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Digital Retail Signage - A Balanced Approach is Best

Aug 8, 2008
Digital retail signage can work for you or against you. It all depends on how you use it. To make the most of your signs, you need to plan carefully, taking into account the needs and expectations of your customers and the many ways you can use your signs to boost sales and traffic.

What Do Your Customers Want From Your Digital Signs?

Today's customers are media-savvy and they expect more than mere advertising on a digital signage network. If your network is weighted heavily towards advertising, your customers will quickly sense it and ignore it.

Customers want information that adds value to their shopping experience. But the information also has to correspond to their expectations and understanding of what your store offers.

Imagine shopping in a high-end retail store and seeing ads for a fast food restaurant. How would you respond to this jarring contrast? Would you feel confusion from the disconnect between luxury goods and greasy burgers? Disappointment, perhaps because you think the retailer is not as prestigious as you originally believed? Uncertainty about the image the retailer is trying to project?

If your digital retail signage shows any lack of understanding of your customer base and its needs, it will not succeed. When you are planning your signs, you must begin by identifying your customer, then design content that will speak directly to that person.

What is the Best Way for You To Use Your Signs?

Retailers typically have one overriding goal for their digital retail signage - increase sales. But to accomplish this goal they need to get beyond the idea of mere product promotion. By its very nature, digital retail signage allows for a much more nuanced approach and, as we said earlier, your customers know it.

A recent guide from Digital Signage Today (DST) focused on digital signage content. The authors suggested that when planning your network, you focus on the customer experience. Ask yourself how your digital retail signage will improve the customer experience and, as a result, increase interest and sales in your store.

As the DST guide makes clear, most digital retail signage needs a two-pronged approach, with marketing on one side and information on the other. A mix of both types will engage your customers and make it clear that the signs offer more than advertising.

What can you include in the marketing side of the mix? Try entertainment stories, news, and so-called lifestyle messaging to enhance the customer experience. When you are marketing to your customers, be creative, subtle, and informative - tell customers how to use a product or how the product will make their life easier. Throw some direct pitches about upcoming sales into the mix as well - customers always appreciate learning how they can save money.

On the information side of the mix, you could incorporate a news feed with weather, headlines and sports scores. If you have a complex store layout, you could use your digital signs to help direct customers to other areas of the store. Information on local community happenings and events are always welcome too.

If you understand who you are talking to, you can create the right balance of relevant information and product promotion in your digital retail signage. People will be engaged, will have a better experience in your stores, and will very likely become regular customers willing to spend more on your products.
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For more information on digital signage contact http://www.ek3.com/digital-merchandising-products/digital-signage.htm
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