You're in Control
Retailers who have begun enhancing their marketing activities with solid-state signage solutions have found that they have an advantage over chain store video networks because they can shift, rearrange and relocate digital signage more quickly.
Because their teams are "closer to the consumer action,"
they are able to respond to minor trends, local events, special short-term opportunities more efficiently and more effectively than the nationally controlled/managed signage networks.
Figure 4 - Stand-Alone Signage - Portable signage such as this free-standing concept unit by Intel is becoming increasingly popular with retailers
With these solutions, retailers can create entertaining sales messages, modify them and update them in just minutes using the simplified software provided with the system.
One of the keys to digital signage success is to develop and provide content that is compelling, vibrant and dynamic, content that takes advantage of the clear, crisp images that can be presented with HD digital signage.
An important aspect is to have image and portrait orientation that catches the eye and quickly presents your key message. With today's cost-effective HD screens, consumers expect audio and video signage messages to be delivered in the same quality they get at home in front of their TV sets.
Figure 5 - Living, Moving Message - Whether the retailer uses individual digital signage with messages in individual areas of the screen or a multi-screen wall area as shown above, the experience is similar. Content can be linked between the zones and complete video walls can be created with the content spreading - and moving - across multiple displays. In some retail outlets, ceiling lighting that changes in tune with the piped-in music is used to create a complete "living" environment that helps keep customers in the store longer and makes the buying experience even more pleasant.
In multi-location, multi-sign operations, managers are using standard network wiring and the Internet cloud to upload fresh, attention-getting sales messages and to manage the timing and placement of product multimedia messages.
Whether it's a large or small group of installations, they can be set up, configured and managed locally or from a central location by marketing and product managers. The leading signage players support full, high-definition video, so consumers get the same high-quality images in the store as they do at home.
For regional or widely dispersed stores, sales messages can be sent to individual, city or area-wide stores to maintain the same image, the same sales proposition--regardless of the location.
Figure 6 - Networked, Managed - By using wired or wireless network-enabled signage solutions, retailers can keep their content fresh and germane to the customers' shopping goals/needs. Retail department managers can schedule the playback of specific promotions to appeal to consumer types or even change them to specific times of day. Some retailers have also used their digital signage network to provide employees with important training or HR information prior to store opening or at the end of the day.
Some of the bundled software packages incorporate many of the comprehensive capabilities previously found only in the streaming media network solutions. This includes looping video playback, multimedia playlists, multiple display zones, day-parting, interactive button/touch screen demos, multi-unit video wall synchronization and more.
Figure 7 - Big Welcome - Large multi-screen, synchronized walls such as the one above not only welcome customers, they provide a vibrant, constantly changing set of messages that focus their attention on specific products or product categories. The video messages can be changed effortlessly by time of day, day of the week, special promotion or special event. Portions can also be used to highlight and tie into public service messages bringing the retailer even closer to his/her community.
Today's social media tools - social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter - are not proprietary. They are available to all of us. Retailers who study these tools and then blend them into their marketing efforts are rapidly building a solid following of people who want to opt-in and receive news, information, special offers from local retailers. These tools can be useful, not just for sales but also in expanding the effectiveness and reach of your complete customer service/customer support programs.
These tools get the customer into the store. But that's only the beginning of the path-to-purchase. Research consistently shows that 50 percent of all purchase decisions are still made in the store. This is where the consumer is the most susceptible; the most open to receiving product information that talks directly to them.
The consumer is standing there waiting to be educated, informed, assisted to ensure they make the right buying decision.
It is at this moment - this time - that you are in a better position than any other retail establishment in your area. You don't have to compete for their attention because they are in your store watching your key informational and sales digital signage messages in brilliant HD.
The key now is to entertain, educate, inform, convince them that you can provide the best products, services and support that they want/need.
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