Making digital signage work for the holidays
All retailers know that the holidays are both rewarding and challenging. They can make a lot of extra sales, but they also have to compete with online retailers such as Amazon. With all this competition, retailers need every advantage they can get. Many retailers are embracing digital signage to not only boost sales, but also improve the overall customer experience.
In order to take full advantage of digital signage during the holidays, retailers need to not get overwhelmed; drive engagement; and inform employees.
Don't get overwhelmed by the holidays
It's important to remember that while the holidays are certainly more fast paced than other times of the year, you can apply the same digital signage strategies you use throughout the year to this season.
"Holiday seasons have the same demands and opportunities that the rest of the year have. No matter the time of year, being able to deliver content that is impactful and meaningful and relevant is the goal," Rich Ventura, vice president of strategy, NEC Display Solutions, said in an email.
Vegas EXP, a small Las Vegas retailer owned by M&K Enterprises, for example, already laid out content strategies to provide information to customers and drive social media engagement, which it used on Black Friday.
Jennifer R. Turner, president and CEO of M&K Enterprises, said Vegas EXP used its LED displays to "advertise our Black Friday shopping deals and promotions, directing traffic to our social media sites, as well as our ecommerce site for Black Friday and Cyber Monday online specials."
Drive engagement, not just sales
Customers can become easily overwhelmed with a lot of advertisements and will begin to tune them out. Retailers should drive engagement, not just sales.
Ventura points out several ways retailers can use digital signage to engage with customers, such as, "Putting the content in the hands of the consumer via mobile devices and kiosks." Innovative retailers can also make use of augmented reality campaigns, such as the washing machine manufacturer Whirlpool, which made a splash on Halloween with a VR game.
An easy way to drive engagement is to use your digital signage to push customers to your social media accounts. Turner said that after deploying LED displays, the retailer saw, a "large increase in our text-in campaigns and other social media tags that we advertised on our new LED screen."
Dustin Anderson, owner of D1DesignGroup, Anderson Glass Texas and The A.G.Market, said he uses digital signage to link directly to the Instagram feed for Anderson Glass Texas and The A.G. Market to entertain customers in the lobby.
Retailers can also use beacons and RFID tools to help drive content related to a customer's position in the store.
"RFID is a technology that has been around for a long time. By tying into them, retailers can trigger content and engagement between the consumer, the product and the digital signage system. Further tying into inventory levels and being able to target market towards the customer is a game changing opportunity," Ventura said.
It is important to make your engagements meaningful and "serve a purpose beyond just communicating information," according to Ventura.
Get your employees on board
Finally, digital signage is useful not just for customer engagement but also for employees. Retailers can use it to improve communication with employees, drive competition and educate.
"Back office signage systems focusing on corporate communications are an opportunity to boost productivity. In a retail store you can showcase competitiveness, drive education of products and promotions, and deliver content that will drive activities that will increase sales, revenues and employee engagement," Ventura said. "Lastly, solutions when deployed correctly will empower employees to showcase products and offerings to customers and drive a strong overall sales process."
You could use a display in a break room, for example, to keep employees informed of the latest sales so they know how to better upsell to customers. Or you can provide key information on holiday benefits for employees who want to pick up extra work during peak hours.
Using digital signage correctly won't just boost sales, it will also create a better work force.
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