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Reality Interactive: Filling Retail Marketing Black-Hole

CIO VendorBryson Hyte, Partner/CTO
There is a marketing black hole in the retail kiosk landscape. How can brands better understand how their kiosks and digital POP displays are performing in-store? Are they engaging customers the way they intended? Are they up to date with current content? Are they even turned on?

Traditional unconnected kiosks leave brands in the dark and at the mercy of unreliable manual systems and single unit updates. As a result, the invaluable insights and data that these kiosks and POP displays hold disappear, there is no accountability and retailers are losing sales and money. As multiple research reports and experts hail ‘experiential’ as being the saviour of retail, it is crucial now more than ever for retailers maintain the integrity of their programs by closing this gap. Award-winning retail technology integrator Reality Interactive has the solution.

“The value of kiosks and digital POP displays is often overshadowed by how unreliable they can be in retail deployments,” says Craig Martin, Owner of Retail Interactive. “Yet they’re an extremely effective way to influence buyers at the point of purchase. In theory, there’s no reason we couldn’t make online style analytics available with retail kiosks – we just needed to find a solution to enable this in the retail environment.”

Reality Interactive’s solution is called bitSHUTTLE®. Rather than relying on one-way updates to the kiosks from field representatives and merchandisers, bitSHUTTLE uses a secure USB key to ‘talk’ to the system, ensure the authenticity of the updated content, and receiving informational logs from the unit. This lets brands remotely monitor the kiosk from a dashboard. As for connected units, brands can remotely track their activity from the dashboard, without the need for any human interaction with the kiosk.

The value of kiosks and digital POP displays is often overshadowed by how unreliable they can be in retail deployments


It’s more than just monitoring the health of the system and getting insights. Increasing reliability is key to realizing the full potential of kiosk and POP solutions. “Solving this problem starts before a single kiosk is deployed. We developed a standard called ‘Retail Rugged®’ to ensure all our deployments work in the often harsh retail environment,” says Bryson Hyte, Partner/CTO of Reality Interactive. “To put it in numbers, while traditional retail systems have about a 35 percent failure rate in the field, ours cuts it to less than five.”

The Retail Rugged standard is a series of checks and balances that covers everything from the kiosk’s physical enclosure to the hardware, software and ability for remote management.

Reality Interactive drives home the very real prospect of web-class analytics and data mining acquisition, to deliver actual, usable business intelligence for their clients. Their recent work with U.S. retail store conglomerate, Target is a clear example of the effectiveness of this new solution. The company was looking to deploy a retail kiosk solution at their many venues, but needed to scale geographically and reliably. Reality Interactive integrated Google Home, NEST, and Philips Hue devices into the specified modular tablet model to create and deploy 2,500 units. Using the Retail Rugged approach, Reality has managed to run the units with a virtually 100% percent success rate across 740 locations. This is especially impressive since their integration was able to incorporate three independent technology solutions onboard a single kiosk.

In upcoming months, the company looks to launch an upgraded version of their client interface dashboard. Martin and Hyte resonate the point that as technologists, “We are constantly discovering what technology is the most impactful for our clients so we can help them evolve in this new experiential economy.”