- What is digital signage and what do you need to implement it successfully, ensuring the maximisation of your ROI.
- How to outline a digital signage strategy for your points of sale and avoid switched off screens, additional workloads for your store staff or a bad investment.
Digital signage is a content, technology and integration at the point of sale system that allows us to interact with consumers. This definition includes the three elements we must take into account for our investment to be effective and have a positive return.
As we mentioned in our article on the evolution of visual communication towards digital signage, the following key aspects must be taken into account in the projects consisting in the integration of visual communication strategies at the point of sale:
- The ultimate goal is to build a relationship with customers, not to create confusion due to excessive promotion or information.
- The displays we install in our stores will only attract consumers if they positively add to their experience at the point of sale.
- You do not modernize your point of sale just by placing LCD or LED displays. Without a professional strategy behind that defines goals in terms of business and customer experience, the ROI of our digital signage will only be signage.
What do you need to implement digital signage in your points of sale?
Digital signage is one of the most consolidated aspects of digital transformation in retail. Integrating digital signage in your points of sale requires:
1. Strategy and content
- Understanding how to merge in-store customer experience with your business goals.
- Drawing’ the traffic map for the sales area, the hot spots, the spaces where customers stay longest, where will a display add value and how can this be used in the general strategy of your business
- Having the capacity to enter valuable content into our system.
Obviously, placing a display on the shop window helps to attract customers inside, but what about once they get inside the store? As we said, ‘making it look more modern’ is OK, but this is something basic, especially when digital signage could not only ‘modernise’ our environment, but also become a means of communication with direct and remote control.
2. Content management platform
A display with a USB input cannot be considered as digital signage. In most cases where the retailer believes that a USB with 2 or 3 videos is ‘enough’, these displays end up switched off, becoming black boxes in the middle of the store, thus not getting value from the money invested.
Priority should be given to providing the system with ‘autonomy’. This means integrating a content management platform that allows uploading and programming videos, images or dynamic promotions remotely and in just a few clicks, avoiding dependence on store staff, whose main duties are not to remember to ‘turn on and connect USBs’.
If you have more than one point of sale or multiple displays, you will need to have centralised control over the same online platform, to manage offers and messages based on sections and centres.
3. Let’s talk about displays
Displays purchased from a consumer electronics store for private use are unlikely to be switched on all day without suffering a breakdown after a few months, mainly because not all displays are ready for this type of use.
In a professional digital signage environment, we find a range of displays and technologies that involve a higher initial cost, but offer a higher return over time, since they do not breakdown as a result of their daily use.
How to choose a digital poster, digital technology and digital signage
The most common variables we must consider are:
- LED or LCD
The two most established technologies. LED is the most common option if more brightness or large format signage is required.
LCD allows for greater definition and realism at a lower cost and distance.
- Brightness and glare
Regardless of whether you use LED or LCD displays, the second aspect thanks to which professional displays stand out, besides the technology of the panel itself, is that they offer MUCH more brightness than private displays. This aspect should be taken into account, not only when thinking about their use outdoors but because the higher the brightness and the better the response to glare (from interior lighting, for instance), the easier it will be to see the content.
- Touch screens?
This decision will obviously depend on the content available, but if we want users to interact with the point of sale, touch screens will be the best option. We will need guaranteed lifespans and facilitated integrations.
- Time of continuous use
‘Commercial’ or professional displays must guarantee a minimum of 12 hours of continuous use with no risk of breakdown. 24 hours of continuous use is also a standard.
- Low power consumption
With sustainability at the point of sale and retail and energy efficiency as a hallmark, there are more and more options for commercial displays that consume less energy than those for private use.
One of the best digital signage integration success stories we have developed at HMY is that of Clapés. Check this link to find out more about it.
Can digital signage be an option to increase revenue at your points of sale?
We are sure we can help you! Contact link.
- How we should understand signage and how printing, backlighting and digital signage are related to each other.
- When should we choose one format over another, and what we can achieve with each one.
In the beginning, there was a sign…
This is not the beginning of a drawn-out story. Rather, we want to focus on the most important thing about this article: the purpose of audiovisual communication.
The answer is that visual communication is what guides customers through a space such as a store. And unlike what multiple examples might lead us to believe, it is not just about advertising promotions and discounts. Visual communication is an important part of the relationship with customers in retail.
The need to establish relationships with customers in-store has guided the evolution of visual communication both in terms of materials and platforms. This has led us to the digital signage and commercial LED screens that we can see at sales points but, do “old” formats have a place in modern retail or do they need to be updated?
The iconographic sign
The relationship between businesses and customers did not start with text signs. Literacy was not the norm in the early days of commerce. So, how would a smithy advertise their presence, for example? By hanging a horseshoe at the entrance to the business, and a big one if possible so that it could be seen from afar.
