Maplin is launching video chats hosted by store staff with specialist knowledge that aim to bring the store experience to customers’ homes.
The electricals specialist is introducing the service as part of a strategy of making itself more approachable in the eyes of its core customer base of “solution seekers”, according to Maplin technology director Neil McGowan.
Speaking at Retail Week’s Tech & Ecomm conference, McGowan said: “We have tried introducing tablets and kiosks and in our experience they are less effective than an info hub.
“The whole orientation of [the information desk] is to make it look as approachable as possible. More high tech ones we tested put customers off.”
Maplin also creates how-to videos to explain more complex technologies such as metal detectors.
McGowan said the retailer does not create “polished” videos with high production values because it believes that can intimidate customers.
The videos star store staff and have an “amateurish feel” in order to make them feel more inclusive.