What are the Benefits of Digital Signage for Retail Stores?

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The world of static content is quickly being replaced by engaging dynamic ads that adapt to customer behavior and preferences. Businesses that don’t adapt will have a hard time keeping up with the competition.

Strong visuals can affect purchasing decisions, boosting sales, increasing customer engagement, and enhancing a company’s digital presence. Plus despite the fast-paced nature of digital media and technology, it doesn’t take a long time to make a powerful impression on a user:

According to research by MIT neuroscientists, the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds. 

As predicted, digital content has now become a primary trusted source in consumer purchasing decisions. No longer satisfied with one-dimensional retail shopping, users often consult their smartphones before making purchases to research product reviews, company info, and often social media content. 

As such, digital signs provide a perfect opportunity for brands to occupy an untapped space, uniting their in-store and online images into one powerful omnichannel tool. And this trend is only going to continue to see growth.

“The global digital signage market size was estimated at USD 18.55 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to reach USD 31.71 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 8.0% from 2019 to 2025. This growth is accredited to the increasing demand for digitized promotion of products and services to attract the target audience in an effective manner. In terms of shipments, the market was estimated at 3,500 thousand units in 2018 and is expected to reach 6,451 thousand units by 2025.” – Grand View Research

Let’s be honest: it’s not easy to pique the interest of customers walking by your store, eyes glued to their smartphones. But the dynamic elements and eye-catching displays on a storefront digital sign stop shoppers in their tracks. 

Statistics show that 8/10 customers have entered a store because of a digital sign catching their interest. – Screen Cloud

Now, imagine if the content displayed for onlookers could adapt depending on their demographics. Imagine no more: this is the new reality of Alfi. 

With the death of the cookie and ad tech companies scrambling to fill the void and collect better data, Alfi stands apart, prepared to help brands excel during this transition. Where Alfi even takes it a step further than the competition is in its ability to provide customized content with AI and smart technology allowing it to detect user demographics and provide relevant, targeted ads based tailored to individual users. More on that a little later.

In this post, we will cover:

  • What is digital signage?
  • What are the benefits of digital signage for retail stores?
    • How digital signage can drive traffic, increase purchasing decisions, improve your digital presence, entertain customers, improve internal communications, and ultimately boost sales with a cost-effective, scalable solution. 
  • What are some effective ways to monetize your digital signage?

What is digital signage?

At its core, digital signage – or signs that display content in a digital way that can be updated in real time – can catch consumers’ attention and deliver messages that will improve the overall experience and interaction with a specific brand. Learn more about how digital signage works here.

This cutting-edge technology is changing the way products and services are being sold. While it might be tough to compete in a rapidly changing industry, this is actually great news, because it provides brands with cost-effective, scalable solutions that yield more accurate data, more personalized content, and faster updates and results. 

What are the benefits of digital signage for retail stores?

There are more than a few benefits to displaying digital signage in your retail store, but let’s break down the seven basics. 

digital signage for retail

1. Get customer traffic into your store and increase dwell time. 

Getting customers inside your store might be a bigger challenge than ever, but it’s not impossible. A great way to drive store traffic is by programming your signs with fun, engaging content that gets the attention of passersby. 

Plus, according to ScreenCloud, millennials are more likely to visit brick-and-mortar stores than their baby boomer predecessors. So, there is an ideal opportunity for increasing in-store growth. There are so many ways to freshen up your content and get noticed. Create playlists of your hottest content, share product videos, and even connect to live social media feeds. 

Not only do these capture the interest of those outside your store, but they also make shoppers inside your retail location linger there longer. Want to keep things fresh? Mix and match videos and media content to keep visitors entertained. 

With the evolution of ad tech and the fall of the cookie, Alfi has been able to take digital signage one step further with advanced AI and smart technology. The platform detects and targets audiences in real time based on their behavior and physical demographics, giving brands the ability to better target and curate content for the right audience. 

How do you know you’re hitting the right audience? Impressions on DOOH units can be confirmed as viewed when the system detects audience behavior. Brands can now not only be sure of how effective their Out-of-Home ad is at getting attention, but also collect valuable audience data to get true insight on who is paying attention, allowing them to adapt the ads dynamically with additional data and better targeting to the digital signage world. 

And when the right content is targeted to the right consumer, that’s where the magic happens. You’ve piqued their interest and they’ve entered your store. Now what?

