Can shop window digital displays help retail fight back?
It seems in the UK at least no TV news programme is complete without revealing yet another household name retailer or restaurant is in trouble. Competition is stiff to say the least. Bricks and mortar retailers have been battling online for years. And now there are clearer signs than ever as to where that battle is being won and lost.
So, what do we know? It’s bleak out there in retail. Food and beverage is tough too. Consumers default purchase behaviour switched to online first years ago, and it isn’t going to switch back anytime soon.
Stores do have a role to play in the omnichannel world. They remain as the important touchpoint where people can still touch and smell products before they buy. And that tangible experience hasn’t yet been replicated online.
Broader consumer behaviour has shifted too. We stare at our phones all day long. Even when we make a rare foray onto the high street, we do so phone in hand. The likelihood of our seeing, never mind engaging with and following the call to action of conventional advertising and point of sale, continues to take a nosedive.
To any retailer who continues to rail against these realities using the old methods, we say good luck.
But isn’t our time better served accepting the new norms and providing content which brings people into our stores despite their growing predisposition to walk on by?
So, here are our 10 ways improved digital signage in your shop windows can get people off the street and into your store.
Stop selling and start storytelling
For most of us the sheen of a direct sales message showing some goods and shouting ‘buy me’ has well and truly worn thin. And for younger buyers, old school tactics just don’t hit home at all.
The only way to engage people now is through effective storytelling, where your product becomes just one part of the message. Taking a softer approach and framing your product within an authentic context is the best way to cut through.
Using digital signage to show dynamic video content sets the scene and shows the goods you sell help to build your customer’s own story.
Show much more than a static display ever can
Digital displays effectively end the merchandisers headache of selecting which new product to give pride of place in their window display.
One of our biggest retail customers tells us that the best benefit LiveSpace gives them is that they can show every outfit. In every colour. With every accessory. This helps cross sell and gets people into store much more quickly that a static display ever would. And when that range becomes a little old hat, on to the next without a single merchandiser setting foot in the window.
Tap into your customer’s emotions
How is your customer feeling about their day? How can your brand make things better? Whether that’s through selling summer wardrobe items in spring which make them feel ready for the brighter days ahead, or simply offering escapism from the reality of their wet Wednesday morning.
Using interesting content on your digital screens which goes beyond simple advertising is a powerful way to connect with people.
Show your product journey
People are more concerned about provenance than ever before. You can use your screens to show where the coffee you use is grown by happy fair-trade farmers. Show people working in your clean well organised factories. Show your chefs at work on site creating freshly made delicacies.
In short, whatever it is that you do that adds value for the customer and justifies the prices they pay, bring it to the window using digital displays and show passers-by why you are special enough to warrant their crossing the threshold.
Speak directly to loyalists
Linking loyalty card data and special promotions for your card-carrying loyalists will help engagement and promote impulse visits.
Remind those loyal customers that they get a free cookie when they buy a coffee, and not only will they be more likely to pop in, non-members will see a tangible benefit and be prompted to come in and sign-up too.
Only digital signage lets you continually refresh these offers and tailor them to suit what is happening on any given day.
Make the sales work for you
Big sale events have become a mainstay tactic for retail. When you plan your own, it’s tough. Prepping heaps of POS and window displays to promote the must have items and big-ticket discounts. Printing those materials and getting them in-store usually involves late nights and relies on store staff getting it right.
Switch that to a digital display system and it suddenly becomes a much easier task. You can update things instantly. And that ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’ deal can be instantly replaced by the next thing you want to sell through. All made possible by linking your LiveSpace digital displays with your stock data.
What’s even better is how you can match competitor’s sales. Immediately.
If the big rival up the road goes out with a price you know you’ll simply have to match use your LiveSpace digital displays to get the message out straightaway. No more waiting for the printers, just punch the relevant information into LiveSpace and you’re good to go.
Respond to local events
When you know there is something big happening in town the best way to respond is to make sure your store shows its support. Using conventional window dressing and merchandising this means time and money is involved and you will only get behind the big occasions.
With a digital signage system like LiveSpace, which enables you to localise your message, you can respond to smaller local opportunities with ease.
Got cold watching the match? Pop in for a coffee.
Watching the marathon? Free drinks to the first 10 people in fancy dress.
Whatever works to show your support for the community around you, digital signage is the best way to make it happen and get people through the door.
Show peer sourced reviews
Linking your social media reviews of a specific product which people love, alongside a physical display of that product helps show customer endorsement. If people see others who look and speak the way they do themselves, they’ll be much more likely to act.
What powerful customer reviews and social media buzz are you currently wasting by not showing them off in your shop window displays?
Digital signage is your best opportunity to bring these online moments where people interact with your brand into the real world of your window displays.
Make it affordable
Show how that must have item becomes attainable at an affordable weekly payment when people take your interest free finance package.
Nothing new here you might think. But by adding an affordability message into the storytelling we’ve just described you create both the desire, and overcome the practical objection of affordability, in one hit.
A conventional static window display can only do so much. Using digital displays in your window lets you cross over these messages in one compelling story.
Help them find it
When time is tight, helping people get to the right place in store quickly is important. A mannequin can be dressed to look sharp, but it can’t tell people where to find the products in the shop.
Adding digital signage into your window display can help with wayfinding and work in parallel with your other window displays to get people to right place in-store quickly. Helpful in promoting those impulse buys where time is tight, or your store is perceived to be too big to navigate in a quick visit.
What are you doing with your window displays?
Perhaps you are already using some of the tactics we’ve discussed. Maybe there is an opportunity to do more by making your online and offline tactics play better together. We think the best place to make that happen is on the street where your customers’ on- and offline worlds meet.
If you see an opportunity to make your shop windows work harder with digital display, talk to us to understand how we can help retail fight back.