Waking up to the opportunity of digital signage

Against a backdrop of declining footfall in retail, it’s hardly surprising that we’re starting to see more innovative approaches from retailers looking to drawing in customers. And one such tactic is the rise in the number of retailers opting for digital screens to lure in shoppers.

A great case in point is Primark, who recently launched their new Westfield White City store with large LED screens installed by Mood and a large internal LED interactive wall, on which we collaborated with other suppliers. Instead of displaying merchandise in windows, products appear on screen, alongside promotional offers, striving to catch the customer’s eye from the get-go.

While digital signage isn’t in and of itself a new phenomenon, we’re seeing retailers, from Primark to high-street banks, using it in increasingly innovative ways, enabling them to deliver dynamic communication throughout the day, targeting shoppers with custom promotions, relevant information and personalised messages on the go.

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Aesthetically appealing

Retailers shouldn’t underestimate just how heavily influenced shoppers can be by a store’s aesthetic, and digital signage can be a great way of creating attractive, functional spaces, or concealing unsightly environmental features.

Gone are the days of clunky digital screens; recent advancements in digital signage have given way to sleek and modern screens, from simple flat screens to paper thin displays or even mirror screens, which immediately add visual appeal to in-store spaces. And since a store’s ambiance has almost as much influence over customer purchasing behaviour as price and the product quality, it’s clear that excellent retail digital signage can offer significant return on investment.

Interactive experiences

Today’s digital signage is all about customer interaction – whether that’s digital touch screen kiosks or an Interactive Content Wall equipped with a sensor that triggers content to be played as people walk by, as seen at Primark Westfield.

As social media becomes increasingly pervasive, digital signage creates an opportunity to connect and participate in social media interaction, which is why activations like this become so relevant. In a world where we interact with screens 24/7, there’s a need among retailers for a critical channel that offers endless opportunities to connect and interact with customers on a more personal level, something non-digitalised signage fails to do.

Digital signage also offers the ability to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping. For example, we’ve installed screens in various outlets that allow customers to scroll through available stock both in store and online and place an order through the screen. In larger stores where there might be a café, it’s also important to consider how to engage with people in their ‘down time’.

For example, embedding screens in tables could give customers the opportunity to browse the collection / order online or find items in store, greatly improving ease, accessibility and likelihood of purchase.

Information sharing

Another significant benefit of digital signage is its ability to inform customers quickly about everything from product details and key information on the store itself, to recommendations and inspiration for best buys.

For example, Co-op has installed screens that show total figures of money raised for local charities, as well as the news and weather forecast to capture the attention of the customer and inform them of things going on around them. The supermarket also presents recommendations and inspiration about particular products, such as which wine and food items should be paired together.

Flexible sales & promotions

Another added benefit of digital signage is being able to tailor content to specific locations. Digital signage allows stores to collect data in real time and analyse data patterns, allowing them to quickly adapt content for their customer base, rather than relying on a one size fits all approach. The responsive nature of the system means everything can be updated with ease – whether that’s up-to-date information on whether a product a customer wants is in stock, or promotions and sales, adjusted to certain times of day.

Boosting ROI

Additional plug-in solutions can also help to prove its own ROI by gathering information on in-store behaviour such as tracking how long on average a customer spends in store, and how the customer perceives the brand, providing valuable information.

With 4/5 product brands seeing an increase in sales of up to 33% as a consequence of digital signage usage (Nielsen 2010), it’s clear that digital signage can contribute to an increase in retail sales.

Environmental benefit

One element retailers often underestimate when it comes to digital signage is the environmental and economic benefit. Due to the ever-changing pricing of products, reductions and promotions, continually using physical materials is going to take its toll; they will need to be constantly discarded of and replenished. With digital signage, not only can it be quickly updated, but material waste is also reduced, helping retailers to cut down their environmental footprint while also being more agile and flexible.

Whilst digital signage is yet to be implemented in stores nationwide, the steps being made towards enhancing the customer experience through this medium are certainly telling. In addition to Primark’s use of huge digital screens across numerous outlets, Iceland has announced a swathe of next generation stores that feature a more modern and appealing store layout and design, digital signage, and LED lighting, following the success of its original concept store. With store closures continuing to take their toll on the high street, now is clearly a good time to get creative with digital signage.

Mood Media offer experiential design and marketing solutions, helping brands connect with their customers by providing music, digital signage, scent, integrated audio visual, and interactive mobile marketing solutions that help to improve customer experience.

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