Retailers, merchants, and brand owners are facing a growing battle on many fronts. And while everyone’s talking about the negative impact of e-commerce, there are many other forces at play. Enter, in store TV advertising.
Millennials are a force to be reckoned with
By now, it’s a popular refrain. Retail store traffic is declining. Established retail chains are struggling. Stores must become destinations…
It’s not surprising retail executives are scrambling for solutions.
While many have been pointing fingers at Amazon and other big online retailers, they are missing part of the story. Because there are other factors to be considered.
You may be surprised to know millennials are having a greater impact on traditional brick and mortar retail than ecommerce. They are becoming the largest group of consumers as baby boomers retire, and they don’t shop like their parents.
After all, millennials are the generation that grew up with modern tech. They’re comfortable using smartphones to pay for purchases, and have no issue scanning QR codes on a digital signage display to receive a discount coupon. Self-checkouts are no big deal, and they embrace change.
Millennials love social media, and they like to feel appreciated. They have no problem posting reviews online and even share their shopping experiences with friends and family, on Facebook and Twitter. They crave a personalized shopping experience that traditional retail methods can’t provide. It’s why retailers are increasingly trying to attract these customers by catering to their most basic needs.
Feeling warm and fuzzy
Everyone likes to feel recognized, and appreciated. When shoppers are engaged, they tend to buy more. They are also more likely to return. Customers want to feel special, which means stores need to deliver a better experience. An experience that is more in tune with their expectations.
Current trends in retail digital signage:
- Inclusion of social media feeds related to a brand or product group.
- News about the retailer and its social / ecological / charitable activities.
- Employee engagement through recognition / milestones.
- Information about new store programs, and enhanced services.
Bring In the TVs
There has always been a need for more information at the point of purchase. Since the dawn of retail, the lack of sales staff has always been a common complaint. Stores never seem to have enough employees around to assist customers, which is why retailers started experimenting with in store TV advertising (now called, digital signage). The old cathode-ray tube displays of the 90’s may have given place to flat LCD panels, but the goal is the same. Digital signage displays are the retailer’s silent salespeople. They are always available and ready to assist shoppers.
The term “in store TV advertising” is quite appropriate because these displays are meant to show a mix of product announcements, promotions, and useful consumer information. The information programming is made up of social media content, and infotainment like local news, weather, and other useful information.
Digital signage also let’s store management fine-tune their pricing to match local competitors, and e-commerce retailers. Take the example of overstock merchandise. In the past, overstocks would be shipped back to vendors at a discount, or redistributed across other stores within the chain.
Today stores can simply promote overstocked items locally on their digital signage displays. They don’t have to pay shipping and handling costs, and don’t have to wait. Updating a promotion across an entire store takes a few seconds.
Digital signage is empowering retailers with tools that let them communicate better, and engage a new generation of shoppers.