This explains the evolution of visual communication and the path that it has followed ever since: creating images that will catch the eye of customers.
From materials to the use of illuminated signs
Intending to increase the level of spectacle, visual communication became more and more elaborate. The higher the quality of materials and technique (ornamentation, engraving, wood, metal, mechanical constructions, etc.), the greater the prestige of the business. Its purpose? To attract customers with the promise of novelty and quality.
These decisions have shaped the design of visual communication today. There are great specialists and entire departments dedicated to merchandising for retail, the different formats that are used to catch the attention of consumers, selecting materials according to the message that people want to communicate, etc.
“At HMY, the Consultancy and Design department works on these variables, in collaboration with Estudios Durero, helping and guiding clients design visual communication, select materials, and produce and install them”.
Ángel Manrique, Visual Communication Manager at HMY.
The limits of how spectacular a sign, advertisement, or image can be are limited by whether it is intended to be static, and how dependent it is on external light.
LED signage and lightboxes
Attempts to push the envelope started with adding light. This led to the birth of signs with LED lights or neon lights to increase visibility, as well as the widely known lightboxes.
These formats make images or signs more eye-catching, emitting more light to draw customer’s attention regardless of ambient light.
Two basic concepts which are important to know to understand how and when to use these formats:
- In shop windows, to balance the daylight or in cities where legislation limits the installation of street-facing screens.
- In interiors to indicate different sections (guiding consumers) and delimit specific areas or points.
Digital signage, why, when, and how?
Digital signage was born of the need for a level of spectacle that visual communication (lightboxes included) could not meet: moving images, changing environments, action.
But does dynamism mean it is always “better”?
Even though this article explains the key points for correct digital signage in retail strategy, it is important to understand when and how to integrate digital signage at sales points to make it a profitable investment.
This objective can be used to create a checklist:
- How often will the content change? Creating audiovisual content is more expensive than still images (even though there are ways to make it cheaper).
- Is VIDEO content updated regularly enough so that it is not out of date?
- Is there a content management system for commercial screens, or can it be updated with a USB storage device managed by employees?
- Where do we want to install it? Will it detract from other sections or products in its surrounding or would it go unnoticed because there are too many other competing visual elements nearby?
- And most important of all: what value does it add for the consumer? Because as we already explained, digital signage at the sales point is not about constant bombardment of offers, but about establishing a relationship with the consumer.
Are you working on the digitalisation of your sales spaces? We can help you! Contact link
- All Retail digitisation strategies commit at least one or two sins. We present the 7 deadly sins that can condemn an omnichannel project.
- Download our guide and learn, not only the sins, but also the 10 commandments of a successful digitisation strategy.
Omnichannel and the digital transformation have been the subject of debate in retail for years.
After the first stage of development and technical tests, retail is now in a second stage, in which the digitisation of stores is a lever to achieve business objectives, beyond surprising the customer with audio-visual content.
What has it taken to get here?
Basically 2 factors:
- An evident technical improvement.
Polishing the developments and finding, or building, standards that allow sufficient scalability so that the costs are viable, and we can talk about ROI of technology at the point of sale.
2. Assimilation capacity and understanding of the potential business.
Brands and retailers understanding the possibilities of technology and, suppliers, understanding the retail sector. Moreover, together organising a digitisation strategy for their points of sale–which we give you the answers for in this article.
Having laid the foundation for your own digital transformation, this article and our downloadable guide present the 7 sins and 10 key commandments for successful point-of-sale transformation:
1st SIN: not measuring the ROI of technology due to laziness
2nd SIN: focusing on quantity instead of quality due to gluttony
3rd SIN: having multiple suppliers due to lust
4th SIN: making consumers angry with frustrating implementations
5th SIN: doing what the competition does out of jealousy
6th SIN: being too proud to collaborate
7th SIN: being too proud and thinking ‘I don’t need that’
Common mistakes? It may be, but just as not all business decisions are made based on ‘the rule book’, it is not uncommon to find that aspects left to chance or undefined at the start of a retail digitisation project result in discontinued technologies that are not profitable.
One of the obvious consequences of digitisation is that fewer brands and retailers commit these sins every day. Which is why it was necessary to internalise the 10 commandments that should serve as a guide:
1: Thou shall put the consumer first when making decisions.
2: Thou shall not take the word omnichannel in vain.
3: Thou shall honour integration.
4: Thou shall honour data.
5: Thou shall not kill the project before it has begun.
6: Thou shall not use impure technologies. Always bet on quality.
7: Thou shall not steal ideas. You shall be original.
8: Thou shall not create false expectations for the consumer.
9: Thou shall not allow bad quality content.
10: Thou shall not covet easy developments over necessary ones.
If you would like to know more about the sins and commandments of omnichannel in retail, download the Guide Keys to Omnichannel in Retail: 7 Sins and 10 Commandments, which explains what you have just read in more detail.