage can combine to create persuasive interactive experiences.
3) Learn from the Success of Others
Look to leaders like Macy’s and Target who have already invested in understanding the kinds of experiences that will draw shoppers to stores with doors and keep them engaged. Look to innovators; there are products that have traditionally been behind counters that can benefit from in-store merchandising that allows customers to touch and feel products.
4) Understand How to Evaluate an In-Store Merchandising Provider
Retailers need a qualified provider that understands retail, their consumer and the cycle and timeline of how a merchandising display program should work. They need a partner that can help them evaluate new technologies. Knowing what questions to ask in the evaluation process will lead to the right partnership.
5) Decide How You Will Implement and Evaluate Your New Display Strategy
A realistic budget and a timeline are critical to success. A timeline that takes into account set store dates for installation and deployment can establish a solid foundation. Determining what the test phase and full rollout will look like will obviously impact the progression of a project. Tracking the project on a continuous basis once it has been deployed will help evaluate success.
There’s more to be said. Five Steps to Personalizing the In-Store Experience is a new resource that can be found at http://www.frankmayer.com/whitepapers/31/.
Six degrees of separation is the theory that any two individuals could be connected through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. It is popularly used to espouse the concept that we occupy a small world. We borrowed that concept for a session at a recent Digital Screenmedia Association symposium that I moderated called Six Degrees of Interactivity.
The Digital Screenmedia Association is all about connection. The DSA was created to bring the suppliers of interactive technologies like kiosks, mobile, digital signage, RFID, and NFC together so we could communicate and collaborate about how individual pieces combine to create a compelling experience around a product. The experience of connecting with a product or environment can set consumers on a path that leads to purchase and initiates a relationship that can lead to loyalty.
Lindsay Wadelton of AT&T Mobility shared how her company’s flagship store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago has transformed the brand experience. It is hard to miss the eye-popping digital signage in the Explore Zone that highlights AT&T's diverse device lineup and accessories. At the same time, it’s the hands-on aspects of the new store that communicate the company is about more than just phones; they convey a connected mobile lifestyle of convenience and personal services.
The new Connected Experience Zone features "lifestyle vignettes" that highlight categories such as music, home security and entertainment and offer customers a glimpse of how solutions can be used in their everyday lives. The Community Zone features "community tables" that encourage customers to shop and play with apps, accessories and devices. The environments are set up for self-exploration or side-by-side interaction with store associates.
We also heard from Jared Schiffman, Founder and CEO of Perch Interactive, a start-up whose interactive table-top displays combine the benefits of online shopping with hands-on product exploration. Perch has offered Nordstrom a successful and innovative experience for their customer engagement. This solution encourages shoppers to touch and pick up products on display. When they do so, they get rewarded with information, animations and media that connect them more closely to the brand.
George Burciaga, CEO of elevate DIGITAL has reinvented the “billboard” through creating a multi-sensory outdoor touchscreen. Burciaga showed displays with large 46-to 55-inch touchscreens that offer not only hyperlocal deals for retailers within the vicinity, but a wealth of content, such as city and transportation information, news and attractions. A social element that allows consumers to take video and photos for sharing via Facebook or email enhances advertising impressions generated by the display.
All three presentations were developed independently. What was confirming for me was that all three touched on the same theme. Interactivity drives engagement, and consumers who engage with a product are more likely to buy a product, connect with the brand or service and create a loyalty relationship based on the interaction.
All three of these companies are targeting consumers who are looking for something beyond their desktops. When millennial shoppers engage they may seek a retail environment and assisted selling, but they are perfectly comfortable with self-navigation and decision-making how, when and where they want it.
The demand for the kinds of self-directed, multi-sensory product experiences showcased at the DSA symposium is here to stay, and we as an industry are poised to entice the next generation of shoppers into retail and out-of-home environments with exciting product displays that help them connect personally and socially with what is before them.
I recently gave an interview where I was asked about the challenges of managing retail self-service projects given the rapid progression of in-store technology. With the array of tactical mobile options and digital innovations, there are seemingly limitless opportunities for in-store merchandising to connect retail shoppers to the online and virtual worlds.
We can now provide a call to action for consumers to interact with content on demand on any type of retail display or self-service kiosk. Still other “next big things”, like gesture-based interfaces and virtual imaging, are competing for attention.
