Press Releases

Smart Shelf Successfully Sails Beyond the Showroom Sea of Sameness

SHARE: Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Customer Experience Firm InReality Streamlines An Entire Danze Product Line Into A High-Tech, High-Touch Experience Fitting A Six-Foot Linear Space

ATLANTA (May 15, 2014) – Despite the fact that online shopping continues to grow at an exponential annual rate, the reality remains that more than 90 percent of overall sales still take place in physical stores. Consequently, the brick-and-mortar customer experience (CX) has never been a more crucial investment for retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers.

Guided by that philosophy, plumbing product innovator, Danze knew it had to be inventive when it landed the opportunity to display its products in Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting galleries—the nation’s largest wholesale plumbing products distributor.

“What we wanted to do was create an engaging, hands-on display that was high tech and high touch,” says Michael Werner, president and chief executive officer of Danze. “It had to stand out in the sea of sameness found in the showroom.”

Danze collaborated with InReality, one of the country’s fastest growing CX strategy and design firms, as its partner to create a first-in-the-industry, digitally augmented in-store experience to help customers more easily navigate the product line and make shopping for the right product more of an experience.

The Smart Shelf

The chief challenge InReality faced was fitting an entire product line of Danze faucets in a finite wall space. The solution is the Smart Shelf, a playful, interactive experience that seamlessly blends real-world product interaction with an intuitive digital interface into a six-foot linear wall space. InReality affixed a selection of faucets to custom-designed acrylic display pods and tagged each pod with radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology.

“The decision to incorporate RFID technology was based on the opportunity it provided for rich customer interaction and for layering additional digital elements that would put a world of information at the customer’s fingertips.” says Chris Livaudais, an associate creative director at InReality and lead designer on the project.

To trigger interactive on-screen content specific to a particular faucet, shoppers move a pod from the wall and place it on the Smart Shelf, which reads the RFID tag. The touchscreen display—with a digital archive of thousands of Danze products—then provides detailed product information quickly and easily. Click here to learn more about the Smart Shelf.

Representative of a Larger CX Truth

According to Werner, this kind of pioneering project exemplifies Danze’s targeted and progressive brand strategy to compete within the industry.

“The Smart Shelf brings our brand to life,” continues Werner. “What I liked about InReality was that they delivered a unique combination of the strategic and the practical together. Some firms are good at visioning, but have no idea how to create their vision. InReality is very good at both.”

This groundbreaking solution, the first of its kind for the plumbing fixture industry, also speaks to a larger truth that the most effective customer experiences are those that combine physical and digital elements.

“This experience solution truly represents what’s possible when companies see the role that customer experience can play in giving them a competitive advantage in the marketplace,” says Gary Lee, President & CEO at InReality.

To learn more about InReality’s work in the areas of CX strategy and design, solutions management and measurement, visit

# # #

About InReality

InReality is a customer experience strategy and design firm. For more than 19 years, InReality has helped its clients understand and improve how customers experience their brand by identifying and shrinking the reality gaps that exist between their brand’s promises and their customer’s actual experiences and expectations. Through a unique combination of strategy, design, execution and analytics services, InReality empowers its clients with measurable and meaningful results and builds stronger, more enduring relationships between brands and their customers.

InReality has worked with leading brands such as Tempur-Pedic, Simmons, The Home Depot, LP Building Products, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, Danze and many others. The company has appeared on the Inc. 5000 twice, most recently in 2013. For more information, please visit

About Danze

Over the past decade, Danze has been creating fun and refreshing experiences each and every day. With dozens of faucet collections, fixtures, showerheads and accessories, available in a range of durable finishes, we’ll continue to delight and excite on all levels of design, function, quality and experience. It’s always been our mission to create well-designed products that help people feel better about their homes, their lives and themselves. For more information, please visit

Media Contacts

Kristin Harripaul Brenda Becker
InReality Trevelino/Keller
770-953-1400 404-214-0722 x115

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.