The retail world has been rocked by e-commerce and the battle lines have been drawn. It’s become a never-ending fight for customer’s hard earned cash. Physical store owners need all the tools at their disposal to remain relevant and profitable faced with a competitor that plays by its own set of rules.
And it’s not just your typical corner store that gets impacted. Today, e-commerce is going head-to-head with every retail sector imaginable. It doesn’t matter if you’re a large national chain or a local convenience store in a small town. Every retailer is out there fighting for their piece of the market.
This is where the judicious use of digital signage comes into play.
Digital signage software fulfills three main needs:
- Digital signage helps greet shoppers as soon as they step in the door. In fact, this effect can be extended outside retail premises via exterior LED signage, bringing in more customers who may have just passed by. Digital signage displays help you set the customer’s expectations.
- Digital signage sets the mood and enhances the shopping experience. Well executed digital signage supported by appropriate content can help take the drudge out of shopping. This effect extends across all retail industry whether it’s automobiles, fashion, home décor, tools…
- Digital signage helps retailers shape and adapt their offerings continuously. There are no delays when setting prices, listing features or changing any of the content regardless of the number of screens in a location or the distance between locations.
Here are a few examples illustrating where digital signage can help retailers in their day-to-day operations.
Automobile Parts Stores
The digital signage revolution extends to many types of businesses that rely on component information. Take for example automobile parts stores that used to rely on printed manuals and parts books. A lot of this printed information migrated to databases on CD-ROMS and eventually, the internet. Now, sales staff can bring up schematics and part information at a click of a mouse. Many of these businesses have also discovered digital signage solutions can help them serve customers better and quicker by putting the information right in front of their clients. Using touch enabled screens, customers can quickly search for parts and view “how-to” videos to learn how to perform simple automobile repairs. This frees-up sales staff to assist customers with more complex issues. Customers no longer wait in line for a salesperson to assist them. They can get the information they need quickly, and efficiently. The results are increased sales and enhanced customer satisfaction.
Sports Equipment Stores
Selling sports equipment is a huge business and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for stores to compete with e-commerce retailers. With e-commerce sales booming, brick-and-mortar retailers have it tough. To fight back, many stores try to create destinations where the shopping experience is part of the mix. Digital signage has been playing a major role in creating a more inviting and enticing environment for shoppers. Displays scattered throughout the store can display dynamic videos featuring extreme sports and far-away locations. Content can be adapted to match the season with promotional content inserted in the mix. It’s an easy way to liven up the sales floor and compete with large chains and e-commerce retailers.
New and Pre-Owned Vehicle Sales
Digital signage solutions are helping new and pre-owned vehicle stores increase sales and improve their overall customer image through useful product information. Digital displays can be installed throughout the sales floor and in lounge areas to present car inventories to visitors. Since many pre-owned car dealerships advertise on the internet, the same information can be reused and repurposed for customer consumption inside the store. Not every car store has a large enough showroom to feature every car so it makes sense to show some of the cars in the lot on screens that can be viewed in the comfort of a lounge. Digital displays can assist salespeople and help walk a potential customer through a range of vehicles and features in a very short time, either through touch-enabled screens or by interacting with the display using a smartphone.
Fashion Retail Stores
Fashion stores tend follow the same trend as they start to lose more and more customers to e-commerce. Successful bricks-and-mortar fashion retailers install displays in every area of the store including the front window, change rooms and behind the service desks. Front window displays must be sufficiently bright to be visible in full sunlight unless the displays are mounted well inside the store where they remain shaded from full sun. Change rooms have seen all sorts of innovative applications, such as “smart mirrors” and other features intended to make the shopping experience more memorable. Many high-end fashion stores invest in large format displays, video walls featuring displays with extremely thin bezels and fine dot-pitch LED displays that are suitable for interior installations. These installations are meant to enhance the brands and attract more customers.
Furniture and Home Décor Stores
Many large furniture and home décor chains have introduced digital signage into their retail environments. We tend to see displays installed in large stores where they are used for directional signage, supplemented by wayfinding touch screens. Here again, strategically placed displays can promote financing, introduce new products and finishes, help direct customers around the store. Digital signage is the perfect addition to furniture and home décor stores because it fits right it. For example, digital signage can be integrated into various room displays as flat screen TVs.
Home Appliance Stores
Buying home appliances can be daunting. Unless you’re an expert, it can be difficult to compare similar looking products based on a few bullet points printed on a small cardboard sign. This is where interactive digital signage can make a world of difference to consumers. Touch screen displays can be set up and connected to a database with each product’s features and benefits. This way, customers can access the information easily without having to chase down a sales associate who may be busy helping someone else. It’s also important to note that appliances models change constantly. New features are always being added and it’s difficult even for store associates to keep on top of it all. Store personnel can also benefit from digital signage as they can access the same, up-to-date information as customers so they are ready to answer any question thrown at them.
By empowering customers through digital signage, appliance stores can improve the shopping experience at little cost. It’s a win-win proposition for everyone.
Consumer Electronics Stores
We’ve all seen the “TV wall” at our local electronics big-box store. These massive television displays are always very impressive as they display the same movie over and over across every screen. The effect can be quite interesting, or a bit disturbing depending on the store manager’s movie tastes. To ensure consistency across multiple locations, many large consumer electronics store chains have implemented a digital signage system to program the content shown on each display TV in their stores. The results have been dramatic. While customers can still compare image quality between units, display TVs are now used to show current promotions, consumer information and brand-enhancing programming. The same system managing these TVs can also handle other consumer-facing displays, further increasing the efficiency through a common platform.