The number of vertical markets implementing digital signage as an end-to-end solution grows larger and larger each year.
Digital signage is gaining a lot of traction in verticals from corporate, hospitality and education to quick-serve restaurants, churches and medical facilities. But nowhere is digital signage more robustly embraced as it is in the retail vertical.
In fact, digital signage use in retail outlets is expected to grow from $6 billion in 2013 to $27.5 billion in 2018, a 36 percent five-year compound annual growth rate, as retailers vie for customer dollars in an increasingly digitized consumer landscape.
That being said, retailers are getting savvier about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to attention-grabbing digital signage deployments.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts:
Do think about placement 100 percent of the time
What separates the retail vertical from other verticals that employ digital signage solutions is that most of the other verticals use signage to convey information for the most part, whereas retail signage is all about getting customers to buy a product or service.
If digital signage is being used to promote a sale on merchandise, then the signage should be placed in close proximity to what’s being promoted. Likewise, signage for retail should always take advantage of high-traffic areas, with displays mounted away from bright light and as close to eye level as possible.
Don’t skimp on content quality
Again, part of the equation as to convincing a customer to buy something is to get him or her to have an emotional reaction to content that results in the customer wanting to buy a product?a conversion. Relevant, fresh content that conveys clear messaging about the product you want to promote can go a long way toward influencing consumer buying habits and beefing up retail sales.
One recent study found that investment in technologies like digital signage, along with quality content, influenced around 50 percent, or $1.25 trillion, of in-store retail sales by the end of 2014.
Do hire a professional
The scale of a typical retail digital signage installation usually involves many moving parts that have to be juggled with precision and expertise. That’s why retail digital signage, especially for large organizations, should not be a DIY project due to potential lost ROI.
Today’s pro AV solution providers are more than capable of providing turnkey signage solutions and services ranging from HD digital signage hardware and interactive kiosks to digital signage implementation and managed services.
And with today’s pro AV systems becoming increasingly networked, it pays to make sure your installation is running where and when you want it with as little downtime as possible.
Don’t forget to customize your message
Just as U.S. customers have different lifestyles and regional dialects, so too do the international customers of retailers whose footprint extends outside the U.S.
Carefully select your target audience, match your content and messages to that audience and be selective as to which stores you want the presentation to go to. Just pushing one-size-fits-all content for the sake of it will never get the results that you want and will likely just result in wasted dollars and ineffective digital signage deployments.
Do field multiple bids
The adage “you get what you pay for” is usually true no matter what the product is. Digital signage is no different. When it comes to a large-scale retail digital signage deployment, costs can quickly add up to tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the scale of the project.
Be prepared to field multiple bids from a pool of trusted vendors and don’t be afraid to ask for customer testimonials and examples of prior digital signage deployments.