Will customers end up loving Walgreens digital cooler doors? – RetailWire

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March 15, 2022

If it is not broke, do not fix it.

This is the reaction of customers, CNN reports, to retailers’ decision to replace see-through cooler doors with opaque digital alternatives that are activated by the presence of shoppers to provide product information, pricing and special offers.

Consumers have taken to social media to voice their complaints about the new doors.

A Twitter user, found by RetailWirewrote, “Walgreens replaces the basic clear glass cooler doors with screens that, of course, serve you ads. I am tired.”

Another tweeted: “Wouldn’t be so boring if the screen didn’t play bait and change. The products on display are never in the cooler — there are mostly empty shelves. »

A Facebook user wrote:Is this supposed to “solve” my consumer problem? Absolutely not! In fact, it’s going to add to my problems as a consumer because when I suffer from advertising waiting for the screen to show me which drinks are in which cooler, and I open that cooler to find that there’s no not the drink I want…I will hunt down the store manager…”

Digital doors, to be clear, aren’t new to Walgreens. The drugstore retailer began testing the concept in 2018 and has rolled it out to thousands of stores since then.

The company behind the technology, Cooler Screens, says 90% of the 2,200 consumers it has surveyed since February say they have a positive experience across six key metrics, including in-stock product availability, browsing stores, product selection, purchase decision, product appeal. and content engagement.

Cooler Screens also reports that retail sales of products in stores with its 4K digital smart displays are significantly higher than in comparable locations in the region. Sales of advertised products are also doing better than in traditional door stores.

The technology behind the digital gates is said to be “identity-blind” and does not capture or store any personal data about shoppers. However, it collects information on the number of people who show up at the doors as well as the waiting time and the opening of the doors.

The company says its retail partners include Chevron, Get Go and Kroger, in addition to Walgreens. He says he works with more than 180 consumer packaged goods brands.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are the digital doors used by Walgreens a solution in search of a problem, as reviews suggest, or is it a valuable tool for shoppers, stores and consumer brands? Which stakeholder group (consumers, retailers or brands) gets the most out of technology?

Braintrust

“The tweets speak for themselves – if, at a minimum, the shelf isn’t stocked as the doors advertise, this technology just isn’t consumer-friendly.”

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