- On September 2, 2020
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Maverick AV digital signage expert Joan Aixa Herrero explores how digital signage can support safe, socially distanced and contactless retailing, ahead of Digital Signage Summit Europe.
With the increase in popularity of online shopping and the changing habits of consumers who have been in lockdown for four months, this is the most challenging time that retailers have ever faced. The pandemic has forced innovation in the sector at an unprecedented pace, resulting in some exciting success stories.
Now, the customer wants to spend as little time as possible in the store, making contactless payments a must, as well as very clear signage to ensure any journeys are easy to navigate.
To achieve this challenging goal, technology is key. Compliance with legal regulations enforcing capacity limitations is made simpler by using cameras, sensors and digital solutions to manage footfall and traffic flow. These are also being used to communicate the differing ways a retailer is making the in-store experience more efficient.
Every journey in-store should end with a seamless, contactless experience, based on a smart queue management system and self-check kiosks. However, Click and Collect is booming – allowing consumers to order online to guarantee purchase before heading into the store to pick up an item.
This is set to increase beyond the hardware and grocery stores to include all types of retailers, so we’re seeing spaces which are being reconfigured to communicate and facilitate this for a quicker transaction.
Creating experiential retail
While many brands have announced store closures, a few are using this reduction in real estate to expand the footprints of their stores, giving flagship locations an experiential focus. Retailers are creating bigger spaces where they can build a stronger relationship with their customers, making them feel safe and ensuring the store is in line with new government regulations.
Brands such as Harrods, Selfridges and Primark, are seeing customers returning for completely different reasons. While Selfridges offers more than a shopping experience, with food halls, in-store personalisation services and personal shoppers, Primark has stood firm in not moving online and maintaining its stores as the only place you can pick up its bargain goods.
Creating connection through digital
Big LED or video wall screens, way finders and lift and learn spaces will help the customer enjoy the experience without direct contact with an employee. Fitting rooms will utilize AR, algorithms and powerful data lakes to combine data from the shop including stock and availability information to enable a more high-tech experience than ever before. This can also be personalised for the customer to reflect activity on their social media, or even web browsing or purchase history with the website.
Focusing on the future
Most of the new concepts established during the last month (digital screens with handheld sanitisers, thermal cameras, mask recognition, etc.) are great to cover an imminent demand. But are these requirements here to stay and how can they benefit your business in the long term?
With all these systems in place, a massive amount of data will be collected. Therefore, there has never been a better opportunity for the retailer to understand customer behaviors by applying intelligence to improve customer loyalty and ultimately, secure the business with a more robust plan for the future.
Amidst the current global pandemic, Keyser has seen retailers, restaurants and more turn to digital signage to communicate and connect with their customers. At a time where we have more questions than answers, communication is key. Let us help you install video wall screens, way finders, digital window displays and more to effectively communicate with your customers. With screens that connect to your content management system, and your smartphone you can update your message in real-time – staying timely and relevant for your customers.