The retail landscape is undergoing tectonic shifts and upheavals, and creating an engaging in-store experience is one of the key ways brick-and-mortar stores have to compete with e- and m-commerce.
And digital signage can be a key tool in creating just those kinds of engaging and interactive experiences for retailers.
Omnivex Corp. and Digital Signage Today recently presented a free webinar, "Delivering Powerful Retail Experiences with Digital Signage," that looked at some of the new and innovative ways retailers can use digital signage to communicate with customers.
Omnivex Corp. President Jeff Collard led the discussion with Dave Dolejsi, senior digital content strategist for St. Joseph Content; and Raymond Kayal Jr., the president and CEO of NewsLink, an airport retailer with stores in airports across the eastern half of the U.S.
The presenters looked at how digital signage enables retailers to create flashy, eye catching content in tighter timeframes by eliminating the need to produce, distribute and dispose of print collateral. This content can also be delivered more effectively by using data to determine when and where a particular ad should be displayed. By making the message contextual and relevant to the viewer, the impact of brand messaging increases substantially.
Additionally, retailers are able to engage more effectively with customers and even drive interaction through the use of mobile and touch technologies, as well as social media. This behavioral data can then be captured instantly, providing real-time information on product or campaign performance.
All of this helps retailers reduce costs and drive sales, improve engagement and encourage interaction, easily react to changes and update messaging, and improve brand awareness and message effectiveness.
Collard started off by talking about Apple stores' sales per square foot of retail space being twice that of the next closest retailer, with sales of $6,000 per square foot. That success, he said, comes from creating unique immersive experiences, so the challenge for other retailers is how to do the same kind of thing. He looked at the evolution of digital signage into intelligent, interactive digital signage before Dolejsi started looking at how retailers need to take into account stakeholders on both sides of the retail equation, the retailer and the end-user or consumer.
Customers have far more communications options than ever before, Dolejsi said, so interactive digital signage allows retailers and marketers to "infiltrate" the gap around the "zero moment of truth" of the buying process.
Dolejsi looked at Bell World stores in Canada, concentrating on the telecoms company's flagship store in Toronto, which is a "living, breathing brand for customers to walk through" with combined digital signage and kiosk applications to help customers make informed decisions and spread the brand experience deeper into the shopping experience.
Kayal then took participants through his company's Shoppes at Ocean Drive at Miami International Airport, which has heavily leveraged digital signage to influence the customer experience and display product.
"We think that it's been tremendously successful," he said.
Collard then talked about improving ROI, reducing marketing costs, and providing tailored messages and messaging that responds to different stimuli. Targeted and effective communications with customers is "a key competitive advantage," he said.
During the webinar's question-and-answer period, Dolejsi talked about the importance of two-way communication in digital signage and retail. Customers like to feel like they're in control of the process, he said, and making digital signage communications interactive and two-way, retailers can make shoppers feel like they're the ones in charge.
"Ultimately, it's about providing control to the end-user, to the shopper," he said.
Click here to watch the on-demand version of the free webinar.
Read more about digital signage and the customer experience.