This year, social media and customer contact tools changed the rules of engagement for retailers and consumers. Large and small retailers are using mobile and social media customer contact/relationship programs to bring consumers into the store.
But getting prospective customers in the store is less than half the challenge. Today, digital signage
is being used to bring sale information and special offerings to life, enhance store and product branding and deliver engaging product demonstrations. Delivered in HD
, these messages allow the customer to learn more at their own pace, without feeling they are being pressured to buy something.
Small- to medium-sized retailers realize that one of the most powerful and most effective selling tools that multi-outlet major chain operations have is their own smart video networks that deliver entertaining and informative video messages to shoppers while they are in the store. Most of them include company and supplier messages intermixed with music video and sports event airings. But the messaging is often fixed and lacks last-minute modification flexibility.How to Achieve Quick ROI with Digital Signage
In addition, the more expensive, more controlled national/regional digital signage solutions these chains operate are built around the PC, which means people with IT and graphic design software expertise are required to manage and modify the signage activity.
Retailers that implement PC-based solutions with a highly controlled or fixed signage network don't have the flexibility they need to grow/change as their business changes. They're locked in and can't easily change their signage solution platform because of the money they've invested in it and the infrastructure behind it so they continue to rely on old-school printed signs, etc. to handle immediate and flexible messaging, which is a step backwards.
Figure 1 - Stand-Alone Kiosk - In addition to end-caps, retailers can now have stand-alone and movable signs that present an exciting, interesting message but also put the promotional products in front of the consumer so he/she can touch, feel, make a purchasing decision immediately. The stand-alone signage solution above also includes a side barcode reader so the consumer can check the price, include coupon discounts or take advantage of other special offers that were available to them from their mobile device message.
We have all seen end-cap signage improve sales of a specific product, but daily smartphone opt-in by shoppers receiving discounts and special offers are increasing these sales results three-fold when the SMS texting message is tied into in-store digital signage.
Retailers - all retailers - need a win-win digital signage solution that marketing managers and suppliers can install, move, network and tailor the messaging in nearly real-time to meet the needs of test marketing trials, changing inventory mixes and the ability to tie in-store messages to mobile couponing or special promotions.
Today's digital signage solutions have evolved beyond the programming and network management restrictions of PC-based signage to all-inclusive solid-state solutions that enable them to create and manage displays without requiring any technical expertise. The new PC-less players are also more reliable because PC issues such as the "blue screen of death", rebooting and viruses are eliminated.
It is well-known that consumers don't like to simply look at an attractive message but want to view, review product information and make their own decisions without sales people "selling" them something. They prefer to feel that they are making their own informed decisions. A number of industry analysts have noted that this interactivity is becoming more popular and more powerful because of the consumer's use of ATMs, smartphones and tablet applications.
Figure 2 - Work with Me - The new touch-activated screens helps retailers create a positive experience for the customer so he/she can make an informed buying decision. Using easy-to-program software the retailer can produce a step-by-step visual sales assistant for the consumer. By putting the customer in control of the information he/she wants to receive and enabling them to manage the decision process, retailers are able to produce a significant increase in sales and excellent return-on-investment (ROI).
Software that takes the complexity out of creating content as well as scheduling and updating digital signage makes it fast and easy for retailers to entice and engage customers in unique ways that use an informative style rather than a hard sell approach.
Retailers who are new to digital signage and retailers who don't have a lot of spare time can get excellent results with the solid-state signage solutions that include software that features visual -based wizards and templates for creating and managing their content. Messages can be easily changed or updated in real-time, and timely, highly customized content can be quickly scheduled to reach targeted consumers at multiple locations.
With this type of software, small to medium-sized retailers can have the direct control over the devices and messaging they need. They can empower regional, department or product line managers to do the work and fine-tune the messages without requiring specialized graphic design software training.
Figure 3 - Multiple Content Zones - Dividing a screen into multiple content zones is a valuable tool to surround key product portions and messaging with eye-catching and informative content such as weather, events and news. This softens yet improves your product messaging impact by providing a valuable service instead of blinding customers with a hard product sell.
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