2. Enhance and increase purchasing decisions by providing context. 

The benefits of digital signage don’t stop at getting traffic in the front door. Displaying targeted content facilitates and expedites customer journeys in a number of ways, because your content, products, and branding can literally be in many places at the same time, especially when the customer is most likely to be receptive to advertising. 

Sure, walking past an attractive tank top might get a consumer’s attention. But chances are, they might be distracted and walk away without making the sale. That is where the digital sign comes in. Imagine a social media reel showcasing the trending tank top on a popular influencer. The conversions increase with the context.

Digital signage can add a more realistic look and feel to a product, highlighting its special features, angles, or design via video or image. 

Get customers’ attention and reinforce the decisions they were already in the process of considering. Eye-popping visuals really can make a difference and make your products stand out in today’s visual world of social media.

With Alfi’s smart technology, the screens do the work for you. Detecting a user’s demographics, Alfi will then provide content targeted based on that user’s behavior and demographics. 

Not only does this make it easy to collect valuable data, but this also allows you to configure your content to include fun, entertaining playlists of product videos, best-selling items, and social media that makes store visitors feel like they are a part of your brand. 

3. Reuse your social media content in innovative ways while increasing your digital presence.  

When it comes to building a retail presence for your company, it’s important to create omnichannel consistency, especially for younger shoppers who spend a great deal of time online.

The goal is to get all of your marketing channels to work together to seamlessly provide a consistent user experience. What does this mean? A consumer should be able to experience the same feel when they visit your website as they do in your retail stores (and any other e-commerce channels or streams). 

How do you do this? Integrating your social media content into your brick-and-mortar locations.

This is also an effective way of making your content work smarter and not harder. If your social media platforms already have good, user-generated content and engagement, bringing that connection into your physical stores will enhance the entire process. 

Engaging, real-time content makes the shopping experience that much more fun for customers. Consider adding elements like social media walls, which could feature live Tweets, a gallery of your brand’s latest posts, a social dashboard, or even results filtered with campaign hashtags. Posting influencer videos with popular new items or trending products could be incredibly effective with the right audience.

Digital signage helps your branding without having to create brand new content. It gives younger generations a more connected shopping relationship between digital and in-store branding. Plus, you’re not spending money generating new material; you’re just reusing old content in new locations. A win-win for any brand. 

The added bonus to this is that it keeps your content relevant and gives you the ability to update your campaigns instantly; it’s important to be able to swap out your messaging as quickly as trends change. This is retail, after all. 

4. Entertain and inform your customers.

While the obvious goal of digital signage is improving sales, the indirect way of achieving that is by entertaining your customers and providing them with information relevant to their shopping experience.

Information empowers shoppers, making them more likely to complete the sale. This could include adding content to digital signage that explains vital product info, cataloged inventory, whether the product is in stock, best-selling items, etc. 

An Accenture study found that 92% of shoppers surveyed said real-time product availability would influence where they shop. Digital screens are a great way to catalog items and respond to peaks and troughs of specific products. – Screen Cloud

For example, a buyer considering a purchase would be more likely to do so after seeing an Instagram story with a customer wearing the item in question. Or reading that the product is organic or has been manufactured using only ethical practices. In today’s society, buyers are informed decision-makers and brands need to take this into consideration in their marketing. 

In addition to providing entertainment, this type of tech can also inform and educate customers. For instance, this provides an easy way for employers to share health and safety information – like any COVID-19 precautions – and direct customers to areas of interest like restrooms or sanitizing areas. 

Want more customized content playlists? With Alfi’s advanced AI, businesses can easily set up automatic programming that changes along with weather, demand, trends, and even stock. For example, a restaurant might set an automatic happy hour sign to display during certain peak hours.   

Beyond entertaining and educating customers, digital signs extend branding throughout the store and company. It also affords businesses the opportunity to test new content, create interactive, real-time hashtag campaigns, launch new products, and even create personalized welcome messages for loyal customers. 

5. Boost your sales.

The primary benefit of digital signs is in the role they play in boosting overall sales. In contributing to purchasing decisions, increasing dwell time in the store, entertaining customers, and providing more context for products and services, digital signs indirectly boost sales. But they also do so in more direct ways. 

Placing signs strategically throughout the store can be incredibly advantageous to your bottom line. 

