The last couple of years kicked off two complementary trends for the retail industry. First, forced to stay indoors during Covid-19 induced lockdowns, customers learned to explore and shop everything on their phones, PCs, and tablets. At the same time, they craved to go out to their favorite markets, touch and feel everything they wished to buy, and interact with the store staff. Fast forward to the present, as the restrictions on the physical movement of people due to the pandemic recede, most customers are comfortable with both physical and digital shopping.
Given the context, marketers had the opportunity to experiment and innovate to bring digital shopping experiences closer to the real world. Now they have a slightly different challenge, i.e., to revive the in-store experiences and make every customer visit memorable. Thus, having an in-store digital strategy is essential for retailers. Here’s how creative digital signages become critical to customers’ in-store experiences:-
Personalized Purchases: In some metropolitan cities, consumers have already started to experience the joy of customizing their burger meal or pizza at their favorite food chain, while seeing it on a digital screen. These use cases can be extrapolated to several other industries. Think about customizing your mountain bike for an upcoming expedition or your running shoe for your lifegoal marathon, or your drawing room furniture before it becomes part of your dream home. All of this can be done at the store, while shopping. In absence of guiding visuals, these are very difficult tasks for customers. Retailers can provide smart digital signage which helps customers explore various options to complement their products and build a personalized shopping cart. There are many other use cases such as enabling customers to go through their shopping history to repeat an order, digital sampling before purchase, and so on at the store. This will not just help a customer in hassle-free purchase but creates memories about these shopping trips that they are excited to share with their friends and colleagues.
It Takes More Than a Features Booklet: Static booklets that provide product descriptions, features, and user manuals are very informative but barely read and rarely understood. Digital savvy customers are accustomed to visual storytelling. This evolved customer taste is an opportunity for retailers to deploy ‘lift to learn’ digital signages of varying sizes. Such a solution enables a smart digital screen to show product details through short videos, animations, and graphics, every time a customer picks up the product. Apart from serving the customer with the most relevant information, the solution can also help the store management learn more about customer preferences and current needs through data collected from the system and provide more meaningful advertising, offers, and in-store experience.
The Confluence of Online and Offline Experiences: Given the customer comfort with both, offline and online shopping, digital signage is an effective way to bring both worlds together for customers. For example, retailers can use in-store digital displays to show brand ads, jingles, and promotional campaigns that customers may be consuming in the online world. This recall brings coherence to the brand story and brings customers closer to their favorite retail store. After all, the ability to leave a lasting impression on customers is invaluable.
While the above list merely touches the tip of the iceberg, there are infinite opportunities for retailers to creatively leverage digital signage to create ‘wow moments’ for current and potential consumers. The good time to take the first step is TODAY.