Digital Experiences in Retail
As retail stores across the country begin to reopen, digital signage is going to play a major role in keeping people safe and informing them of new in-store policies and procedures. These newly adopted digital displays can also be used to drive marketing campaigns and improve the overall experience for consumers in retail.
In fact, digital signage in retail is already commonplace. It's used to help streamline queues and promote new products and campaigns. But what can we expect digital signs to look like in the near future and how will this affect the overall digital experience in retail?
New processes and procedures will need to be displayed in a visually dynamic way in order to ensure maximum retention from customers. It’s a known fact that we retain visual data much better than written information, this is because the brain processes visuals 60,000x faster than it does with text. Not only that, 90% of the information that gets transmitted to the brain is visual.
By creating instructional displays that show images and videos as opposed to text, people will be more likely to notice them and respond. They also need to be displayed on surfaces that are non-reflective and have bright imagery - LED and OLED can achieve this.
Signs should be placed in areas with high foot traffic, which shouldn't be a problem initially as many retail stores have adopted one-way systems. Digital signs can be relocated if/when necessary.
Traffic Management and Wayfinding
One way entry systems help to maintain social distancing and create a traffic management plan for store guests. Digital signage can then be used for wayfinding around the store for those who may not be familiar with the new layout.
Digital wayfinding has multiple benefits, it provides a better customer experience, frees up time for staff members, and allows them to keep a safe distance from guests in their store since people won’t be coming up to them asking where to go.
Some digital signage systems come with the ability to track each person who enters and leaves the store, and can provide accurate real-time updates on occupancy levels so that that social distancing can be adhered to correctly. This not only helps staff and security personnel, but it also helps customers to stay alert about the occupancy levels of a store so they can make a personal judgment of whether or not to enter. Tracking also helps to manage data and analytics in the long term.
Data Management and Analytics
Through customer tracking, retail businesses will be able to identify customer traffic patterns throughout the day, which can then lead to better staffing levels, improved advertising, better maintenance, and the ability to tailor promotional decisions.
Integration with facial recognition and other AI technologies can ensure the safety of everyone in the store by checking to see that guests are wearing masks. Additionally, thermal imaging can be used to detect if a visitor has a temperature.
It’s important to note, however, that this kind of tracking could raise issues for concerned customers.
Overall, the procedures above will have a long-term benefit for the industry as a whole. While things like screening and tracking can help to identify who is complying with mask regulations now, in the future, this same technology could be used to identify frequent shoppers and tailor their experience accordingly - think personalized welcomes, wayfinding, and product recommendations upon entry.
In short, digital signage for retail has plenty of room for growth in terms of how it can potentially be used. Even now, it’s an incredibly useful tool that all retailers should consider implementing.