There’s a lot of talk in retail right now about how the next big trend will be the blurring of the lines between online and offline channels.
What this means in practice is a lot of excitement around stores ‘going digital’, with a bunch of technology hyped up to transform the in-store experience, bringing it closer to what consumers have come to expect online.
Self-service, frictionless checkout, even futuristic innovations like AV-powered virtual changing rooms and ‘smart’ AI assistants embedded on shelves are all being touted as ways to create a smoother, more personalized, and more autonomous experience.
But we don’t have to wait for tomorrow’s technology to imagine what a digitally transformed in-store experience might look like. Digital signage, for example, has been around for a while now. But used in the right way, it can have a huge impact on the entire look and feel of your store, the way your customers perceive you as a brand, and on how much they enjoy shopping with you.
Here are five great ways to use digital signage to give your customers more of what they want in-store.
Help customers find exactly what they want
User-friendly navigation that helps people move around a site easily and intuitively is one of the first principles of web store design. Of course, it’s no different for a physical store, and retailers invest a lot of time and effort laying out their floor plans to achieve the same ends.
Digital signage takes navigation around a store to the next level. In larger stores especially, wayfinding signage can be much more detailed and dynamic, with rolling menus of directions and even maps pinpointing where different categories and collections are located.
With touchscreen signs, you can even make wayfinding interactive, giving customers the ability to select something they are looking for and get directions from their present location.
Expand your merchandising
One of the big advantages digital stores have over their physical counterparts is that they have no space restrictions with the amount of stock on display and available for immediate purchase.
But with digital signage, you can bring exactly the same concept in store. Regardless of floor space, with screens to supplement the products you can physically fit on your shelves, you can create ‘infinite aisles’ that increase the choice available to your customers.
Make promotions flexible and dynamic
If you asked any retailer what the main purpose of digital signage was, they’d more than likely say to run advertising and marketing campaigns in-store. Digital signage is indeed a great promotional tool, and one of its key strengths is its flexibility.
If you want to market a new line or promote a special offer using conventional signage, you’re usually stuck with having the same messages on display for days if not weeks at a time. It’s just too much work to change things up more regularly.
With digital signage, however, you can change your promotional messages as often as you like, simply by uploading new video or graphics files or typing in new text. Digital signage is perfect for launching flash sales events, or even for programming different promotions to run on different days, to target different demographics of customers who you know are more likely to visit at certain times.
Immerse customers in your brand
It is now well known that video is by far the most successful medium for digital marketing, scoring better than any other content type on everything from lead generation to sales conversions. People love video because it is immediate, it is easy to digest, and it engages them in multiple ways.
Video is ideal for connecting people to your brand through immersive and emotive storytelling, as well as for communicating information in clear, simple ways. With digital signage, you can leverage the proven power of video in your store, using it to wrap the whole customer experience in your brand identity.
Leverage user reviews and social feedback
Finally, a simple but innovative way to use digital signage to close the gap between online and offline experiences is to use them to display user reviews and messages you get on social media. About 9 out of 10 consumers now say they read reviews from other consumers before buying a product online. So, if you have some great reviews to share, why not display them in-store, too? You can also use digital signage to promote your social media channels, encouraging customers to follow you, as well as signing up to any loyalty or subscriber schemes you run. That way, digital signage can also help with building a community around your brand.