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Look here, buy now

01 Mar 2010

Digital signage might not be in every store around the country, but it’s certainly making a good effort to be! Look around your local hotels, banks, service stations, cafés, retail outlets and shopping malls, and you’ll invariably see some form of digital signage. General industry consensus is that digital signage is here and ready to take off – in a big way. While not exhaustive (by any means) or industry-specific, here are three reasons why more and more organisations are beginning to look at digital signage.

Show me the money!

Ringing cash registers are the most obvious substantiation of a network and perhaps one of the most talked about (and hotly debated) reasons for installing digital signage.

Although the size of this effect (anywhere between 10-300% depending on who you ask) and the explanations for why it happens are contentious, a number of studies have shown that items promoted on in-store networks achieve higher sales over and above the same items in stores that don’t have an in-store network (whether on promotion through other means – circulars, signage, etc. – or not).

Please come again

Good experiences linger in our minds for days, weeks, sometimes even months, while bad experiences can linger for a lifetime. When it comes to digital signage, there are three very general ways it can play a positive role in a customer’s in-store experience:

"Where can I find…?": Navigation is usually the first impression a customer gets of a store. Good navigation can make a shopper’s experience positive, reducing time and stress. Digital signage can play a key role in making sure the customer knows exactly where to go and the easiest way to get there.

"Did you know…?"

People love to buy things, but they don’t like being sold to. They want information, but they want to receive it in a way that feels empowering to them. Digital signage is a natural way to deliver product-specific or store information in a manner that people are accustomed to receiving. Tick tock: Fewer things are more frustrating than waiting in line – which is exactly why retailers have long stocked queuing areas with magazines and quick-read books. It’s a simple fact of human nature that unpleasant tasks appear to go by more quickly when we are mentally engaged.

This perceived decrease in the amount of time spent waiting, or ‘wait-warping’, can be exploited with the use of engaging digital signage content. Use a screen, save a tree While a lot has been written about the ‘cool’ factor of retail digital signage, what isn’t so well known is the ‘green’ factor. How can digital signage help you go green? For starters, there is the reduction in use of ink and paper.

With digital retail signage, you print a lot less, saving forests and reducing waste in landfills. Also, studies show that the carbon consumption of a projected display is 7.5% lower than a traditional poster package. What does the future hold for digital signage? I have my thoughts. However, possibly a more important question is, "what impact will digital signage have on your business over the coming years?".