Many retailers will be using digital screens for the first time this festive season. How can they maximise their impact? Matt Cole, Director of Marketing and Creative at BCS Global gives some tips:
This Christmas, high street retailers need to optimise the potential of every customer who has chosen to visit the high street in person rather than buy online. Piped carols and free mince pies might help create the right ambience, but most businesses are hungry for a far more targeted approach.
The global digital signage market looks set to hit $13.9 billion by the end of year – 5.6% higher than last year with retailers making up around 42% of the market, according to the research and analyst firm IHS. So it’s likely that digital screens will be among the tools being used to increase average spend this Christmas. How can retailers get the best return on their investment and ensure that they make an impact amid the tinsel and seasonal songs?
It comes down to the traditional checklist of why, who, what, where, when and how? Here are a few guiding tips on how to maximise the value of digital screens during this peak time:
1. Why? The ultimate reason to use digital screens is to help increase revenue. However, how do they fit into your overall marketing strategy? Like any marketing programme, a digital signage campaign must be designed to attract attention, keep the viewer engrossed, transfer easy-to-understand knowledge and then convert interest into sales. Don’t lose sight of the big picture.
2. Who? All good retailers will be aware of their target customers. Yet, how well do you really know them and what are their main concerns at this time of year? If your customers are always pressed for time then they won’t be receptive to anything other than valuable information and guidance. On the other hand, if they regard shopping as a leisure activity they may want to be entertained by content which adds to their total experience. You need to know your customer like your best friend in order to create content that they will find relevant and compelling.
3. When? Does your customer profile change according to the time of day or day of the week? For example, perhaps at the weekend your store is full of young professionals who are working elsewhere during the week? Having accurate customer data of this kind will help significantly in timing your content.This is where digital signage wins every time over static displays and posters because it can be changed according to its audience at any given time.
4. What? Now you have a good idea of who your customers are and when they shop, you can design your digital signage campaign around this information. Multi-location stores can localise content while maintaining centralised messages and content can also change according to topical events – such as a sudden snowfall.The latest camera technology can now even monitor who is looking at the screen and trigger different content according to the age of gender of the viewing customer.
The main focus should always be on the customer, using the screens to communicate hints and advice; recipes in a food or kitchen shop, for example; or technical tips in a computer store. Think about using social media too; for example, digital signage could encourage customers to tweet a message to access certain deals.
5. Where? As with the positioning of traditional static displays, the placement of digital signage depends on how customers move through the stores and the progress of the buying process. For example, one of the best places to have a screen could be where customers are coming into a shop or when they are in a queue. It all depends on the retailer and the goals of the campaign. Check the basics too – are the screens at eye level and without reflection? Is the colour correct and clear?
6. How? Look at affordable ways to get the benefits of digital signage without the challenges involved. Today digital signage can be offered as a managed service from the cloud, combining the on-going support of hardware and software with the creation, management and measurement of content, working with a retailer’s marketing team where appropriate. This means upfront costs are significantly reduced and also the solution is high scalable. It also gives access to digital signage professionals who have knowledge of all the latest ideas and developments and can help monitor and measure the success of campaigns.