Retailers are warming up to the use of digital signage in their businesses. A study released in June 2012 from CompTIA, the non-profit association for the IT industry, reveals that one in three U.S. retailers currently use digital signage, with another 22 percent planning to implement the technology in the near future.
Digital signage can impact the retail experience in multiple ways, including educating consumers about products and services, cross promoting products, and improving the overall customer experience. Mary Patzer, senior director of retail sales at Scala, a leading global provider of digital signage and advertising management solutions, notes that digital signage can effectively be used to promote sales or special events, communicate positive customer experiences with photos of consumers using and enjoying the products, and showcase videos featuring the product and its satisfied users.
“A growing number of retailers are adopting digital signage because they see it can help them alter the usual shopping patterns of consumers,” said Patzer. “By enabling this change even for a split second, retailers entice customers to stop their routines and direct their attention to something new. That split second can truly transform consumer shopping activities and buying cycles.”
1. Set goals for your digital signage campaign and link them to measurements. Beginning with a pilot installation, measure the changes that occur in consumer behavior. Consider areas such as brand awareness and increased sales of targeted products.
2. Integrate digital signage into a team matrix that includes marketing, communications, IT and visual merchandising to establish buy-in from the beginning. By soliciting insights from multiple areas of the organization, as well as digital media vendors, your pilot project will have a jump start for success.
3. Develop content that is fresh, bold and commanding of consumer attention. Consider all elements of marketing – in-store, mobile, print and web – to successfully communicate brand. Then link the content with analytics to generate and measure the success of the message. The result is content that can be used to announce targeted price changes, generate in-store promotions, prompt up-sale offers and more.
4. Consider your options for network connectivity. Will you use an in-store server or deploy SaaS (Software as a Service)? Will your digital signage be internet-based or privately networked? These considerations make IT input imperative as you develop your digital signage strategies.
5. Determine the extent to which you want customer interaction with the digital signage installation. Will they see it passively or interact with touch or voice? Will their mobile devices be part of the interactive experience? Consider and plan for a multi-step progression of interaction to insure flexibility as your customers, and your staff, become accustomed to the digital signage experience.
Digital signage can be a dynamic and powerful element to your total retail marketing plan, whether for single stores or multiple operations. With careful planning and testing, buy-in from multiple departments within your business, and advice and counsel from your vendor, digital signage can provide an exciting tool to engage customers and increase profits.
Driving more than 500,000 screens worldwide, Scala Inc. is a leading global provider of digital signage and advertising management solutions. Headquartered near Philadelphia, Pa., the company has subsidiaries in Canada, The Netherlands, France, Norway, Germany, Japan and India, as well as more than 500 partners in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit: http://www.scala.com/.