Digital signage and screens are becoming the most valuable and impactful pieces of addressable in-store real estate, with research saying 43% of global consumers have been influenced by on-screen content. However, in today’s landscape, shoppers are inundated with media messages at every turn. Not surprisingly, consumers in 2019 have become adept at deciding what adds to their in-store experience and what does not. Given the massive amounts of sensorial clutter in our highly visual world, brands have to make sure they are creating smart digital strategies that provide true value.
Ultimately, whatever is displayed on-screen must be in concert with the intended experience. In a recently released global study of more than 10,000 consumers, an overwhelming 78% of shoppers shared that the atmosphere in-store significantly impacts their decision to shop brick and mortar rather than online. More so, 90% of shoppers are more likely to return to a brick and mortar store if the atmosphere delivers a uniquely tailored experience.
Unquestionably, shoppers are hungry for fresh sensorial experiences. The question is, are you engaging your customers with compelling content? Consumers from around the globe have reiterated loud and clear that in-store digital signage must be additive to their experience rather than merely a distraction. So, before you install your first screen, ask yourself, “what’s the intent?” And then explore how to best populate your screens with content that is well thought-out, deliberate and directed.
Visuals Must Enhance The Experience
I suggest brainstorming from your customer’s perspective when exploring and considering the various forms of content to feature on your screens. What would add to their shopping experience, help educate them and/or alleviate a pain point? Investigate the different ways in which you could enhance the customer’s visit and make their experience at your establishment as frictionless as possible. Think in-store specials and promotions, product details and service information. If you’re in the beauty industry — explore different use cases from a how-to perspective. Take promos a step further and get into the nitty-gritty of application tutorials. Ask yourself what you can implement in-store that you can’t implement online. Remember, the goal is to make the experience additive, rather than dilutive.
The Right Content Is Key
Take a moment to reflect on whether or not your visuals match your brand. You can instantly carve out the things that should not be displayed on screen. Approaching your strategy from this perspective is half the battle. When it comes to digital signage, one of the most important things is to figure out what shouldn’t be displayed. A good experience is not created by merely digitizing your weekly circulars on screen. It’s just as — if not more — important as what should be displayed.
Check And Double-Check Visuals
It may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s important to ensure that all of your screens are in working order. You’d be amazed at how many brands overlook this crucial component. There’s nothing that will destroy the perception of an in-store experience quicker than a blank screen. Additionally, ensure that your visuals are crystal clear and never pixelated. Anything you display on-screen will serve as a representation of your brand and your brand’s quality.
Employ A Point Person For Content Creation And Management
Images stick with customers long after they exit your establishment. If the content on digital screens is stale, out-of-date or irrelevant, you’re leaving them with a negative experience, rather than a positive one. Suffice it to say, without a concentrated methodology or coordinated perspective on your in-store visuals, your efforts may play at odds with each other. Identifying a key point person who owns the in-store visuals will help ensure your brand narrative is effective. The moment that expired content appears on-screen, prospective customers get the impression that you’re out of touch and oblivious to the details. Thus, again, I can’t stress enough the importance of having a designated point person scrutinizing your media strategy to ensure it’s aligned and cohesive across all touchpoints.
Implement Configuration Tools
As you know by now, digital signage must be relevant, appropriate and individualized. Looking forward, there’s been a real drive for customization and personalization within the retail experience. We’re seeing this emergence across a number of verticals that span automobile dealerships, international high-end watch companies, fashion, beauty and more. Augmented reality, 3D animation and product configuration tools have become all the rage. Essentially, these allow in-store customers to specify their options using the tool, which then builds a model of that specific product on-screen. Customers want to ideate their perfect, personalized solution, and digital touchscreens present an excellent way to do this.
Without a doubt, digital screens impact shoppers in a powerful and positive way when executed strategically. Experiences that are additive, informational, suggestive and supportive of the brand’s journey will ultimately resonate much more so than space or time simply occupying “filler”. As you sharpen your approach, keep in mind that visual solutions stay with customers even more vividly and have a much higher rate of recall than that of audio, creating an even stronger lasting imprint.
Digital screens present a huge opportunity, and a potential pitfall if they’re not executed correctly. It’s important that you create a sound digital strategy and serve up content that’s relevant, appropriate and individualized for your specific brand audience. Sensory experiences drive nine out of 10 shoppers back into stores, so it’s imperative that you implement digital screens in a strategic way that garners maximum eyeballs, acquires new customers and connects with your core customer base.
Danny Turner, Global Senior VP, Creative Programming at Mood Media, has spent more than 25 years in national and international music programming and branding. Prior to joining Mood Media, he spent a decade as one of the founding programming executives at XM Satellite Radio. Turner was instrumental in creating programs for such partners as Starbucks, MTV, VH1, BET, United Airlines, Air Canada, Oprah and E!, as well as developing special programming and brand relationships with iconic talents such as Bob Dylan, Wynton Marsalis, Quincy Jones, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson and BB King. He has managed programming teams and efforts across North America and Europe.