The challenge in planning for retail merchandising and self-service projects is navigating with our customers through the practical versus the promising.
Retailers are looking for ways to draw traffic and accelerate their omni-channel agenda in-store. Retailers and marketers straddle the line between wanting to evaluate new technologies and wanting to deliver an experience that is intuitive and accepted by consumers.
Forrester Research recently issued 2013 Mobile Trends for Marketers, which evaluated the readiness of “game changing” mobile technologies. All of these offer the potential of being combined with in-store merchandising. To summarize their analysis:
We expect significant progress in mobile technologies in 2013 — especially around indoor positioning — but not major breakthroughs…While we believe that mobile technologies like GPS, NFC, augmented reality, image recognition, and 2D bar codes will offer phenomenal potential to enhance real-world experiences for consumers, they can’t do so in isolation.
Gaps in infrastructure, the cost of scaling, availability of specific applications on smartphones, and consumer education are all factors that marketers have to consider when making the decision about whether to incorporate promising mobile ‘’on ramps” into in-store merchandising.
Decades of attending trade shows, seeing new technologies demonstrated, engaging in trusted partnerships, and listening to retailers who are constantly taking the pulse of their customers have given us insights that help us evaluate the latest innovations.
What we know is:
- The number of NFC enabled phones is growing but still small.
- More people are scanning QR codes, but the absolute numbers are small. Context and content are important in making these deliver.
- Texting behavior is more pervasive than QR code scanning.
- Augmented reality is still a young and developing industry. ROI is an issue.
- At the same time we are in the midst of rapid change with the ramp up in smartphone ownership – 56 percent of all U.S. adults according to PEW Research.
- Young, active mobile users are a growing force at retail.
While a dose of reality is necessary, the pace of change and the stream of innovation should keep us continuously evaluating the parade of “next big things.” You might say it’s like driving on the highway; we’re aware of what’s right in front of us, but we’re focusing several car lengths ahead.
As designers we work on a variety of projects, for a variety of clients. Each project is unique, and requires special care from a designer in determining the best ways to tell each product’s story. Of course in our business, time is often of the essence in order to get a new product or promotion to market. Sometimes there isn’t sufficient time to go out and seek inspiration for a project with an imminent delivery date. That is why we as designers must constantly seek ways to keep our creative instincts sharp and alive. Much of what makes a display eye-catching is a splash of the unexpected mixed in with the familiar.
Where does that unexpected bit of magic come from? It’s impossible to predict really, so as artists it is important for us to constantly seek inspiration through varied outlets. Much can be learned from a directed study of nature and the contrasts of form, color, proportion, and functionality that define beauty in wildlife, plants, and landscape. Motion pictures and television shape the expectations and perceptions of consumers within specific demographics in terms of ‘What does the future look like?’ or ‘What is edgy? Or Cool?’
Touchstones found within media such as video games or YouTube videos can help us to connect at retail with an audience of a certain age. Exploring other art forms or disciplines, trying new sports or activities, travelling to exotic destinations in odd ways, all of these can help us to ‘shake things up’ and keep our perspective fresh! Finally, visiting retail outlets with our trained perceptions can help us to understand what has worked for others, what hasn’t and why.
In the end, our clients have an exciting story to tell. Consumer products are the result of sometimes years of inspiration, feasibility studies, design, development, and focus groups (rinse, repeat). Our job comes at the end of that development cycle, when it is time to deliver the message of what this wonderful thing is and why you can’t live without it! As designers, as artists, we must always come prepared to help our clients articulate that story in the most compelling way imaginable…on a budget.
Two big motivators are pushing retailers to transcend walled-off commerce and implement omni-channel strategies. The first is connected consumers who have expectations of both individualized and seamless interactions with retailers. The second is the pressure certain retailers are feeling from shoppers engaged in showrooming and the unrelenting competition from online retailers like Amazon, who are the beneficiaries of that behavior.
You need only to attend a retail conference or engage a few retail executives in conversation to understand the need for speed in overcoming infrastructure hurdles to erase the barriers between consumer touchpoints. More than half of respondents to RSR’s 2013 Cross Channel Benchmark survey feel consumer expectations outpace their ability to deliver on a consistent retail experience.
