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How to maximise usage of your digital signage assets to increase your return on investment

Utilising digital signage networks to manage the flow of customers not only helps to fulfil Covid-19 safety obligations, it also offers many more benefits, both to the shopper and the retailer.

Whether you manage an existing digital signage network or are considering digitising your retail operations, the benefits gleaned from instantly updatable signage cannot be overstated.

Andreas Neumann, Business Development Manager QSR & Retail at Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe, looks at how digital signage is presenting retailers with a compelling solution, offering a vital communications channel, targeted efficiencies, and reduced costs over the long term.

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There’s nothing new in stressing the vital importance of effective communication – it is absolutely fundamental to customer service excellence! Keeping your customers updated with the latest information, promotions and brand story is critical for building and maintaining loyal customer relationships.

As a medium for communication, multi-usage digital signage screens are highly versatile tools to support your communications strategy. Instantly updatable and centrally controlled, digital signage offers a future-proof investment and the potential for profitable returns.

I can make no apology for mention of the current health crisis at this point so let’s just get it out of the way first off. Retail, perhaps more than any other industry, would prefer this subject was not on the agenda, but digital signage has a lot to offer in the battle against the virus.

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Managing the virus into the future will be heavily reliant on people complying with government guidance – hands, face, space.

Different countries have different rules, but the basic premiss is the same and the retailer is obligated to demonstrate their efforts to ensure their customers are compliant.

Communication is absolutely vital here, but where the rules are constantly changing, it can be challenging to keep your safety protocols up to date alongside maintaining your brand personality.

Limiting the number of customers entering stores is one universally encouraged measure in managing the spread of the virus, alongside ensuring a socially distanced queue outside.




Access Control Systems, and so much more

Controlling access into stores and managing footfall in various zones within larger shops to ensure a smooth flow and reducing congestion presents retailers with a challenge. It can be managed by security staff, but this is costly long term and poses additional resourcing issues.

By combining digital signage networks with sensor-based technologies, retailers achieve an effective Access Control Solution which also offers additional, potentially revenue generating benefits.

Located at the store entrance, camera-based solutions count people entering and exiting the premises. The screen displays the number of people for whom there is still space, much like a car parking system, and displays a message to wait when the shop is at maximum capacity.

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There is ample opportunity to display multiple content alongside, including safety instructions but also customisable dynamic advertising and branding messages – the perfect infotainment antidote to reduce perceived waiting times and discourage shoppers from leaving the queue.

Once in store, sensor-based solutions monitor the movement and dwell time of shoppers within defined areas. Signage can redirect shoppers accordingly, encouraging them to visit other sections of the store first, maybe a visit to the coffee shop. Again, advertising and branding opportunities turn these screens into multi-use devices.




Reaping the benefits of digitisation

Beyond the control of customer flow, the data derived from sensor-based signage offers retailers a compelling opportunity to hone marketing campaigns with targeted advertising according to audience demographics.

A clear demonstration of the ROI to be gained from a well-managed digital signage network.

There is light at the end of the tunnel as regards the current health crisis, so whilst compliance with Covid-19 safety measures will remain for the foreseeable future, we can now anticipate life returning to a tantalising normal. At this point, digital signage hardware can be reassigned elsewhere, continuing to provide essential in-store communication and engagement with your customers.

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The benefits of digital communications are not just customer facing.

Digital signage networks extending to staff canteens, employee lounges and training areas, storage and distribution depots and manufacturing facilities ensure your brand identity permeates throughout your total operation to motivate, incentivise, inform and train your entire workforce and supplier teams.

The move to digitisation has long been an important strategy for retailers, now more than ever, an effective online operation is imperative.

The click and collect model has been a life line for many retailers during the current crisis, demonstrating that the key to success lies in the harmonious combination of a compelling brick and mortar presence, complemented by an efficient, fast response ecommerce capability.

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A shift in spending patterns

As people are shifting spending away from holidays abroad, expenditure on household goods, DIY and garden items has fuelled recovery in retail sales.

Consumers who might have seen their spending on coffee and meals reduce, find themselves with the money available to spend elsewhere.

Hardware stores have seen strong sales in their online channels and recorded an increased flow of customers through their stores.

Some shoppers might find themselves in unfamiliar territory as they seek to make improvements to their homes. Targeted advertising, information and DIY top tips displayed via signage screens will offer welcome reassurance.

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Screens located alongside key product lines are highly effective in this scenario, enabling shoppers to access expert advice, via touch or gesture control. Video walls and large format displays provide opportunities to inspire shoppers, stimulating their creativity and directing them to the appropriate tools for the job.




Find your retail signage solution

All these solutions are readily available from Sharp NEC Display Solutions and our partners. We have the combined technology to maximise usage of your digital signage investment, generating sales uplift whilst effectively enhancing the customer experience, even during these difficult times.

NEC large format displays and projectors are perfectly designed to integrate seamlessly into the shop interior without impacting valuable retail space.

Along shelf fronts, on columns, in shop windows and at the store entrance; ceiling hanging, wall mounted or floor standing – we can help you get creative with your signage.

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Sensor software such as NEC’s leafengine facilitates integration of various sensors, triggering content delivered via NEC’s numerous computing options. Onboard PCs or media players based on Raspberry Pi, Windows or Android enable upgradable and scalable content management solutions.

Find out more about the Sharp NEC Entrance Flow Management solution, a collaboration with Intuiface and Nexmosphere:

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Download free content, non-branded images and video to help you meet your Covid safety obligations:

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