Digital signage has been synonymous with the retail sector since the early 1980s and has steadily grown more prominent. Now, most of our modern high street is adorned with digital signage, allowing retailers to strategically promote enticing bargains and attract crowds of avid shoppers.
For the digital signage industry, one thing is on our mind. Retail premises are getting smaller, and many businesses are choosing to evolve their stores for the future by reducing size, and focusing on adapting to fundamental changes in shopper behaviour, such as an increased focus on e-commerce.
Smaller Spaces, Increasing Competition.
Despite a decrease in size, many retailers are expanding their product assortment to remain competitive.
This leads to a wider selection of products, often in a reduced space. This is a significant challenge, and many stores are still learning to adapt to this growing retail trend.
Many retailers now depend heavily on digital signage to engage customers more, create an omnichannel experience, and remain relevant. It can help to attract customers despite smaller spaces, and effectively advertise a large range of products within a small area.
With more focus on content creation and efficient distribution, effective digital signage is often make-or-break for retailers looking to truly stand out in the crowd.
There are several questions to ask yourself before investing in a digital signage solution. We’ve gathered a series of considerations to help you move forward in the process, and enhance your digital signage strategy.
1. What Do You Want Your Digital Signage To Accomplish For Your Store?
Start with your initial objectives and establish a purpose for using specific technology and software. Do you want your digital signage to serve as an advertisement for your store? Or do you want to use it for informative purposes? Why not both?
Test out various content and optimize along the way in order to conclude what works, and what doesn’t. As with all successful investments, this requires a strategy alongside a detailed operational plan.
TIP: Ensure you spend time researching how customers navigate and interact with your store. This can help you optimize your digital signage content, and identify what needs to be accomplished.
2. What Type of In-store Customer Experience Do You Want to Create?
James Cash, the late founder of JC Penny, framed customer experience in one line: “Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.”
This concept still holds true. With the rise of technology, many companies have decreased their customer service workforce, simply to save costs and improve the bottom-line. In doing so, they've created a customer service deficit, and erected barriers to customer satisfaction, product discovery, and brand appeal.
Digital signage can help your business enhance the customer experience by displaying informative material and relevant content. Frequent displays of relevant content can enhance brand awareness, and create positive customer experiences that boost brand loyalty. A flashy-yet-informative sign will not only grab attention but can also go a long way towards replacing reduced staff headcount.
TIP: Start by mapping your customer experience. Highlight areas where customers often stop and ask simple questions, and set up screens to target those queries. If more specific answers are required, display a call-to-action directing them to the personnel or resource best equipped to assist.
TIP: Enhance customer inspiration and creativity by displaying relevant product content. Show short sequences, or explanatory videos on your digital signage to help customers visualise your products in use. The moment you start mind-mapping, executing, and customising ideas in store, you add value to the customer experience. Additionally, informative product displays help you to cross-sell and up-sell, without needing to increase your staff.
Digital displays are just blank screens without great content, check out our 8 best practices for designing content that captivates.
3. What Type of Target Audience Do You Have Today, and What Type of Future
Audiences Do You Want to Attract?
Understanding your target audience and mapping out their journey is crucial. You should choose your digital signage based on your audience and use it to further help them in making purchase decisions.
Consider what type of new audiences you want to attract, and how you can effectively convert them from a prospect to a paying customer. Align your in-store promotion with your current advertisements and enhance the customer journey by creating an omnichannel experience in which you display the same advertisements across all platforms. Marketing consistency is more likely to convert the customer and builds stronger brand awareness.
TIP: Use the data from your in-store research to support your decision making. For example, if your customer data shows that visitors often need to ask basic questions, add a series of screens displaying frequently asked questions. If you know in-store footfall is drawn in by certain marketing campaigns, align your digital signage with the same content.
4. How Do Your Customers Move in the Store?
In order to maximise your stores’ digital signage concept, you need to map out customer movement inside the store. This can help you understand the places where customers usually stop for information, browse, or ignore.
These areas are key conversation points, as every zone serves its own purpose and thus must be treated individually.
For example, a zone where customers often ignore could use digital signage to stand-out. Similarly, identify zones where customers stop or slow their movements, making them crucial locations to show relevant content towards the customer.
When you have defined optimal digital signage areas, set up an “inform and attract” strategy.
TIP: Use digital signage to show relevant and dynamic content so that customers will remain interested, and potentially convert into buying. Content that shows premium offers such as “we will help you with design”, or “delivery is free!” can aid or persuade customer decision-making, and differentiate your store from competitors.
5. When and Where Do You Want Your Customers' Attention?
As previously mentioned, understanding customer movement and defining store zones go hand-in-hand with a successful digital signage strategy.
You need to ask yourself why do you want a customer to stop in a certain place in-store? What type of value will you provide, and is the content tailored to that zone?
Your priorities could range from displaying discounts, advertising exclusive products, or providing information. If you have demo zones for your product, is there valuable content you can add to aid the customer’s decision-making?
TIP: For discounts areas or zones, use bright background colours in your content such as red or yellow, and create short taglines with the price in focus to convert customers.
TIP: For new product lines or categories, display information about new products and show demo videos of the products in use. Dynamic content is crucial for capturing consumer consciousness, so increase conversions by ensuring this digital signage is captivating.
TIP: In demo zones, short videos or graphics are effective. Use colours that attract attention, such as red, light blue or yellow. Avoid awkward and small fonts, and ensure your digital signage is easy to read and understand.
How Do You Measure the Success of Digital Signage?
To successfully measure the effectiveness of your digital signage investments, identify the objectives of your chosen strategy. What do you want to achieve by using a digital signage solution? Key objectives, which can be used as a measure of success, include:
- Increase customer conversions
- Aid customer decision making
- Simplify in-store processes
- Better inform customers
- Turn queues into opportunities
- Attract customers into stores
- Strengthen brand awareness
- Increase brand loyalty
- Create a streamlined customer experience
- Provide a modern in-store experience
- Enhance the omnichannel experience
You can reflect on these aspects of customer and in-store experience to assess whether your digital signage is successful and then optimise your strategy further. This can be achieved by conducting short 1-2 question customer surveys after they have completed a transaction, or at other areas in-store.
Conducting daily or weekly surveys can help you discover what works, and what doesn’t, enabling you to optimise digital signage and make the most out of your investments. Discover the ways your digital signage can captivate your audience, and help you hit your ROI objectives, here.