As has been said many times before, there are three levels of interactivity:
1) Reactive, (low-level) The outcome is expected by the user, directions are straight forward.
2) Coactive, (mid-level) The user has a choice of different outcomes
3) Proactive, (high-level) The user controls the outcome.
Val’s example in her post noted how a retail store in New York is using interactivity as a means of enticement to draw customers in. This is becoming more and more common throughout the world as stores compete for sales and customers. However interactivity is not only affecting retail stores, it is affecting products and the way they are marketed and packaged.
Until recently, product packaging has been basic, only given the task to deliver what’s asked (ingredients, materials, hazards, specs). With larger stores constantly increasing assortments and variations on products, packages need to stand out to be noticed over the competition. As packaging is being reduced to save waste, sometimes only a shelf tag is what describes the product. A recent study by Miller Zell shows that 60 percent of purchase decisions are made right there in the aisle.
That is exactly the reason why more products are beginning to use interactive forms of media to help get their product across. Interactive touch screens allow huge amounts of information to help the customer make their decision. Product demonstrations, in depth technical aspects, background stories, all are used to entice the customer into choosing their product. The more they interact, the better their mood (if the interaction is good), and the more likely they are to choose the product with interactive advertising rather than the one with a shelf tag.
The future of interactive retail has not yet set, but is constantly evolving and discovering new ways to connect with consumers. When the time has come where computers are always present and packages are alive with sounds and images, every container could be a new interactive experience.
The sources below are to the interactive wall pictures; a neat example if your interested.