Over 40% of shoppers say that digital displays can change what they buy because relevant information is served close to the point of purchase. – ScreenCloud

Digital signs at the point of purchase can lead to huge upsells, reminding visitors of popular products and promotions. They are a profitable way to increase the visibility of key products in specific target areas throughout the store, promoting your best sellers and time-sensitive offers that increase urgency and can be updated instantly across multiple store locations. 

Plus, personalizing content generates more profit. Advertising platforms like Alfi can alternate ads depending on the person who is looking at the screen. For DOOH, that’s unheard of. Alfi can be installed on any device that has an internet connection and a camera, serving personalized content, along with ads, to any person looking at the screen.

Plus, with more and more DOOH campaigns including some type of digital footprint to follow the customer from point of exposure to point of conversion, it’s never been easier to show and prove concrete ROI results with Alfi’s valuable data analytics. Adapt your campaign to your audience, add content, and you’re ready to go.

6. Improve your company’s customer service and internal communications.

Every inch of real estate in retail is valuable and as such, important and high ticket items can get lost in the fray. Digital signs can help guide customers towards customer service, specific departments, featured daily promotions, and products. Make life easier for your guests by giving them fewer decisions. The easier it is for customers to find what they’re looking for, the more likely they are to make the sale. 

In addition to customer-facing tech, many employers use devices to help streamline business operations. A digital sign is the perfect place to broadcast or disseminate pertinent information to staff like health and safety manuals. Plus, adding a few more screens allows you to repeat that same information in key areas like break rooms, staff areas, and storerooms. 

Gone are the days of yellowing, dated memos lost on the back wall somewhere. Flash important info that stays current, displaying messages in repeated areas for added reinforcement. 

With Alfi’s platform, there is no wait. It’s easy to instantly update the info you’re sharing, sending the most current content across all devices in mere moments, even across multiple retail locations. No need to physically tear down those out-of-date memos, wasting printing costs on toner, paper, and other overhead. Your message is already being broadcast as we speak. New sale every hour? Preprogram it into the platform and get back to focusing on more important things.

7. Save money, set digital signage up easily, and scale as needed.

Digital signs are incredibly cost-effective. While the tech itself may be cutting edge, the setup is simple. Pair any modern display with the Alfi platform, set up the features that you need, scale to fit your business model, and reduce your overhead. 

The ability to update digital content in real time means you can save money on printing new content, distribution, and any other costs associated with traditional marketing. Plus, it offers a more eco-friendly, less expensive solution.  

Store owners can save on overheads by shifting the brunt of the work to the digital signs and not the people. Create the content, pull existing content by reusing your social media posts, set it up, sit back, and relax

Let the products – and your content – make the money. 

What are some other effective ways to monetize your Digital Signage?

Digital signage allows for so much versatility in your advertising and techniques. Reuse your content in new, fun ways and find additional opportunities to make a profit. 

Set up and maintain beneficial brand collaborations. 

One way to use your retail space to your advantage is by forming and maintaining partnerships with other brands and companies that will bring in extra profit during downtime. This could include advertising local events, businesses, and services in between your content.

If you are selective in your partnerships, these collaborations can also do the double job of connecting customers with content that is relevant to them, making them more likely to dwell longer in your store and associate your store with an entertaining, positive experience. 

Improve store efficiency and generate extra profit with interactive selling boards.

As we mentioned earlier, digital signs add the convenience of monitoring data and adjusting campaigns midway if successful or unsuccessful with the click of a button. 

And, cloud-based digital signage allows you to change one or many in multiple locations if necessary at the same time.

Beyond that, many retail stores have opted to provide their customers with interactive selling boards and digital technology that allow for a more streamlined user experience. Giving buyers the opportunity to make more decisions in the process is empowering and will ultimately drive more sales. 

Even a small touch screen can improve a customer’s experience and help them move further in the sales funnel without human interaction. Often, where a human error might dissuade guests from converting, give them the ability to complete the purchase themselves and they are more likely to do so. 

Ultimately, digital signage offers tremendous benefits for retail stores. In addition to attracting store traffic, increasing purchase decisions, and entertaining customers, these strategically placed signs boost sales, provide context for customers, and extend omnichannel branding. Plus, combined with Alfi’s powerful AI capabilities, you can generate valuable data analytics, establish a strong digital presence throughout the store, and achieve enhanced targeting advertising. 

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