Digital Signage: No more shotgun method

More and more brick-and-mortar retailers are using digital signage systems like screens, interactive kiosk systems or electronic price labels (ESL). But up to now, the content on the displays has mostly used following the shotgun method: Retailers play out identical, static content, such as advertising clips or special offers, throughout their stores. However, it is already possible to generate content dynamically and achieve a significant effect on sales.

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Cross Selling digital Signage Fashion store

The technology to automatically bring customized content to various screens in the store has been available for a long time. With content management and individual  campaign content, individual content can be displayed on every screen in every store, in every department or shelf space.The clever use of digital signage helps to increase sales significantly, for example to promote current bestsellers, items that are frequently bought together or products with high stock level:. IFH Cologne showed in 2018 that the number of purchases in a particular department of a store can actually be increased if digital displays advertise products from that department throughout the store. If these products are displayed at a reduced price, the increase is even greater.

Meaningful content instead of customer annoyance

The challenge for retailers is to put themselves in the customer's perspective and not simply expect that the use of digital signage alone will create added value and boost sales. Former Metro innovation manager Frank Rehme, for example, warns that far too often, the customer is "more bothered than inspired. Wrong content in the wrong context, with the wrong volume, or horrible customer advice, will then lead to abstinence from buying". Digital signage should at least pay into one of the three areas of information, inspiration or experience, Rehme adds.

But how can retailers actually inspire their customers with digital signage and boost product sales? The basis is a holistic, integrated digital signage concept that sees displays and touchpoints not only as playout instruments, but as data sources as well. For example, kiosk terminals can be used to record which product pages are visited  and generate a particularly high level of interaction. The collected POS data thus allow precise insights into customer behaviour and forms the basis for the selection and display of suitable content.

Kisoksterminals Daten Interaktionen für Digital Signage

Use internal and external data for relevant content

In such a digital signage system, suitable content such as service information, customer ratings or advertising messages can be automated and individually displayed on any display - even on electronic price labels. Comprehensive systems also integrate company and product data, use figures from the ERP system, zhe online shop or usage trends of the touchpoints. This way, retailers are able to move away from the scattering losses of the shotgun method and towards a holistic and target-oriented solution. In addition, the integration of external information and influencing factors such as weather data, local characteristics (such as the location of the respective store, local purchasing power, traffic data, etc.) or online trends (e.g. Google Trends, popular hashtags on Twitter, etc.) is also conceivable. The aim here is to increase the relevance of the content by adapting as precisely as possible - and automatically - to the respective location and situation.

Promote sales when the best-before date is approaching

There are numerous possible use cases for such an automated control of messages in digital signage systems. There are also real life examples:

  • Dutch grocer Albert Heijn is experimenting with automatically lowering the price of products as soon as the end of the best-before date approaches. An algorithm developed by Albert Heijn takes various factors into account to calculate the best price, thereby increasing sales and minimising food waste. These factors include location, bonus offers, weather conditions, historical sales performance and inventory. The products are accompanied by electronic price tags with two prices: the regular price and the discount on a specific expiration date. Instead of price adjustments, it would be just as feasible to automatically advertise the items in question.
  • Automatic cross-selling offers based on sales data are particularly feasible in the fashion sector. RFID technology could also be used to measure which items of clothing have already been taken off the hook for fitting, in order to refine the results even further and obtain more precise information on the conversion rate.
  • It would also be possible to connect customer ratings from the internet directly to the shelf, which would be automatically imported from the retailer's rating system. ESLs directly on the product are particularly suitable as target media.
  • Using interaction data, particularly popular items could be automatically highlighted, possibly combined with inventory or POS data (today x items sold in this store, less than x in stock) to create additional incentives to buy.

Comprehensive digital signage solutions from one partner

xplace enables automatic content playout and has developed the biscuit data platform for this purpose. biscuit campaign enables the automated playout of content on basically any display. Based on POS, e-commerce and ERP data AI-controlled suitable messages are selected. These messages are similar to the instruments known from online shops: Shortage ("only x available"), social proof (customer reviews, "popular in/at...") or cross-selling ("customers who bought x also bought y"). By delivering accurate messages at the right time and in the right place, companies can fully exploit the potential of their digital signage infrastructure, interactive kiosk systems and ESLs - and benefit at the POS from the same opportunities that make e-commerce so successful.

Learn more about biscuit campaign

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