Retail signage

Retail digital signage gets customer centric

Retail digital signage has long been a mainstay of malls and big box retail stores. Now, it’s making sales and improving customer experiences.

Digital signage was originally the adaptation of TV technologies for commercial use, and no industry jumped on its use faster than retail. You can even go way back to 1929, when Neon Signs were first implemented, or to the use of VHS and TV’s in 80’s fashion houses. Electronic, visual selling tools have always been a bedrock of retail.

Digital signage came of age with the ability to implement digital media players (computers) that could run and control content to flat screens. Content management systems gave retailers the ability to tune messages according to their sales strategy and the particular needs of their customers in any given season or holiday.

For the past 20 years, digital signage and more recently, interactive kiosks have provided more and more information to customers in retail outlets. What many retailers have discovered though is that the noise – visual of course – doesn’t always increase sales or customer engagement. Many stores that implemented complex digital signage systems have actually reduced their reliance on screens to communicate their brand and products, simply because customers find them unhelpful and detracting from the in-store experience.

Thankfully, retail continues to experiment and find new ways to employ retail digital signage technologies. Every mall or large retail store has some form of digital directory for their customers. These help shoppers find the store they’re looking for – sometimes. It is common though for interactive store directories to sit stagnant, because they don’t catch the eye or serve the purpose customers need them to fulfill.

The new generation of retail digital signage is customer-focused. 

Retail outlets are fighting to attract a new generation of shoppers. A generation that is quite comfortable shopping online. It’s a challenging proposition, and retailers are fighting back. People expect an experience when they go somewhere, and retailers have responded by making malls and districts more welcoming, more diverse and much more entertaining. Now, retail signage is building upon those experiences, or more accurately, connecting a number of the individual experiences offered by each store into one connected experience, which turns a trip to a retail district into an event people look forward to.

Personalization and curation

A generic retail kiosk might tell you where a particular store is (level 3), but beyond that, you’re on your own. What customers really want when they arrive at a shopping center is a guide. Customers want a way to find the stores that work for them, what they sell, what’s happening at those stores and promotions they can take advantage of. From there, having a way of keeping all that information with them means they don’t need to remember everything. The ability to use their phone as a quick, effective personalized information kiosk makes things simple and fun.

PAM has developed an ecosystem of retail digital signage information, with interactive kiosks at its core. Shoppers can find any kind of retailer or product using simple searches – anything from ‘men’s fashion’ or ‘fast food’ to more abstract searches like ‘pizza’ or even brand specific searches ‘Nike’. Shoppers can even search for specific needs –  ‘party clothes’ or ‘wedding gifts’. They then receive information they’ll use to guide them through a successful, efficient and engaging experience. The locations of each store is shown in a visually accurate 3D map (more like a game than a white PDF) plus the kinds of information that makes the day work – special offers, promotions, brand activations, in-person appearances and in-store entertainment.

Connected retail experiences

Getting this helpful information is one thing, but using it is quite another. PAM provides shoppers with a dynamically generated QR Code, right there on the kiosk, so they can take everything on offer in the retail district with them. By using a QR code, shoppers aren’t immediately forced to download an app (which can be perceived as a big commitment) but instead instantly get what they need and get to it. PAM makes App uptake stronger though, by guiding shoppers to the App as they get more absorbed in the experience. This layered engagement approach builds trust and enables shoppers, rather than immediately presenting a barrier.

With all the information in hand, PAM provides shoppers with information as they go. They’re able to see what’s happening now – offers today, happy hour deals, sales and promotions. Using PAM’s eXplorer, they’re able to continue their journey, search other opportunities and do everything they could do at the kiosk, but in their own time, on a device they’re comfortable with.

The outcomes are clear. Shoppers most importantly have a premium experience. Their time is valued, their hunt for deals is fruitful, and they’re in total control. It’s an enjoyable, connected experience. It’s simply a level above home shopping. 

Of course this returns in kind to the stores. Pre-qualifed customers who know what each store is offering. More customers. More revenue. PAM serves every kind of environment, from local malls to large city districts. We’re working with some of the highest profile retailers in the country and would love to talk to you about how we’ll make your place a better experience for all your stakeholders.

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