For most retailers the idea of digital signage leads to two things:
1) Lots of interest because consumers expect technology as part of their shopping experience.
2) Discomfort due to the struggle to measure the return on investment.
For companies selling digital signage, it is about moving a product and service to help our clients meet a need, however with so much growth in marketing channels due to the rapid proliferation of internet and social media, marketers are more challenged than ever before to define the return on their marketing efforts.
This is because digital signage is just another piece of the pie for retail marketers. Much like print advertising, interactive marketing and other forms of media there is a certain pressure on them to quantify their spend on this type of marketing which can be expensive and infrastructure intensive.
The good news is the numbers are in and when it comes to retail, there is a really strong case for digital signage.
The first reason that digital signage makes so much sense for retailers is the alignment it has with marketing goals for brands. In a recent survey of digital marketed conducted by ExactTarget (and covered by Global Banking & Finance Review) it was found that marketers have two overarching goals with their digital efforts:
- Driving Revenue: 46 percent
- Brand Awareness: 44 percent
The second reason that digital signage makes so much sense is because despite the fact that there are more and more online services available, people still want to do retail activities live (face-to-face).
Retail and Banking Serves as Examples
In the same study, the retail banking industry was explored.
While the growth of internet banking services has shot up over the past several years, it turns out that consumers actually intend on making equal or more visits to their bank branches than in the past years.
Furthermore, digital signage in the bank branches drove both increased revenue for banks and greater awareness of products, meeting both of the digital marketing teams strategic goals outlined above.
Here is a breakdown of some of the highlights:
- Perceived wait time was 10.8 percent less with digital merchandising
- Product awareness increased from 22 percent to 45 percent with digital signage
- 63 percent recall/customer awareness if there is digital signage in branch
- 40 percent conversions rate of traffic to viewers with digital displays versus static signage at 4 percent
From Banks to Retail as a Whole
So what about other retail experiences? Shoe shopping, gadget shopping, car buying, where else can digital signage make the same impact?
While the study may refer to banks, if you read between the lines what it is saying is that signage in retail applications help sell and drive awareness to brands.
Do you really think the average consumer would act differently with digital signage while waiting in line at The Gap than they would at their local Bank of America? My spider senses say no, that for the most part while they wait they will watch. Heck, I think gas stations were one of the first to figure this out with their captive content at the pump.
Digital signage has a strong business case as it brings both new revenue and brand awareness to retail. As integrators the question is how are you positioning digital signage? Are you telling the business story or are you still selling cool gadgets and technology?
For the marketer it is all about the business of technology and as an integrator it is a wonderful story to tell.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.
This post was originally featured on Commercial Integrator and can be found here.
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