Today’s world is truly a digital world, and with the onslaught of social media, online purchasing and mobile apps, consumers are being bombarded by marketing messages more than ever before. It is estimated that the average consumer is bombarded with nearly 3,000 marketing messages per day! It’s no wonder that it can be difficult for any retailer to break through the clutter and communicate effectively with a customer.
And while the dawn of the digital era had many so-called experts decrying the demise of the brick-and-mortar store about a decade ago, nothing could be further from the truth. A study by A.T. Kearney finds that 90% of all retail sales occur in physical store locations, and 95% of retail sales overall go through businesses that maintain a brick-and-mortar presence.
Connecting The Digital With The Physical
Digital signage is a tool to connect and continue a customer’s digital journey into the realm of the physical store. Marketing messages delivered dynamically to the customer through a company’s web site, app or social channels can be picked up and enhanced the moment a customer enters a store.
Research shows that most customers want to be able to access the same array of products and services, no matter if they are online, in a store or on their mobile device. By acting as the retailer’s countenance, digital signage can keep the conversation with the customer going. This continued and cohesive messaging helps to forge and reinforce a company’s identity and shapes consumer perceptions about a brand.
Technology To Recognize And Personalize
Digital signage also gives retailers the flexibility they desire to engage directly with customers and showcase their brands. These displays are customizable so that every customer can receive a unique experience based on their purchasing history and interests. Advancing technologies are making it increasingly easier to recognize the customers in front of a specific digital display and speak directly to them:
Camera Sensors With Facial Algorithms: These sensors can understand how many people are looking at a display at any given time. They offer sophisticated analytics applications that capture in-store “dwell times,” responses to product displays and traffic flow. For traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, this sort of intelligence has helped level the playing field with online sellers, who routinely track and profile their customers through cookies.
Bluetooth Beacons: A Bluetooth emitter within a store seeks an application on a customer’s phone. Once it latches onto the application, it’s able to access all of the information stored in the app about the customer. Retailers can use in-store beacons for many purposes. These Bluetooth devices collect customer data that can be used to improve shoppingexperiences and reduce customer wait times. Retailers can also send out a marketing campaign based on that information. The digital display industry is moving towards using beacons to change the message on the display to make it relevant to the customers in front of it — and hopefully persuade them to execute a sale in the store.
LiFi: LiFi is the use of the visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to transmit information. The digital display industry is beginning to use LED lights to track people in a store. Within the retail environment, LiFi is a pipeline that will enable all possible data transfer — from the store front-end, to in-store customer interaction, to back office coordination and customer services. From the retailers’ perspective, imagine the possibility of directing a customer right from the time they enter a store to the right position in the store — for the exact merchandise they are seeking. Pretty cool, right?
Customers can also be empowered with all sorts of information right at the point of contact with a digital display, information like product specifications and discounts on the offer. Digital displays truly give retailers the best of both worlds: the flexibility and accessibility of digital data matched with the personal touch of in-store customer service. This combination is the magic formula in providing a true omnichannel customer experience.
Visualization Of The Future
In 2014, Visual IQ reported that around 85% of CMOs said a lack of measureable data and inadequate technology obstructed efforts at implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy. LED digital signage technology helps solve that problem by giving CMOs the data necessary to justify its implementation and effectively drive sales. Infotrends reports that it found that digital displays can add an increase of almost 32% in overall sales volume.
Through engagement with customers, digital signage adds to the rich data being gathered in the online world about each and every customer. This collection of data affords the marketing team the wealth of information needed to validate the efficacy of campaigns and fine-tune messaging to their desired audiences.
Consistency and a fluid customer experience is essential to generating revenue and building a loyal following, but this experience can be hard to create without a bridge between a retailer’s digital and physical presences. A retail digital signage strategy may be the biggest key to connecting the two worlds, bringing more attention to a brand, and offering a truly personalized, omnichannel experience to customers.
Nate Remmes is the VP of Corporate Development at NanoLumens, bringing to life digital dreams through mass customized, scalable and patented curved digital displays created for every size and purpose, both indoor and out.