A few years ago, having a retail digital signage strategy would mean a few screens placed randomly around your store, showing a static picture that had to be manually updated. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find modern technology showing engaging content, placed strategically to make the most of foot traffic through retail stores.
Software has also improved, allowing people to manage digital content from a central point of control, pushing out campaigns to their store network from head office, rather than relying on store based employees to manage the content. You can also easily see metrics to gauge what marketing efforts are working on the digital screens and what aren’t – you can look back when you had a spike in sales and see what was showing on the screen at the time to draw any correlation between the two.
Here are eight benefits of digital signage in retail stores:
1. Immediately impact sales
Digital signage can help to create a meaningful store experience for shoppers, by using smart dressing rooms and shelving to help track stock, touch screen kiosks, and assistive selling tools. This can immediately impact the shopper’s impression of your brand resulting in an increase in sales. As online shopping is on the rise, customers are looking more and more into new technologies in physical brick and mortar shops, so bring in digital signage helps to bridge the gap and create a seamless omnichannel experience. Research shows that shoppers are more likely to convert in a store that utilises digital signage, meaning that stores that are not optimised for digital and omnichannel interactions are at a disadvantage.
2. Connect with today’s smart shoppers
Shoppers today have much higher expectations of stores, due to the plethora of choices available to them. There are more distractions than there used to be, so that makes it even more important to cut through the advertising noise. Digital screens help to draw the shopper’s attention to your store, and brings them deeper into the experience leaving them with a lasting impression. Digital screens can be updated in real time without lag or delay by store employees to promote products that are relevant to the shoppers in store depending on their age or gender demographics. You can promote specific items, or remove sold-out products from the screens.
With digital signage, head office or store employees can change the marketing messages on the fly, or set up customised content. For example, depending on the time of day you may want to advertise your lunch or dinner specials. You may also want to customise your screens based on the latest social media trends or hashtags, local conditions (such as weather), and flash sales of high inventory stock.
The upfront costs of digital signage can seem daunting if you’re implementing them across your site network, however if you look at the ROI of your screens, and less all the costs associated with static signage – printing and installation costs – you will save more than you spent in the long run.
Digital signage can help greet shoppers as soon as they step in the door – or even better grab their attention outside the door. They can help to set the customers’ expectations and set the mood for the brand. This can apply to any retail industry whether it’s fashion, automotive, home décor, tools and more.
Industry specific digital signage
This industry relies on sales assistants for their component knowledge and information. This information is usually also printed in manuals and books – but imagine if you were browsing an aisle and the information was all there in front of you on an interactive screen? Using a touch screen, customers can view “how to” videos and search and compare products. This shopping experience would allow customers to make easier decisions between products, and it would free up sales staff to help with other queries with less waiting times, and completing transactions.
Car dealerships can benefit from digital signage due to the size and space needed to show many different models of cars in one space – instead of showing all the different models, dealerships can use digital signage to show product specifications and 3D models of cars for customers to compare to what’s in the showroom. This type of interactivity has much higher engagement rates with customers than statics posters or brochures.
There are many areas of customer experience that digital signage can help with. High end retailers can use large format displays to aid customers with their brand expectations, indicating high end stores. Digital signage technology can also play a part in change rooms, changing the lighting and atmosphere to help show clothes in different lighting on the shopper. They could also implement an ordering system, where a shopper is trying on a piece of clothing in the change room, and for example it may be the wrong size; they can use a digital touch screen within the change room to let a staff member know what size they would like, which can be brought straight to the change room, instead of having to get changed again to fetch the clothing themselves. This means that the shopper can easily get what they’re after without any hassle, and saving time – usually leading to a sale.
Furniture and home décor
Furniture and homewares stores are usually in a big warehouse or area that can be difficult to navigate and find what you’re looking for. Directional signage is a must, to help shoppers find their way around your stores. Static signage can point towards a department, but often they can blend into the background. Digital signage will easily grab the shopper’s attention, and direct them to different areas of the store, whilst also showing a special product from that department. They can show more visual directions, which can be easily updated based on the stores sales and stock. They can also help with product information, for example a couch may come in different types of fabrics or colours – digital signage can show all the variations of the one product, without having to stock all the different types on the showroom floor.
Home appliance shops often don’t provide much information, and you have to rely on the sales assistant to help you. They may provide some good information, but they also may be bias towards one brand or product. Unless you’re an expert in home appliances, it can be hard to compare products from the same range based on the little information provided. Digital screens can be set up in a way that allows the customer to interact with the screen, and access a database on information on the products, allowing them to make their own assessments and decisions, allowing sales staff to help other customers with less waiting time. Appliances are often being upgraded and knowing the differences between the models can be confusing, let along updating physical signage for every new update. Digital signage can be easily updated to show the latest and best products without the hassle of printing.
People are used to looking at a screen to shop online, and now with the added benefits of blending the online and in store methods into an omnichannel experience, shoppers are becoming more comfortable with the idea of interactive digital signage in store. For example, Australian clothing store Cue have created an “endless aisle” allowing shoppers access to all the products in their range on a digital screen, that are not in stock in every store because they don’t mass produce their stock. They get the best of both worlds – customers can interact with sales staff and look at their clothes, whilst also getting the customer service with the large product range of the online store.
Digital signage has a lot more metrics to measure from than regular signage, with new technologies including artificial intelligence, which can measure eye-tracking of viewers to see where they are looking on the screen, and voice and facial recognition. This means that you can manage and monitor the audience reaction to your screens, to help measure what marketing efforts are effective and which are not. It also allows you to gather data on your target market, including data about age, gender, viewing time, clicks and engagement on a touch screen – which allows valuable insight about your customers which you can use to strengthen and customise your marketing campaigns.