Interactive digital shopping experience | Augmented reality technology

Building an interactive digital shopping experience in the real world

ABOUT

This year Uruit, Perch, and Unilever came together to create a customer retail experience like no other.  

Combining elements from previous augmented reality projects, Uruit delivered an interactive digital shopping experience to customers shopping at Giant Food in the Washington D.C. area, platforming Unilever’s Dove brand as a trailblazer in technical innovation. 

This wasn’t Uruit’s first rodeo when it came to digital interaction in a physical space. Having worked with Perch in the past to develop a tailored retail experience for brands within the beauty industry, building on our existing knowledge and functionality, we were able to offer Unilever a singular project that was solidly grounded. 

Here’s the story of how Uruit, Perch, and Unilever were able to build a unique customer experience for buyers seeking out Dove products. 

Dove by Unilever

Dove is a personal care brand based in America. Owned by Unilever – themselves a British multinational consumer goods company – Dove products are manufactured and distributed all over the world. 

As a household name in many countries, the Dove brand carries itself with singular poise. They aim to connect personally with their consumers and prioritize equality and accessibility in their products. When it came time for Perch and Uruit to develop an interactive solution for their brand, we knew we had to embody the same principles – meeting their customers in the middle and ensuring their buying experience was as seamless and unobtrusive as possible. 

Perch 

Perch is an NYC-based retail marketing platform that closes the gap between the physical and digital. They develop physically-aware Internet of Things (IoT) software and hardware that is able to sense when customers approach or touch products. This interaction then triggers a digital response – often the display of dynamic media on nearby screens. 

The beauty of Perch's technology isn’t just in its ability to boost customer interaction with physical products, it’s also in the insights provided by the platform’s real-time analytics software. By implementing PERCH technology, brands are able to better understand and meld customer behaviors. 

Some of Perch's more well-known clients include Johnson&Johnson, Kate Spade, Jo Malone, Estee Lauder, Nivea, and Lenovo. 

Uruit 

Uruit is a software design and development studio that has been delivering tangible, effective solutions to our clients for over 13 years now. We’ve worked in just about every industry including healthcare, SaaS, education, and retail. 

Having worked with Perch on a previous IoT project, we were confident in our ability to partner with them again to deliver a quality product to Unilever.

CHALLENGE

Unilever wanted to find a way to better connect with their Dove customers in a physical retail setting. In contexts such as Giant Food stores, it can be difficult to make your products stand out from the crowd – with so many options available, there’s only so much good branding and package design can do. Enter PERCH. 

PERCH are experts in the development of physically-aware IoT software. They bridge the gap between the physical supermarket shelf and the supplementary information to be found through digital means. However, they still needed to partner with a front-end development expert in order to ensure their digital messaging would speak to their intended audience.  

This is where Uruit came in.  

As front and back-end development professionals, we were able to design and develop a bespoke interface that complimented the PERCH technology experience perfectly.

PARTNERSHIP

PERCH and Uruit combined resources to design and develop fully interactive end caps – concise retail shelving units designed to sit at the end of supermarket isles. The Dove-branded end caps featured a glowing logo and internally-lit shelving, all designed to catch a passer’s eye and encourage them to interact with the products. 

Once a passing customer stops and touches a Dove product, the PERCH technology is able to sense the action and will trigger videos and supplementary information to appear on a digital screen situated at eye level. This information will change depending on which product is touched, offering detailed, targeted information to the customer who has chosen to interact. 

The goal of this project was to boost interest in Dove as a brand and position them as not only a trusted personal care brand but also one that is modern and technologically seamless. These end-caps essentially unite the digital content shoppers want (such as reviews, ratings, and videos) with the physical products on the store shelving.

RESULTS

PERCH, Uruit, and Unilever’s collaboration was a resounding success. With the innovative Dove campaign, Unilever saw a marked rise in sales of the products that were selected for display on the end caps. 

Unilever was also able to collect exceedingly valuable customer behavior information through PERCH’s in-built analytics software. 

PERCH and Uruit will be working together on projects in the future. The combination of PERCH’s IoT interactive software and our own expertise in digital front-end applications will mean any future collaboration is sure to be a boon to both our businesses and the reputation and sales of any brands that hire us in the future.