Digital signage solution provider AOPEN Inc. recently announced the opening of its Retail Evolution Lab in the company's head office in Europe aimed at helping retailers find the right digital media strategy. AOPEN also recently presented solutions that originated from the lab at the just-completed EuroShop 2014 trade show in Düsseldorf, Germany.

With today's consumers expecting a seamless, omnichannel, bricks-and-clicks experience, the company said, the Retail Evolution Lab helps retailers stay ahead of the curve by featuring advanced technology ranging from interactive digital signage to data capture and analysis.

Retail sales are currently enjoying the highest growth in 10 years, according to Eurostat, and "start-stop" shoppers (consumers who typically hop among several channels and touchpoints before making a purchase) are strongly on the rise, according to IDC Retail Insights, the AOPEN announcement said. These omnichannel shoppers spend up to 3.5 times more than their single-channel counterparts, the announcement said.

AOPEN said it encourages retailers to take omnichannel to the next level by hooking digital media channels in with the physical space. Mobile commerce and smart communications technology have enjoyed significant adoption, with further growth predicted for the coming years.

"The shopping experience is the biggest opportunity to compete with online retailing," Gabriëlle Offringa, marketing manager for AOPEN Europe, said in the annnouncement. "It's about creating an experience, so the shopper stays loyal to the brand. We can talk about how digital technologies can help retailers, but seeing is believing. The Retail Evolution Lab has been a unique opportunity for retailers to find inspiration; it enables retailers to go back to their own stores and creatively modernize (their) own ideas to take advantage of the innovations available to them."

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