Digital signage takes many forms in the retail vertical, though all deployments share the common goal of providing clear and timely information that is visually appealing, quick to update, and dynamic by nature. Brick and mortar stores and shopping malls, for example, increasingly embrace large video walls with striking visuals to promote sales, highlight inventory and inspire purchases. Other retail businesses, such as supermarkets and neighborhood grocery stores, embrace digital signage as an informational platform that provides shoppers with the precise information they need to make decisions.
El Rancho Supermercado, a specialty grocery chain with 28 stores in Texas and Kansas, is an ideal example of how brand recognition and the customer experience can come together through digital signage. The company has adopted Visix AxisTV Signage Suite to freshen their visual content and add dynamic content management capabilities for digital menu boards in food service areas. El Rancho Supermercado has now rolled out the Visix solution to each store, with four to six adjacent displays in each venue that highlight menu items for customers, and a workflow that simplifies how the business adjusts pricing and inventory changes on short notice.
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El Rancho Supermercado primarily serves local Hispanic populations in each store, and welcomes many customers that speak other languages. Their multi-cultural customer base benefits from a visual communications strategy that emphasizes clear imagery of menu choices. With limited staff available to manage menu board content, company representatives turned to Visix’s Creative Services team to create lively menu board layouts that prioritize imagery over text. The Visix team worked with in-house personnel to gather the appropriate artwork and develop layouts that also better emphasized the company’s branding than their previous system.
“The El Rancho Supermercado brand is bright and cheerful, and we wanted to create something that celebrated their brand yet made it pop with greater flair on screens than before,” said Ellyce Kelly, professional services consultant for Visix. “We started by using our Custom Theme Kit as a foundation, and creating screen layouts that were lively but not overly dense. The menu items are arranged on screen with a yellow background accompanied by red borders to accurately reflect their branding, and green highlights bring out the item description. All menu items are accompanied by a Spanish-language description, so we worked with El Rancho to build something that clearly visualized each menu item for their customers.”
The content management software integrates with El Rancho’s IT and point-of-sale systems to ensure that menu and pricing changes are updated in real time. This removes much of the burden from in-house staff, who were challenged to keep up with content changes that often came with little advance notice. That burden was made more difficult by the fact that the previous signage system was USB-based, and would require staff to update content on new sticks and bounce from screen to screen to remove outdated sticks.
“By being directly plugged into their network, we can manage their content for them in real time as we’re notified of menu changes,” said Kelly. “Pricing and inventory changes are added to an Excel spreadsheet from their side, and AxisTV Signage Suite immediately pulls the new data. We’re then responsible for confirming that the appropriate artwork is incorporated. This is essentially a Visix managed service that uses advanced data mapping to keep everything up to date.”
Visix Nano media players are installed behind each screen to receive and publish content coming in over the network. “The Nano has a very small footprint and was developed specifically for customers like El Rancho whose displays are positioned in the open for optimal customer viewing,” says Jason Cain, Visix regional sales manager for the account. “The player hardware remains invisible to the shopper, ensuring a clean and low-profile installation.”
El Rancho Supermercado management is also keen on AxisTV Signage Suite’s analytics module. This will provide management with advanced data toolsets to gather metrics around playlist and user activity, with extensive visibility, tracking and reporting options tied to digital signage performance and effectiveness.