Today’s thinking is that the long-term success of brick and mortar retailers will come down to a retailer’s ability to provide shoppers with rewarding, pleasant and consistent experiences. These experiences will keep shoppers returning to the store rather than spending their time and money with online competitors.
Historically, progressive retailers, restaurateurs and grocers have relied on digital signage as one means to engage with customers and create a better experience. While digital signage can certainly have an impact, most merchants today want to ensure that any technology investments have a clear ROI. Luckily, there’s a proven way to make digital signage pay off—integration with the merchant’s inventory/POS system.
Retail, restaurant, grocery can all benefit
Using a clothing retailer as an example, it’s possible for the retailer to use signage to showcase clothing combinations to customers. Limited-time offers (LTOs)/items on sale can be promoted on eye-catching displays throughout the store. Assuming the signage has the desired effect and sales for the items displayed increase, eventually the retailer will begin running low on inventory for the items being displayed. Rather than disappoint customers when the red sweater they saw on the signage is no longer in stock, the digital signage can note the low inventory level and automatically change the displayed image to a sweater color with higher inventory levels.
Grocery stores have the same uses—Promote the products that need to be sold; once inventory levels reach a low threshold, the signage can switch over to promoting another product.
Restaurants can use signage in a comparable way via an ingredient-based inventory integration. Entrées, appetizers and desserts that rely on ingredients approaching their “use by” date can have an LTO on the digital signage to increase sales for those items.
Within retail and grocery stores, where customers are often present during the payment, there are other signage opportunities with the payment devices themselves. Many modern payment terminals include a touchscreen ideal for presenting messaging during the checkout process. When tied to the POS’s CRM features, it’s possible to promote loyalty memberships, coupons, sales, discounts and more. These types of promotions keep customers engaged with the merchant’s brand and drive additional sales.
In all cases, by tapping into the transactional data from the POS and inventory system, it’s possible for all merchant types to create more effective, revenue-generating, signage based on the day of the week, time and other factors. Not only will this benefit the retailer, it will create a better experience for customers.
Tap into POS and inventory data
Each of the above applications comes with one big caveat: the inventory/POS must have the necessary functionality for integration. A restaurant will need ingredient-based inventory management functions. A retailer or grocer will be forced to have an accurate inventory count (or one as close to realistically possible). Due to the variety of POS packages, inventory systems and payment terminals, we encourage you to reach out to your Ingram Micro rep for assistance in creating an experiential signage solution for your customers.