3 Ways to Connect Digital to the Instore Environment


Whether you’re looking to create an engaging brand experience, capture consumer data or create pull at shelf, a digital solution may be worth exploring.  Below are a few simple ways you can extend your retail activation through digital.  Each solution brings it’s own set of considerations and benefits and may be tailored to your brand’s objectives.  As with any approach, be sure to start with defining your objectives and understanding your audience’s behaviours before determine the best technology to leverage.


How it Works

  • Feature your call to action on in-store signage or on-pack
  • Consumers text a keyword (ie. “TacoRecipes”) to a shortcode and are taken to a mobile experience
  • Mobile experiences can be as simple as sharing information (recipes, how-tos, tips etc.) or can be more elaborate
  • Adding in a contest element can help with consumer data collection for on-going brand communications
  • Include an offer to drive immediate purchase and leverage scan-receipt technology as a seamless way to confirm purchase
  • Have consumers opt-in for future content or offers.  You can make this long term or campaign specific (just keep in mind your consumer and how often they may want to hear from you!).


  • SMS works well for a mobile-first audience, especially in-store when shoppers may be limited in time
  • Works across all mobile devices and doesn’t require complicated set-up or app development
  • Your SMS program can be promoted in-store and online (social channels, website) which ensures an extended reach

Featured Hashtag

How it Works:

  • Using a unique hashtag on your in-store signage to help inspire your shopper is a great approach, especially if your category needs a bit of “show and tell”
  • Pre-populate the social media hashtag feed by partnering with influencers or brand ambassadors to create engaging and inspiring visual content
  • Use your brand’s social media channels to feature, engage with and share with the content
  • Encourage your shoppers to share their own experience using the hashtag to close the shopper engagement loop (consider adding in a contest element to encourage sharing!)


  • Works best for brands/categories where inspiration might help convert a sale (think baking, fashion, crafts, cooking, DIY, Design)
  • This type of activation well because it has a low barrier to entry (no app required, no website to visit) but you’ll definitely need to consider if your brand/category is a fit
  • A great way to leverage and extend your influencer content

Shazam/Logo Scan Technology

How it works           

  • Shazam offers a frictionless connection between the physical environment and a digital experience
  • Using the Shazam app, shoppers can scan your in-store signage or packaging taking them directly to a mobile experience..
  • Experiences could include exclusive content, contests, games, AR experiences


  • It’s a more engaging way to enter a contest compared to ‘visit this URL’ – very mobile friendly
  • Does require a user to have Shazam app, so ensure you consider your audience first.
  • Ensure your experience is worth the extra effort to scan!

When considering in-store contests, three main things you should always consider are:

  1. Your shopper’s digital behaviours and usage
  2. How you can leverage digital channels to promote your contest to drive shoppers instore (including working with your retail partners digital channels!)
  3. How you can create a model where you are testing and learning from new technologies