STORE SPACES

Jeweler goes for omnichannel dazzle with next-generation stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Helzberg Diamonds is using leading-edge technologies such as augmented reality (AR) to modernize its brick-and-mortar customer experience.

The jeweler has introduced the “Helzberg Virtual Ring Experience,” which is designed to bridge the online and in-store shopping environments. The display leverages AR images on an interactive touchscreen to enable couples to virtually try on more than 100 ring styles in multiple viewing angles. Customers can also share photos of their selections through social media and email with family and friends.

“We know before there’s ever a marriage proposal, future grooms and brides spend significant time online researching purchase considerations and exploring engagement ring preferences,” said Beryl Raff, chairwoman, and CEO of Helzberg Diamonds. “Understanding that online shopping often serves as the ‘front door’ to our retail stores helped us develop our next generation digital store concept. The new technology, like our Virtual Ring Experience, creates a natural bridge between the online and in-store customer experience.”

The new concept is a part of a broader strategy around customer interaction in both the digital and physical space. The company now has seven “next-generation” stores which feature the virtual ring display and other digital enhancements, with plans to double that amount by late 2019.

In addition, the retailer has also enhanced the “Diamond Room Experience” in its next-generation stores. Customers can view their selected diamond on a 24-inch 4K screen. Each store is also equipped with digital signage to keep store content fresh and relevant.

“With our new store concept, we’re creating a seamless experience from online to in-store for our customers,” Raff said.

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