Digital signage in the retail industry – how can retailers use it?

In our previous blog, we explored how digital signage can Personalise Customer Experience in Transportation. In this blog, we take a look at how digital signage can be used in the retail industry.

Concerns about the future of the high street in the post-pandemic world are ever-present, and finding new ways to connect with customers in store has never been more important. Both in 2017 and 2018, footfall in retail centers dropped every month, while in July 2019, the proportion of all shops that are empty reached 10.3%.  One of the biggest challenges for the retail industry has been the rapid growth in online sales which accounted earlier this year for 21.5% of the UK’s total retail sales, and that was before the lockdown when many more stores entered the e-commerce space.

The temporary closure of retail locations during the coronavirus outbreak doesn’t have to signal the end of traditional brick-and-mortar shopping, but it does mean that retailers have to work harder to create a distinct in-store experience to draw customers away from online shopping and back out onto the high-street.

One of the tools that can help retailers to achieve this is digital signage. By fusing the digital and the physical, digital signage solutions contribute to creating a more memorable in-store experience. A recent study found that 68% of customers note that digital signage would make them more likely to buy advertised products, and when Nielsen tracked 120 grocers who use digital signage in their shops, they found that 80% of them saw as much as a 33% boost in sales. Digital signage is also going to play an essential role in maintaining social distancing regulations and ensuring that employees and customers stay safe during the in-person shopping experience.

Digital signage can come in a variety of forms, from interactive self-service kiosks, to in-store video screens, and creates a more interactive and customised shopping experience, boosting customer engagement and driving sales. Let’s take a closer look at some of the specific ways that retailers can benefit from digital signage.

Draw in Window Shoppers and Boost Foot Traffic

Digital signage in shop window displays can help to grab the attention of passers-by, and boost in-store footfall. Digital signage solutions allow retailers to introduce movement and sound into their campaigns, which is more likely to attract and retain attention than a static billboard or poster.

Tell Your Brand’s Story

Brand storytelling is the future of marketing. In today’s fast-paced, overly-automated, and digitally-driven society, consumers are looking for authentic brand stories which engage with them on a much deeper level, rather than the faceless advertising campaigns of the past.

A convincing brand story helps retailers to stand out in a crowded market and create a brand following that translates into return custom. Digital signage offers an interactive and visual way to convey your brand story to customers, for example through interactive video displays around the store.

Share Product Information

Product features and benefits can be much more clearly and convincingly explained and displayed with the help of digital signage, compared to traditional methods such as relying on consumers approaching an in-store employee, or reading a product label.

Engaging with customers through interactive displays, which can be easily updated and changed almost instantly, also makes sure that information is constantly up to date.

Try Before You Buy

Finally, new technology used in combination with interactive kiosks can offer customers the opportunity to try before they buy, for example by taking a quick selfie and then experimenting with different lipstick or eyeshadows shades. Face shape analysis tools can also allow customers to upload a photo to a self-service kiosk and receive suggestions about the best glasses frames to suit their face.

Sephora, for example, implemented the ModiFace digital display, which allows customers to virtually try on Sephora cosmetic products, and as a result the company sees fewer product returns and exchanges. Touch-free, try-before-you-buy technology is likely to see an even larger uptake in coming months, since social distancing rules prohibit the unnecessary touching and handling of products in order to reduce the risk of infection spread.

Digital Signage and Shopping in the ‘New Normal’

Ensuring that social distancing and hygiene guidelines are adhered to in-store is not only essential for safety and legal reasons – providing a safe and secure shopping environment is also going to be key in giving shoppers the confidence they need to return to the high-street.

Since the start of the pandemic, our partner NowSignage has developed a number of innovative digital signage solutions to keep shoppers safe in the ‘new normal.’ They have developed an advanced LCD Hand Sanitiser Station to ensure that hand sanitiser dispensers in stores are never empty. The ‘Dispenser Management’ app monitors sanitiser usage and sends automatic notifications to your account to notify you when your dispenser is running low or requires a refill of sanitiser.

Sharing Government Guidelines

Digital signage can be used to instantly display announcements and public safety information, such as social distancing regulations inside the store or information about the number of shoppers in store to help with real-time capacity management. Digital display options are more likely to grab customer attention and can be easily updated to reflect the most up-to-date information.

Digital Shelf-Edge Displays

Many brands have been transitioning from print signage to digital signage for some time, and the pandemic is likely to put an end to the manual print label as more retail locations embrace the hygiene benefits of digital labels.

Digital shelf-edge displays help to improve store hygiene by reducing unnecessary physical contact. They also come with the added benefit of being able to be instantly updated and synced remotely.

Here at Distec, we offer a range of digital signage options ideally suited for the retail industry, including Digital Signage Players, Interactive Kiosks, Touch Screen Panels, Digital Information Boards and Video Screens. Our recent partnership with NowSignage now allows us to offer their cloud-based Digital Signage CMS Platform to provide a complete end-to-end digital signage solution.

For more information about our digital signage solutions, get in touch here.

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