Retail businesses may wonder the degree to which AV applications are influencing their industry, whether it is worth making the investments and if those investments can help them survive the increasing presence of online retail. While a certain percentage of shoppers are moving online, there are still consumers who are interested in visiting brick-and-mortar stores. At the same time, they want to have the convenience of using interactive digital displays, virtual reality, automated services, and other digital services and experiences.

MarketScale recently conducted a survey of professionals in the retail and A/V industries to discover how closely the two collaborate.

While it is perhaps not surprising that Millennials are a major target for LED or interactive displays—and senior citizens and baby boomers are not—it may surprise many that two-thirds of retailers surveyed said it was Generation X who were primary targets. Only one-third of respondents said they were targeting Millennials, despite the perception that it is they who are the most tech-savvy. At the same time, only a sixth of respondents said they believed LED displays are effective at attracting a younger audience, while two thirds said interactive displays are, and half said virtual reality was effective, so there may in fact not be a disconnect between the audience targeted by retailers using LED and the perception of who is most likely to be interested in using technology in their shopping experiences.

The fact that only 8 percent of respondents believe automated services are attractive to younger shoppers suggests that people continue to be interested in having a personal experience when shopping. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to be met with a digital experience when shopping in a brick-and-mortar store. 75 percent of respondents said they believe Millennials expect to be met with digital experiences when they go out shopping. For them especially, there is less and less of a boundary between the online world and the real world, and their shopping experiences and expectations show this fact.

This is perhaps why over 80 percent of respondents believe that AV is somewhat responsible for the survival of brick-and-mortar stores, and one-sixth go so far as to say that it is most responsible for their continued survival. There is no question in anyone’s mind that one can pretend the digital revolution has not occurred or that it should not be integrated. Retail businesses that want to attract customers are using LED, interactive displays, and virtual reality to meld the online world with the brick-and-mortar one and keep the customers coming.