Marketing products, promotions, and offers can be difficult, but marketing once customers are already in-store is surprisingly well-received. Customers inside stores have already made the decision to purchase and are often simply looking for things they want or need. Utilizing signage, especially digital, across your store is the easiest way to boost your in-store marketing efforts with cost-effective and efficient promotions.
Modern digital signage allows you to take advantage of numerous technologies, ranging from real-time data to customer tracking and individual promotions. While your options will depend on your installed technology and total budget, digital signage offers numerous smart ways to market and merchandise products.
Digital posters, billboards, and ads are one of the easiest ways to save money across stores, because you save money on print costs. Taking posters digital also allows you to update from a central location, such as a back office or even a central store location, where headquarters can easily update and synchronize ads and a playlist of relevant promotions across every store on their network, even in different countries.
At the same time, digital ads are actually more effective than paper and print. Customers pay more attention to digital signage, watch what is on screen, and 10% can clearly remember an ad as many as 7 days after viewing it. That’s a significant improvement over non-digital ads, which many customers simply gloss over. Here, placement is often key, because you need signage in visible locations such as behind cashier desks, at aisle-ends, and in prominent areas such as on pillars and at entrances. Integrating digital signage into your store allows you to utilize video, changing imagery, and audio into ads, so customers are engaged and interested.
Most digital signage software allows you to tie in external data ranging from news and other entertainment to weather, traffic, and even local public transport. This makes it easy for you to tie in relevant real-world events to ads, so that they remain relevant and interesting. For example, a simple context-based display rule, as offered by numerous digital signage software companies like PADS4 and NetKey allow you to update content based on external factors.
You can make the same sort of updates based on factors such as time of day, time of year, or even local events, because digital signage allows you to quickly change ads with little cost investment. What’s a good example? Set ads to display promotions for umbrellas, coffee, or ponchos when it’s raining and drive relevant sales to customers, who will benefit from the offer.
Smarts sensors and technology can recognize age, gender, and other factors about customers, and then share personalized ads and offers. You can also pair digital signage with smart sensors in tags and products to automatically recognize items shoppers are looking at or that they have in their shopping carts to create more tailored and personal ads and promotions. For example, if someone has placed an item in their shopping cart, you can advertise accessories. Simple facial recognition technology can help you tailor ads based on gender and age, so that you could advertise relevant products.
While customer recognition and personalization require a higher investment into technology than simple digital screens, sensors and algorithms are becoming more and more common and therefore more affordable. Most facial recognition software can also collect information on age, gender, and ethnicity, which can then be used to collect data on customer demographics and shopping habits, which will provide value in other areas.
Social media campaigns including on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, are an easy way to engage shoppers and drive free marketing and promotion. Here, your goal should be to integrate digital signage with real-time feeds to hashtags and pages, inviting customers to interact. In most cases, you should offer incentive, such as a 10% off coupon for customers who share photos of their purchase. You should also actively engage with customers and reply to them on the feed.
Why should you do this? Giving customers the ability to share and immediately see their post and interaction on a screen in your store is highly motivating to share. Them sharing on social media is free advertisement for your store, advertises the products in store, and helps customers to feel like they’re being recognized, without actually costing you much in terms of investment. Most digital signage can very easily share social media feeds, and with scrolling presentations or media, can alternate between showing product ads and promotions and social media feeds so that you get the most value from your signage.
Virtual dressing rooms and product comparison technology are both new, but they are rapidly catching on. Virtual dressing rooms require you to install scanners such as webcams or laser scanners to recognize people and then allow you to use 3D technology to “virtually” try on products such as clothing and accessories. Label and tag recognition software is also extremely common and makes it easy to offer virtual dressing rooms as well as live product comparison. For example, simple label recognition technology means that you can take end-of-aisle ads and turn them into live product comparison. When customers pick up two items, your software can recognize what’s being picked up and offer a comparison. If it’s just one item, customers can see product information, product promotions such as videos and ads for the product, or other relevant information.
While not everyone appreciates personalized ads and content in stores, many people do. In addition, using digital signage with smart sensors will help you to tailor ads and make them more relevant, so that your total advertising is more effective. At the same time, you don’t need sensors and smart software to boost in store marketing with digital signage, simply because digital signage is more effective than static paper banners.
No matter what your goal or budget, digital signage is often more effective and more (long-term) affordable than printing and hanging ads. With more media options, more attention-grabbing ads, and improved customer retention, digital signage does a lot for advertising, across your store and behind cashiers.
Network maintenance is crucial to ongoing performance, no matter what you’re running on that network. Network performance management is an essential because it’s the only way to ensure networks offer performance throughout the day, handle peak periods without crashing, and that data-loss and latency aren’t causing issues on your servers, application, or signage.
Your IT infrastructure optimization will heavily depend on your current structure, IT teams, resources, and ability to upgrade or make changes. In some cases, you won’t have the tools or resources to truly optimize for digitization in-house. In this case, outsourcing your solutions is likely the best option, and will likely offer more in terms of efficiency than investing in your own resources.
Digital signage is extremely flexible, can often be tailored to meet very specific needs, and is easy to choose in a way that creates modular solutions for different environments. If you’re not entirely sure of what you need, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional installer who can recommend very specific solutions for each application in your organization.