Retail outlets of all types and sizes are finding massive benefits using digital signs to engage and motivate their customers. Some have found very clever ways to maximize this tech to create brand loyalty and drive sales. But it’s more than just throwing up a digital poster and watching the cash flow in. You have to vary your content, target your audience and measure success. Here are 15 content ideas for retail taken from some of the best digital signage samples we’ve seen. Use these tips to improve your own retail customer experience:
1. Your product: The most obvious thing to share on screens is the products, services or experiences you offer. Short but evocative descriptions can get people interested. You can also save people time by telling them if something is in stock or not. High-definition images can make things look enticing, and videos are even more engaging, provided they’re short.
2. Your story: Because retail digital signage is a visual communications tool, you can go further than just showing what you offer in one-off ads – try crafting a story. Tell people not just what it is you’re selling, but why it was developed. What was the inspiration and journey to bring the product to market? What are the benefits and takeaways for them? This deepens the customer’s relationship to the product and lets them make the decision that they need it themselves, instead of just being marketed to.
3. Your brand: You’re not just selling an object or a service, you’re selling an idea. In fact, your entire business is an idea and a mood. You can use the digital signs to promote your brand story to reinforce your mission, values and community projects. Share employee insights and recommendations to show your brand as a group of people instead of a logo. This lets people feel included and connected to your brand as a whole, which translates into a longer buyer relationship.
4. Special offers: Got any special offers, sales or discounts right now? Promote them on your big screens. Research has shown that people immediately respond to things they see on screens – 63% of people say digital signs capture their attention. It’s been proven time and again that people who come in to buy one thing will expand their purchases if they see a special offer. Showing a countdown on screens can prompt bargain hunters to act fast.
5. Digital coupons: Whether it’s for members-only or for everyone, you can experiment with digital coupon codes. For example, screens might say, “Use code ABC123 at checkout for $5 off purchases over $30 until 4pm.” Since the code is only active for a limited time (say, 60 minutes), it creates a sense of urgency to drive immediate sales. You can also have some fun by asking people to take a picture of something in the store and show it to the cashier for a reward, driving traffic to a targeted product.
6. Traffic targets: Because you can show different content on different screens, you can motivate buyers in one area to visit a different part of your store. Using data on buying patterns, you can direct traffic from one section to a related section by reminding people of complementary products and services. Or you can use screens to drive traffic to a completely unrelated area that needs a sales boost.
7. Online reviews: Good digital signage content can bridge the in-store and online shopping experiences, not only through consistent branding and messaging, but by bringing your online experience to your in-store screens. Show reviews and testimonials to mimic your online store. When potential customers see past ones raving about what you offer, it feels authentic and encourages them to continue shopping.
8. Social streams: App integrations can pull in social media feeds, again blending the online and offline worlds. If your content team works together, both portals can enhance one another, creating a seamless branded experience that’s consistent for the public. And since content management systems for your screens can show social feeds, messages don’t have to be duplicated, but simply done once, published online and then the screens automatically populate.
9. User-generated content (UGC): Your customers are a great place to get content ideas for retail. Prompt visitors to post selfies, reviews, thanks to staff members and more by giving them a simple social tag to use. Digital signage can then pull in that user-generated content so they can see their own content on the big screen. Adding some of your own call-to-action posts into the mix can turn all that online conversation into sales. The longer a person is at the UGC wall, the more they’re being exposed to your messages and your brand.
10. Interactive options: Touchscreens open up new worlds of possibilities. Let people use touchscreens or tablets to sign up then and there for loyalty programs, newsletters and exclusive offers. You could encourage people to Learn More or Download the App (if you have one), or Follow your social media account, or View trending products. You can also offer polls and surveys to get immediate feedback, which you can then turn around and share on screens.
11. Wayfinding and directories: if you have a large venue, helping people navigate to areas, stores or departments will be much appreciated. Create a seamless shopping experience by showing wayfinding maps, searchable directories, and locations of bathrooms, changing rooms, food courts, ATMs, etc. If it’s a single store, a product directory can direct people to certain areas of the store to save them time, all while exposing them to your full list of offerings.
12. Self-service: Having self-service kiosks throughout your store can dramatically reduce wait times and give customers a sense of control over their experience. This also allows your staff to spend more time with people who want the personal touch, creating a boutique experience in even the largest properties. Whether it’s placing an order for pick-up at a counter, reserving a dressing room or checking product stock, self-service is becoming more and more ubiquitous in retail.
13. POS ads: Digital signage reduces perceived wait times at checkouts by as much as 35%. This can be as simple as showing queuing info like the next available cashier, or just showing entertainment that distracts people while they wait. However, this is a great place to show typical point-of-sale ads to encourage last-minute purchases, enrollment in loyalty programs and special offers.
14. Infotainment: Many people browse and window-shop even if they aren’t looking for something specific. So, use your retail digital signage to add some entertainment value. Trivia questions, interactive games, funny quotes or inspirational photos – these can all add a feeling of playfulness and inclusivity to the shopping experience. This content also gives people something they can’t get while shopping online.
15. Attention attractors: You can also offer non-branded content to attract attention to your displays. Show the date and time, local weather, commute information and community news to add a little something extra that people might be interested in. Live news tickers also get people to stop and pay attention. And once you’ve got their eyes on screens, you can hit them with your ads and branding.
Because “digital signage” can mean many different things, you can have multi-use screens to share lots of content at the same time. A UGC video wall can attract them to your store and prompt them to look at a new product. A small tablet next to that product can show benefits and pricing. A large display can advertise a limited-time offer on that product for loyalty program members, and a nearby touchscreen can let them join the program right away. If a self-service checkout kiosk is nearby, they can make the purchase right there. An entire purchasing journey motivated and managed by retail digital signage.
With any content ideas for retail digital signage, you’ll need to test what works and adjust as needed. A/B testing content designs, experimenting with time and placement of ads, integrating different streams and all the other traditional advertising methods and metrics need to be considered. Measuring success, as always, will incorporate both sales impact and the customer experience.