Kiosks made their debut sometime in 1977 after a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign created a touch-screen system that offered users information to find movies, bus stops, extracurricular activities, and courses.
In 1985, the retail industry grabbed hold of the kiosk concept and used a series of interactive kiosks after the shoe retailer Florsheim Shoe Company started using them in various locations. Over 600 kiosks shared images and videos of shoes to consumers that were not available in the actual stores.
Making the decision to use digital signage is one thing, but trying to figure out what kind of commercial screen you need to use is another.
There are so many questions to consider:
What size screen do I need?
Do I go with LCD or LED?
Should it be interactive? Touch screen? Large? Small? Multi-paneled?
Should it be tall? Round? Beveled?
Should I start pulling my hair out now?
Yeah, we get it.
If you know anything about marketing, you know the primary goal is to advertise, attract, and sell. Over the years we’ve seen marketing change in ways we never thought possible.
In the 50’s, it was pen and ink drawings in magazines. In the 70’s, photos took over. In the 90’s, video, radio, and television reigned supreme. Today, Internet advertising and digital marketing are calling the shots.
If you have a digital display in your retail store and recognize that it’s not moving your customers to buy or increasing your bottom line, you may have a problem.
If the content you display on your sign doesn’t attract or engage visitors, you may also have a problem.
Finally, if you feel like you’ve invested in an in-store customer engagement strategy that isn’t living up to your expectations and you think you’ve invested poorly, you can add that to the list of above problems.
Lucky for you, where there is a problem, there is always a solution.
There are best practices, tips, and tricks you can begin implementing to turn your digital problems into money-making solutions.
So you own a retail store and you want to know how you can creatively use retail digital signage, eh? I get it.
Perhaps you want to use digital displays to make more money.
Perhaps you want to use an advertising network to attract more customers.
Perhaps you want to use screens to track your customers and what they like while making more money and attracting more customers. (Best option, right?)
With so many options, it can be hard to decide what do to, let alone how to do it.
But here’s the good news…
It doesn’t have to be hard.
The first time I walked into a department store that had thrown their clunky cash register out the window and replaced it with an iPad, I thought, “Wow. Look at this advancement.”
Now that we’ve moved successfully into the Information Age (or 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 is no doubt that each and every industry that uses digital signage has the potential to be at the forefront.
This includes the ever-evolving, fast growing retail industry. Digital signage is the "new" platform in retail.
Here's how it can up the ante for your business...
Quantum mechanics say that we, as energetic human beings, are all connected.
The Internet of Things (IoT) says that we, as technological human beings, are also all connected.
These connections are about to get a whole lot bigger.
Simply put, the Internet of Things is the idea of connecting any device equipped with an on/off switch to the Internet.
These devices (phones, commercial ovens, restaurant kiosks, digital signs, computers, oil rigs, etc.) communicate with one another, leaving out the middleman and streamlining the entire process.
With broadband Internet becoming more widely available, the cost of connecting is decreasing, and more devices are being created with Wi-Fi ability built right into them.
That includes digital signage.
But why all the connections?
Why do we need our smartphones talking to commercial ovens? To oil rigs in the middle of the ocean? To digital signs smack dab in the center of Times Square?
Because we can.
And because we want to.
And because it’s the way advanced technology is headed.
Let’s look at a handful of industries where digital signage meets IoT, and how it’s changing the face of those industries.
It’s no secret that a large majority of Americans today shop online. (Seventy percent, to be concise.) But that doesn’t mean those online shoppers never stepped foot in an area store first to take a gander at what they eventually bought online.
It could very well be that their decision to buy started at that local store, right in front of a bright and shiny kiosk. Options were offered and decisions were made. Not sure if the product was right, however, the consumer may have headed home, only to be alerted via e-mail hours later of a remarkable discount they could take advantage of, should they decide to buy the product this week.
Here’s something that might surprise you: people still love buying products in stores.
It might not seem accurate considering how online shopping has changed the retail landscape, especially after Q4 earning reports were released. But consumers still love to see, try, and feel the product their shopping for before committing to buying it.