On the consumer-facing side of this retail upheaval, continuity of experience - enabled by engaging interactive merchandising, a choice of self-service options and informed assisted selling - will be the driver for garnering the loyalty of digitally savvy Millennial shoppers. Those are the shoppers that will account for nearly a third of retail sales by the end of the decade.
As an in-store merchandising company whose projects often involve bridging retail channels, it is clear to us that omni-channel retailing offers benefits that transcend the challenges of implementation. Beyond the infrastructure changes and organizational realignments required is a vision for attracting and retaining high value customers and driving greater sales.
Improved Customer Perception
Customers expect integration and will become impatient waiting for it to become a reality. The blurring of channels isn’t just a retail phenomenon. It is advancing into other aspects of consumers’ lives like entertainment, where two-screen viewing is becoming a behavioral norm. Retailers are in a transitional time where speed of implementation can be differentiating and brand-building or slow response can be frustrating and damaging.
Retailers who have inventory visibility and availability in the customer’s channel of choice have a better opportunity to complete the sale. The proof of this tenant is in the success of department store shopping kiosks and category tablet kiosks that give shoppers access to a wider selection and provide multiple points of access to complete the purchase. Consumers who shop across channels are actually spending more with their favorite retailers.
Better Data Collection
Visibility across channels means a more customized experience. Retailers that can track customers across channels and understand preferences can better serve their customers. They also gain insights into crafting offers that motivate customers to get out from behind their screens and engaged in store, where the likelihood of impulse purchase is greater.
An omni-channel strategy can arm store associates with tools that increase access to information and promote efficiency. Tablets have become the front line of defense against customers armed with more information than store employees and a great offense for turning customer data into loyalty-building service.
There are benefits and best practices involved in the use of technologies – tablets, smartphones and touchscreens – that are the face of omni-channel retailing for consumers. The Convergence of the Connected Consumer and Omni-channel Retailing is a new resource we're offering. It examines how retailers can take advantage of these tools to carry out their omni-channel strategies.
This blog is a continuation of last week’s thoughts on what criteria brands and retailers should apply to evaluating an in-store merchandising partner. In addition to looking for a good creative partner, brands and retailers will want to look for evidence that the company they’re considering is nimble and detail-oriented. It is a lot easier to illustrate what these traits look like when we can include examples from our own experience, so there are a few peppered into the discussion.
The greater the array of in-house capabilities, the more responsive an in-store merchandising partner can be. Look for an environment of tightly integrated resources for complete project management from creative design through store delivery. A broad scope of resources will provide you with the greatest flexibility in accommodating program changes, compressing time frames, and delivering a product that is on pace and on budget.
Is it apparent how the team responds when clients come in with revised expectations? The willingness and flexibility to modify solutions and meet challenges as they arise, while continuing to work toward a set date, should be part of the company culture.
It is particularly telling how a partner responds when designing and engineering a display that interfaces with client product and client-supplied equipment that gets incorporated into the overall piece. Neither of those aspects is within the control of the in-store merchandising partner, but the partner should be nimble enough to make the necessary modifications and keep the project on track.
Into the Details
An in-store merchandising partner should be able to assign you team members with the experience that allows them to focus on details you, as a client starting a new project, may not even recognize need to be addressed. Focusing on the details of design and understanding the appropriateness of components can impact user experience and long-term viability. A thorough in-store merchandising partner should know what makes for ease of installation, user interface and durability and be able to show you numbers that indicate a high success rate in the field.
We were recently called to redesign two different projects that were in tests initiated by other companies. They came up with interesting designs and incorporated technology but did not have the depth of experience to integrate successfully the two elements and anticipate problems on the retail floor. Units were becoming damaged in the natural course of use and store maintenance and needed to be pulled.
Being detail oriented doesn’t translate into having an incremental focus. At Frank Mayer and Associates, we were approached by still another company that already had a display in the field and were asked to redesign it. Our designers and engineers didn’t come up with just a better-looking display; they noticed the original piece had far too many screws and took too long to set up. They took a holistic approach and the result was a fully collapsible display that didn’t even require the use of tools. Not only did it have the aesthetics they were looking for, it was much more efficient to install. Oh, and the shipping costs were cut in half…
A company’s focus on being creative, nimble, and detail-oriented will tell you a lot about how they approach their work and can ultimately impact the success of your project. What other qualitative criteria would you add to the list?