Welcome to the future of retail: a very smart window display

Most shopfront displays are worth a glance, but few actually reach out to passersby and invite them to play with content from their smartphone and even order online without entering the store. 

Clas Ohlson
Large (1000 employees)
Stockholm, sweden
Youtube poster

Swedish home improvement retailer Clas Ohlson is exploring this new way of engaging customers via smartphones and four smart digital displays at its experimental Lab Store in Stockholm.

The displays use customers’ smartphones to create a purchasing experience that can begin and can finish on the sidewalk, or alternatively in the store, with customers guided by in-store displays that communicate with their smartphone, showing promotional deals and the product catalogue.

The Lab Store demonstrates the potential for mobile devices, interactive displays and e-commerce to reshape the consumer retail experience in a way that’s helpful and convenient.

Ombori, a tech startup that bridges smartphones with digital displays, helped Clas Ohlson’s Lab Store create this new retail experience via the four smart displays, which are located at strategic points in the store and on the storefront.

Passersby on the street are flagged by the storefront display’s ‘wake up’ feature...

Clas Ohlson opened the Lab Store across several countries in Scandinavia to test out new ways to help customers solve home improvement problems, spanning lighting, kitchen appliances, and hardware tools. The Ombori smart display solution, dubbed Remote Display, is now integral to the future Clas Ohlson is testing out with customers.

“We see good opportunities to try out new digital solutions here,” said Fredrik Uhrbom, Clas Ohlson’s country manager for Sweden.

The Ombori Remote Display solution offers an answer to Sweden becoming a cashless society. Today, just 9 percent of Swedes use cash, according to Sweden's central bank, Riksbank. Card payments now dominate are used for payments over cash and e-commerce is reshaping how people shop.

Clas Ohlson

On paper, the concept of Clas Ohlson’s displays sounds a little baffling but it’s actually quite simple. It mirrors how customers shop today: they visit a store, check out a product and use their smartphone to compare prices at other stores.

Moreover, people increasingly use Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay from their smartphones at the checkout. Mobile is the key product search and payment device.

Ombori calls the solution Customer Remote because it lets customers use a smartphone to control what information they get from the display. Essentially, it brings e-commerce and online shopping to the storefront.

Clas Ohlson placed a large Customer Remote display behind the Lab Store’s shopfront window, which features “wake on motion” to catch the attention of passersby. The screen transforms into an interactive display and the Lab Store offers the passerby a deal with instructions to use their smartphone camera to scan a QR code that opens the deal on a web page in the shopfront display.

Clas Ohlson’s interactive display enables far more than a brochure experience, allowing customers to use their smartphone to browse the retailer’s catalogue and even make online purchases when outside of operating hours.

A second Customer Remote is positioned at the store’s entrance, greeting customers as they enter and helping them discover Clas Ohlson’s services.

Inside the store, the Ombori Web to Touch with barcode scanner displays product information from the Clas Ohlson website on a touch-screen system. Customers can also save information to their mobile device via a QR code, browse the website or scan the barcode of physical items to find out more.

Clas Ohlson even implemented Ombori Sales Remote is a large screen for use by store staff allowing them to pull up interactive multimedia content and display product information controlled by their personal mobile devices.

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