Provide a Customer Experience Differentiator with Laser Projection

VARs and MSPs that hone their mapping and digital display skills can win big with retail and hospitality customers.

In the retail and hospitality markets, creating a competitive differentiator relies heavily on providing a positive customer experience, which entails engaging with people in a way that both educates and entertains. Digital displays play an important role here because they can help capture customers attention at different touchpoints throughout their experience. In today’s digital world, it is key to serve the right information at the right time to the right audience. Digital displays allow users to easily deliver timely and captivating information from unique product branding and advertising, to important directional details, to completely immersive and interactive experiences. This can result in increased customer engagement and operational efficiency.

Display technologies have evolved drastically in the last decade. Today’s customers’ needs to merge digital with physical experiences is becoming a behavioral force that is propelling some of these innovations forward. With the introduction of laser, the trend in projection display solutions have become smaller, brighter and lighter, allowing users to create unique experiences with dynamic content on nearly any surface and material. From projecting onto a large building to micro mapping onto small objects, to basic wayfinding on floors, display capabilities are virtually limitless.

Retail and hospitality establishments can go far beyond the limits of traditional display screens and standard projection, transforming walls, floors, display windows, bars and other objects and spaces into something way more engaging. Laser projectors are becoming a crucial component of this process, and they’re well suited to mapping vibrant colors, images, videos and even 3D content onto irregular indoor and outdoor surfaces.

Digital display technology examples

Some ways that businesses can use laser projectors to boost customer engagement include:

  • Displaying engaging content (images and video) onto virtually any wall or material
  • Changing the texture of a surface (e.g., from transparent to opaque)
  • Using edge blending to combine more than one projected image into a larger image
  • Leveraging wayfinding in smaller places, or where reinforcement is needed to enhance customer service
  • Converting a space such as a lobby to reflect seasonality or timely themes
  • Transforming a restaurant tabletop for a customized, unique and special experience
  • Delivering contextual information, such as an artist’s information next to their piece in a gallery or museum
  • Projecting details onto and around products to bridge the gap between online and instore shopping experiences

Here are three specific examples that illustrate how laser projection can be combined with other complementary technologies to create a better customer experience:

1. Visual Merchandising. This YouTube video shows a footwear retailer displaying a shoe on a pedestal next to an interactive kiosk, allowing visitors to view the shoe in different colors and patterns (with the assistance of the laser projector) by selecting a button on the kiosk. In another video, we see a shoe retailer integrating RFID with laser projectors. The laser shows the user where to place the shoe (near an RFID reader), which presents the user with more info about the product via a multimedia display. Also displayed here at an Epson partners experience center.

2. Personalized service. A coffee shop, bar, or quick-serve restaurant can integrate its point of sale (POS) system with a laser projector to make drink orders more personal, fun and efficient. For example, a drink could be lit up with the person’s first name and the details of the order (e.g., Josh’s large macchiato with almond milk) and the display could disappear after the drink is picked up. Laser projection is also excellent at directing visitors to specific areas of a store to view a special promotion or place an order. Combining point of sale (POS) and kitchen display system (KDS) data can create a compelling and memorable environment, also. For retail environments, the benefits range from unique cross selling capabilities during a sale, to showcasing products with additional details via text, animation or color offerings being directly overlaid onto specified products or product areas.

3. Visual merchandising. Enhancing imagination by showing a customer what an item might look like in their home is another great way to encourage shoppers to engage with the product and buy based on the value rather than price. In this example, we see a laser projector being used to simulate flowers growing in a real vase as well as a scented candle display with simulated flames enhanced further by purple lighting behind the display and the word “lavender” emanating upwards. A few moments later, the purple light turns yellow, and the word “lemongrass” slowly moves up the wall.

Today’s projector technology

As an alternative to video walls, projectors can bring a small display to life, or deliver larger-than-life experiences without impacting the structural integrity of the space. Projectors provide flexibility of the décor and creative freedom while giving user’s their wall back once turned off.

Today’s laser technology delivers a bright, quiet and memorable experience. With options from 2,000 lumens to 30,000 lumens, projectors provide a breadth of display solutions with different feature sets, including easy installation, and advancements in brightness and incredible picture quality. They can be used in combination or individually depending on the size of the project and the applications. Plus, a laser light source is designed to last longer than traditional lamp projectors, offering a low-maintenance solution.

Delivering clear, bright and colorful displays, today’s laser projectors can truly help captivate audiences and increase customer engagement without compromising current content and infrastructure. Additionally, with a wide range of sizes, formfactors and interchangeable lens capabilities, today’s projector technology solutions are designed to meet the needs of even more environments.

Personalized data is a critical part of the visual experience

Today’s commercial-grade laser projectors can produce stunning visuals when used as standalone devices, but their impact is exponentially increased when they’re networked with other technologies that deliver intelligent data. For instance, imagine how integrating POS data (e.g., purchase history, customer loyalty info) could be used to create a more engaging and personalized customer experience. Not only does this enable the personalized beverage ordering experience mentioned earlier, but it also allows retailers to present customers with customized promotions, rewards and specific brand info. Some additional technologies you can integrate with laser projectors to add even more valuable data and customer experiences include: KDS, kiosks, printers and RFID/near-field communication solutions.

Final thoughts

Retail and hospitality venues are prime candidates for laser projectors. This cutting-edge digital display technology can be used to create a more welcoming and engaging ambiance, to reduce order errors and improve workflows, and to educate and entertain prospects in new ways. Not only do laser projection solutions help your customers stand out from their competitors, but they can also be a great way to help you stand out from yours.