Trends in Shopping: An AV Installers Guide to Digital Signage Innovation

It used to be the shopping and buying were co-located. That is no longer the case. You shop online for the features, reviews, best price then buy in a store. Or shop in a store, for fit or function and then purchase online. Retailers have bemoaned Amazon’s Price Check app that allows mobile phone users to scan barcodes right in the store and browse for a better price. This sophisticated, connected shopper is turning retail on its ear - and creating new opportunities for innovative product merchandising.

DDi recently published their “State of the Design Industry 2012” report which relayed trends from retailers as they innovate and engage with customers. The industry is rapidly adopting new digital technologies, reacting to consumer trends. Yet one survey respondent commented “It’s still about product presentation, whether it’s on the web or on the corner.” So, whether it’s a mobile app, e-commerce online store or a showroom on a busy high street, the shopping experience should create brand loyalty, be informative and engaging. The goal is to turn shoppers into buyers, no matter where they choose to transact.

So, how can AV installers help their retail clients keep pace?

1) Help them leverage their content and build their brand

Retailers have access to great digital content, by and large. Either they are a multi-brand “department” store with access to branded content from their suppliers or they are a brand unto themselves. Content created for the web or for traditional broadcast or print advertising is a goldmine for digital signage implementations in their stores. Bring that brand experience to the shopping or buying locations by utilizing the same graphics and video in other aspects of their integrated marketing.

2) Help them find new ways to fund digital signage deployments

A lot of retailers have contracts with the brands they represent that enables them market development funds, co-op dollars or other incentives that they can deploy to grow their business. For instance, Coca-Cola provides its retailers funds, based on annual sales and other metrics, that can be deployed in local advertising or in-store displays. If retailers are not fully taking advantage of these programs or negotiating programs with vendors that might not have offered them in the past, they are missing out on an opportunity to subsidize digital signage and merchandising technologies.

3) Help them think outside the box... or the store

Paco Underhill, a leading consultant to retailers and noted author, has speculated that in the future you would go into a retail store, scan a bar code and see the item (a garment at a women’s clothing store, let’s say) as it appeared in a commercial, on the red carpet on a famous celebrity or on your friend connected through a social network. These connections of content within and outside the store can help speed up the sales process and provide further engagement to the customer. Your partnership with their ad agency, the mobile development studio and their merchandising groups can help you, as their preferred AV provider, provide consultative, game-changing advice that helps them differentiate their business.

digital signage , retail , digital advertising , retail advertising , showroom