“Not only has technology improved and advanced dramatically, but it has become more affordable, thus making it accessible to smaller brands,” adds Ridl. “Nowadays technology should be integrated into store design, and effective and relevant content should be used to enhance the customer journey.”
Digital signage hardware devices such as LED screens of various sizes that can be linked to create one big screen, as well as LED billboards and interactive touchscreens, have become ever more effective with relevant and focused content. The digital content displayed on these screens has become the real success factor in the digital in-store gambit. Whilst digital signage replaces print, the flexibility and speed at which digital content can be changed is what makes this one of the most powerful tools in a retailer’s marketing arsenal.
Through animations, videos, and interactive applications, the shopper’s in-store journey can be enhanced when relevant promotions, products and prices are advertised and highlighted. By leveraging meaningful digital site-specific interventions with the consumer, through the use of the various hardware applications and digital content, pain points can be deleted and high points maximised during the in-store journey. The result of a customer’s meaningful in-store experience will lead to a revisit, which is every retailer's desire.
“Whilst messages about product and price will always remain important, other aspects such as ingredients, source information, health, food safety and environmental responsibility will continue to grow and occupy important retail digital content space.
“When working with specific clients such as SPAR, we have designed a unique in-store digital strategy where we are able to identify areas where meaningful digital interruptions can take place per store. These are categorised into three regions - Staff & Customer Interaction, i.e. customer service kiosk; Customer Pause Moments, i.e. wine and bakery sections; and Customer Dwell Time, i.e. deli. It is here that we implement our digital screen position strategy, in accordance with the client’s marketing strategy, to grab maximum attention and effectively drive conversation.
“A company that has taken their digital signage experience to the next level is Woolworths at their store in the Mall of Africa,” says Ridl. “Here we used a total of 13 different digital signage communication points, that ranged from video walls to large-format LED displays. When walking past the store your attention is immediately drawn to one of these points which is a large 5m x 2m LED display inside.”
Woolworths offers a unique shopping experience and is the only retailer in South Africa that has fashion, food, beauty and homeware under their own brand. “We’ve created a digital platform through our in-store digital network in over 196 stores countrywide (including three NOW NOW stores in Cape Town - the newly launched Woolworths on-the-go concept), where the brand’s core values of quality, integrity, style, innovation and sustainability, as well as the promise of offering high-quality and exceptional value, are emphasised.
Not only do digital signage screens assist with creating an enjoyable, more efficient and productive customer experience in-store, they also assist in saving print costs and reducing a company’s ecological footprint.
Amongst key marketing and retail gurus, it is understood that 2017/8 will become the period of change when retailers stop primarily selling products and instead start selling services, solutions and stellar shopping experiences. This is when the digital content on the screens will start changing and the emotional connection with shoppers will be deepened.