DALLAS-BASED COMPANY TAKES INTERACTIVE SCREENS TO NEXT LEVEL
The interactive touchscreens that help shoppers navigate the 560,000-square-foot Nebraska Furniture Mart in The Colony were developed by Reflect, a Dallas company.
The company’s goal is to replicate the experience people have on a website when they are actually inside the store itself. They make interactive apps and digital screens while also creating content for those screens.
“One of the big key things in the industry right now is customer experience,” said Tracie Wilbanks, vice president of marketing, corporate branding and communications for Reflect. “It’s just a matter of how do you create content that’s going to be captivating on a digital screen. We are start to finish, a turn-key solution.”
The company was founded in 2001 by entrepreneurs Stan Woodward and Matt Schmitt, who previously worked for Yahoo and other tech startups.
The screens at Nebraska Furniture Mart can help visitors find a certain section or even a real-time location for a specific product. Tags on every piece of merchandise keep track of a product’s location.
“Our app is automatically updated, no matter how many times the merchandise moves inside the store,” she said. “The app will automatically route the customer to where it is.”
Reflect has also developed interactive screens for Cedar Fair Entertainment, which has 11 theme parks around the country.
In addition to a park map, the screens work like a traffic app, alerting visitors of the wait times at various rides and how long it will take to walk there.
Visitors can take selfies, post them to social media with a hashtag and they’ll appear on the screens. They also play music videos, interactive trivia, and other entertainment to keep visitors engaged while they wait in line.
Reflect also did the digital screens for Verizon at Best Buy, which display a larger version of the Galaxy mobile phone that responds as you touch the physical device.
NEXT BIG THING
Reflect does all the work in-house and wants to stay at the cutting edge of a constantly evolving industry, Wilbanks said. The next big innovation that’s coming, if customers will accept it, will be location-based marketing that’s pushed to customers’ mobile devices.
“That’s where things are going, being able to send personalized, targeted offers based on where they’re located whether it’s at the car wash, amusement park or grocery store,” Wilbanks said.
The digital screens can even pay for themselves by selling advertising space. All the content is played through Reflect’s software and they can use analytics to get real-time impressions, which is the number of people who saw the ad.
This works inside stores or even on a highway billboard. Reflect just spun off a new advertising arm of the company called Reflect Media.
“That’s our next thing is focusing on the ad piece of it,” Wilbanks said. “That’s where the real money’s at.”
Other big clients include James Avery, The Container Store, and the Macy’s at NorthPark Center.
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