Increase your revenue with digital ads in your retail space

Nowadays, people switch seamlessly between their phones, computers and local stores when they make purchases and returns. Just think of all the websites and apps that now offer in-store, pickup and drop-off options, informing customers if an item is in stock or not. In this omnichannel world, customers expect to see digital ads in retail spaces frequently.


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Retargeting ads remind customers of articles they’ve viewed in the past. Banner ads and smart graphics advertise promotions on retail websites. Digital advertising is already booming online. But physical operations have a unique opportunity when it comes to digital ads in their retail spaces. By using in-store displays, they can influence customers who have their wallets open and shopping lists in hand. (Not to mention the direct revenue opportunities of turning an existing physical space, which already has foot traffic, into an advertising platform.)

At the center of in-person digital advertising is the customer experience. Technology aimed at generating revenue and building loyalty should always make things easier for the consumer.

For example, Amazon is now using a technology called Just Walk Out in some Whole Foods stores, with sensors and cameras allowing customers to skip the line. The move was intended to relieve pain points like queuing before leaving the store. It’s a great example of using technology to improve the customer experience. Digital screens can do the same.

In short, the ability to use digital screens to influence a customer at the point of sale is a way to both improve customer experience and increase revenue. Here’s how.

Use digital signage for content and advertising to enhance your customer experience.

The digital display has more than one use, so it is wise to consider how a graphic display might be used in many ways to increase your revenue by improving your overall customer experience.

For example, displays are often used in healthcare, academic, and restaurant settings to share content. In a chiropractic office, you might see a television screen with someone explaining why chiropractic care is important. During a campus tour, you might see a screen with your name, welcoming you to campus, next to a student success story. In a fast food restaurant, you might see the menu on digital boards above your head, seamlessly transitioning from breakfast to all-day dishes.

All of these content sharing methods can be used in retail spaces to make the customer experience smoother, easier, and less stressful. Accurate digital signage is good customer service, and good customer service breeds loyalty.

Digital ads blur the line between the online retail space and the in-person retail space.

But the use of digital signage can also take point-of-care decision-making to a new level. Brands no longer have to rely solely on packaging, promotions and static signage to convince customers to choose their product. Dynamic in-store advertising can influence customers when making their final purchasing decisions.

Take Cooler Screens as an example. This digital media and merchandising technology replaces traditional grocery store cooler doors with responsive smart displays. The screens can display advertisements that resolve to images of the items in the cooler. The screens are tied to the company’s proprietary platform that allows brands to place ads, highlight products, and review the analytics. Brands no longer have to guess how customers react to ads. With instant feedback, brands can quickly test and refine their offerings.

As customers approach the cooler doors, the screens change to show what’s behind the glass and in stock, as if the doors were transparent. Stores can use this information to manage inventory, capitalizing on the analytics to keep the right products in stock and increase revenue. In pilot programs, Cooler Screens has saw sales increase by 50-100% on stores that do not have the screens installed. Advertised products sell two to ten times more than unadvertised products.

Digital signage should always enhance, not damage, the customer’s ability to enter and exit the store. And if the technology is particularly innovative, it can cause some customers to hesitate. An example would be the Amazon-Whole Foods technology mentioned above. Yet there are many examples of digital signage being used to increase sales, when executed in a way that makes things easier for shoppers.

Invest in video for digital screens.

For years, it seems like every state of the media report has screamed, “Video is king!”

YouTube, TikTok, Reels or even Snapchat testify to the fact that consumers have an almost infinite appetite for short and catchy videos. YouTube CEO Rion Austin encourages brands to use YouTube video throughout the funnel to better influence consumers. It makes sense that an omnichannel approach also includes video throughout the funnel.

Here’s why. Research shows that animated creation on digital screens is 2.5 times more impactful than static displays, although both lead to positive emotional responses. Basically, if you want to invoke emotion regarding your product, you need to have digital displays in your retail spaces. If you want people to remember your product, show them a video on this digital signage.

The type of video depends on the display context. For a waiting room or locker room, a detailed ad or brand story may be appropriate to create affinity. For a checkout line or at the end of a store aisle, a six-second burst of visuals is an option. Even causing a glittering product to appear can catch a buyer’s attention.

Leverage digital screens for sales and loyalty programs.

If your customers are price conscious, they are likely to be comparison shopping, especially during times of economic uncertainty.

Using digital displays to provide pricing and sales information is an easy way to meet your customers’ needs. Unit cost, digital coupon alerts, and manufacturer coupons can all be included in digital advertisements. Give your customers access to digital coupons and referencing them with in-store advertisements connects the experience of the digital and physical retail space.

For better or for worse, your promotion will often compete with many other promotions. Black Friday, the 4th of July, winter holidays – shouting above the noise is nearly impossible. So, using digital displays at the point of sale, where advertising space is limited, gives your promotion a chance to shine. The data you collect from digital ads can then drive inventory. It can also inform marketing decisions, including when and how to launch promotions.

If you have a loyalty program, you can keep it relevant by using digital ads to drive sign-ups and offer retail space point-of-sale discounts. Remember that the customer experience should remain transparent. If you force someone to download an app in order to redeem a coupon or track their rewards, they may or may not complete the process. Use digital ads to convince customers that it’s worth giving you their information.

Build relationships with your customers through digital screens and personalization.

Digital in-store advertising creates opportunities for brands to build relationships with their customers. Use technology to help customers navigate the store, for example, provides employees for customers who have in-depth questions. Using screens to showcase associates in the store creates an atmosphere where everyone knows each other. Entertaining your customers makes the shopping experience more enjoyable for everyone.

Content can rotate at different times of the day, showing customers that you are aware of their needs. For example, a grocery store’s digital screens could broadcast educational programs about various foods (using product placement) during after-school hours. This can be when parents are shopping with their children.

You can personalize shopping experience further with interactive screens. You can allow customers to scan their loyalty badge or enter their phone number to get a list and locations of the products they’re most likely to buy. If your clothing store has a promotion running, using a screen to show how the sale stacks up with individual coupons would encourage purchases.

Grow your digital footprint outside of your store.

In order to provide your customers with an omnichannel shopping experience, you need a strong digital footprint. This means that even small businesses need an SEO-optimized website and a Google My Business profile, at the very least.

Ideally, they should also have basic social media accounts. Millennials are the largest living population, and they expect to be able to order through your app or at least through a mobile-optimized website. They want to be able to pay digitally. They don’t want to wait.

By creating in-store offers that your customers can inquire about online, you can drive traffic to physical locations. By reminding customers of these offers with digital in-store ads, you can promote purchases. If you can provide reasons for in-store purchases, you can strengthen your physical locations in an online world. Offering the best deals in person is a common approach that is gaining momentum.

Everything works together. As you grow your business and increase your customer base, you will increase the number of views of your in-store digital ads. By doing so, you influence income. Take advantage of this next phase of publicity to get the most out of your property.

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