The Rise of Retail Digital Signage Platforms
The first time I walked into a department store that had replaced its clunky cash register with an iPad, I thought, “Wow, look at this advancement.”
I now think the same thing when I see companies utilizing digital signage for retail.
Now that we’ve moved successfully into the Information Age (aka the Digital Age), it’s safe to say that the technological advancements we experience every day will only improve. And with the Internet of Things (IoT) leading those advancements, there’s no doubt that each and every industry that uses digital signage has the potential to be at the forefront.
This includes the fast-changing retail industry. Digital signage is a “new” platform in retail and an important part of the larger digital transformation. Here’s how it can up the ante for your business.
1. It Attracts and Keeps Customers
We live in a world of instant gratification. Consumers want what they want when they want it.
That’s why, when Best Buy was fighting to keep customers after Amazon amped up its online shopping experience, the big-box electronics retailer recognized that moving to a space of digital retail advancement within their stores was the only answer.
By installing in-store kiosks that could respond to questions and provide value, consumers began to return to Best Buy with enthusiasm. Keeping those customers informed with mobile sales alerts and emails also helped the retail giant move out of the red.
Using an innovative omnichannel strategy, the big box store was able to bring to customers a whole new buying experience. These changes attracted new customers and brought back old ones. By using different strategies with digital signage, the store rode the wave of the future and remains one of the leading electronics retailers today.
2. It Jives with Tech-Savvy Shoppers
Today’s experienced shoppers go to their favorite stores with smartphones in hand, ready to look for competitive prices on the products they’re looking to buy.
If you’ve ever passed by a cosmetics counter in a high-end department store, you’ve probably seen an employee in a white coat painting the face of a potential customer.
But that doesn’t happen at Sephora in Milan. At least not anymore.
A few years ago, the leading beauty specialty retailer introduced the world’s first augmented reality mirror. Instead of buying cosmetics online or dealing with a pushy employee in a white coat, consumers can use a mirror that simulates cosmetics on their face in real-time and in 3D.
Knowing that this kind of experience exists can help brick-and-mortar retailers survive. And it has. Despite the rise of e-commerce, a recent study revealed that 85 percent of shoppers still prefer traditional shopping in brick-and-mortar stores to purchasing online.
Digital signs, kiosks, and omnichannel experiences contribute to those shopping experiences. This speaks to the fact that digital signage is fast becoming the new platform in retail.
3. It Changes Retail Strategies
Remember how you used to pick out a few shirts or a pair of shoes and head to the register? While you can still do that in many places, the retail strategy of selling has changed in many ways.
Today, retail employees are armed with mobile devices that can check out customers on the spot. Not only does this save the customer from waiting in line, it enables the store employee to find a product for a customer that might not be on the floor.
When a consumer doesn’t see the item they want, they can summon an employee who can access company-wide inventory on their handheld device.
Still not innovative enough for you? Okay…consider what one department store is doing to keep buyers out of the dressing room and in the thick of the retail experience.
At Nordstrom, a touchscreen dubbed the ‘Digital Denim Doctor’ lets buyers enter their body shape, type of preferred fabric, and other key info to create an algorithm that displays a 360-degree view of how the jeans will look on the user’s body. To say this changes Nordstrom’s retail strategy is an understatement. It not only transforms it, it revolutionizes it.
Keeping the customer engaged and nestled around other products and sales gives them the opportunity to explore even more merchandise in the store. Sales increase, buyers are happy, and brick and mortar establishments continue to thrive.
4. It Increases Brand Awareness
Customers come and go. Some are loyal to your brand briefly, others for a lifetime. When you can convert shoppers to lifelong fans, you’ve successfully implemented your brand.
For example, big-box stores like Walmart and The Home Depot maintain brand recognition with recognizable logos and jingles that capture and hold the attention of millions. And since our brains process images much faster than text, it makes sense for retailers to leverage digital signage.
Home Depot in Mexico uses in-store digital signage to anchor branding around its “Do More” campaign that assists shoppers who want to pursue more DIY projects.
Kinda makes you think of their famous tagline, “More Saving. More Doing.” doesn’t it? Home Depot’s successful branding anchors visuals and taglines in your brain so you’ll think of them when you need a new faucet.
5. It Allows Interactive Advertisements
Imagine walking through a store that sells cookware. You stop at a display with the various pans and utensils needed to create an amazing meal of spaghetti with garlic bread.
And then you smell that spaghetti and garlic bread. Is it your imagination? No. It’s the digital sign above the display, emitting the aroma of that spectacular meal. This cutting-edge form of interactive advertising incorporates specific scents to entice customers. And since smell is so strongly connected to memory, this feature can evoke emotions in consumers like no other advertising tactic can.
Does that not take the cake? And it helps that the cake smells good, too.
6. It Can Modify Store Promotions
The demographic that shops at the grocery store in the early morning isn’t the same demographic that shops in the afternoon or evening. The ability to customize promotions and sales based on knowing who shops when can make a huge difference in your bottom line.
If older demographics shop in the early morning, retailers need to plan accordingly. Based on inventory, it can be determined what this demographic buys. Creating a promotion around those items creates convenience for shoppers, which in turn breeds loyalty and brings them back.
Another opportunity to create promotions is the weather since it can also affect the behaviors of consumers. When the weather changes unexpectedly, stores can promote raincoats and umbrellas to cater to an unanticipated need. Alerting customers with an omnichannel approach or in-store digital sign impresses a customer. That impression brings them back for more.
This type of personalization—knowing what your market needs when they need it—is key. Retailers with access to information that enables them to create, distribute, and then change promotions to meet consumer demand will always win.
Is Digital Signage for Retail Stores Here to Stay?
Retailers are boosting their brands, changing their in-store strategies, and attracting more customers to the store with digital signage. It’s showing up as the new platform in retail. This is the Information Age. How will you deliver your information?
Is your retail store ready for digital innovation? If you’re thinking it is, let’s chat through some of the ways you can use the digital platform to increase sales and attract more customers.