The trend toward the use of pro AV and digital signage in retail environments is becoming so pervasive that retailers are constantly looking for unique ways to use this technology to replace traditional print and other media in the retail landscape in a visually dynamic form.
One of the key benefits of visually appealing displays is that retailers have an opportunity to improve their customers’ shopping experience and influence the consumer decision-making processes at the point of sale.
Given that the use of pro AV and digital signage in the retail space also helps promote branding and enriches the overall shopping experience, it's vital that value-added resellers (VARs) understand how shoppers visually interact with products or promotions while still in the store environment and where actual purchasing decisions are being made.
Let's look at five ways to leverage pro AV and digital signage in the all-important retail market vertical:
1. In-store digital advertising
According to one study, digital signage use in the retail space:
- bumped sales by up to 33 percent for four out of five brands, compared to using traditional print advertising
- influenced 68 percent of customers to buy the advertised product displayed on digital signage
- influenced 44 percent of customers to buy the advertised product instead of a competitor's
Digital advertising allows brands to place key advertising messages along any point in the customer's decision and purchase-making cycle. Advertisers are able to inform customers at numerous points throughout their journey, resulting in increased sales at the point of decision.
Obviously size, frequency, content, and placement can vary; however, this can be used to the retailer’s benefit as an additional source of revenue to charge brands for advertising placements.
2. Interactive displays
Digital signage and displays can be used effectively in order to promote products, brands, and services to customers and also attract potential customers with strategically placed screens in storefront windows.
But what is really leading the charge is the addition of interactive displays added to the customer’s shopping experience, because when integrated with great content, a retailer can deliver a more efficient marketing message both visually and audibly to the customer right at the point of purchase.
3. Touchscreen kiosks
Touchscreen kiosks have been around for a while now, but as newer applications are being adopted by retailers, there has been a resurgence of the technology. The new cutting-edge technology is being rapidly adopted in brick-and-mortar retail outlets, especially those with embedded restaurants, in the hope of luring potential shoppers and keeping them shopping a little longer.
Retailers are also deploying touchscreen kiosks for:
- self-service in-store credit applications
- interactive product information and guided selling
- wayfinding, product locators, and price checking
- loyalty programs and customer satisfaction feedback
- gift card sales
- gift registry
- job applications
More and more companies are using digital signage in order to enhance, inform, upsell, and improve business performance, so digital signage is definitely something to consider adding to your retail marketing mix.
4. Producing creative immersive digital experiences
Cutting-edge retailers such as clothing designer Kenneth Cole are deploying digital signage and pro AV in order to create "next-generation," immersive retail experiences. The design company recently partnered with an interactive digital design firm for the grand opening of a new retail store in New York City during 2015 Fashion Week.
Utilizing every tool in the digital signage tool box?advanced 3D, motion, touchscreen, projection, and tracking technology?the clothing retailer hoped to create a new shopping experience for customers through what it calls "an emotionally resonant brand story." The goal was to have customers spend more time in the store, have multiple ways to interact, and be more engaged with both the brand and the merchandise.
5. Employee training and skills management
Retailers are constantly looking for ways to beat the competition. One of the ways that digital signage and displays can also be used is to keep employee skills current with training videos, health and safety, and other corporate messages.
Employee training can be further enhanced to include training videos to be played at times set by the individual store management.
As retailers find more innovative ways to integrate pro AV and digital signage into their overall business strategies, it’s definitely something for VARs to consider offering your customers as part of their retail marketing mix.