A recent survey reveals many retailers aren’t exactly where they want to be with their IT technology, including digital signage. These five tips can help.
Retailers realize the important role IT technology, including digital signage, will play in their continued success, but many say they aren’t using technology to its full potential.
Those are two important findings of a newly released survey from CompTIA, a non-profit association for the IT industry. The report “Retail Sector Technology Adoption Trends Study,” finds that 72 percent of retailers surveyed see technology as important to their business –a level that is expected to grow to 83 percent by 2014. However, only 7 percent say they are exactly where they want to be with the use of technology. Twenty-nine percent say they are close to their ideal application of technology.
The study also reveals that digital signage is seen by retailers as an important part of their IT mix. The CompTIA study finds a third of retailers said they currently use digital signage, and 20 percent intend to begin doing so soon. Seventy-one percent of respondents said the most popular application of digital signage was for announcements of sales and other promotional offers.
Given the survey findings regarding satisfaction with how well technology is being used and the importance of digital signage to retailers, the need for some advice on how to make the most out of digital signage technology seems apparent. These five tips should help put retailers on the right track.
First, digital signage technology is irrelevant without great content. Obviously, it’s not enough to hang flat panel monitors and install digital signage players. Care must be taken to engage customers with interesting, appealing content.
Second, digital signage content must remain fresh, especially in a retail store where many people will visit repeatedly over time. Remember to mix it up. Playing back the same content day after day soon grows stale and may actually drive customers away.
Third, digital signage requires someone to take responsibility for it, both in terms of content and technology. Granted, these probably won’t be the same people, but that makes no difference. What is important is that digital signage isn’t just another in a long line of responsibilities some IT person has on a checklist.
Fourth, digital signage should offer consistency of messaging across multiple locations but still allow for an element of local control. For large retail chains, centralized control over signs at individual locations from a corporate network operations center will help to ensure messages remain consistent at all locations or groups of locations. However, it also is important to provide some local control to meet fast-changing communications needs at individual store locations.
Fifth, digital signage messaging should complement the overall communications strategy of the retailer. Sending disparate or contradictory messages to potential customers via TV advertising and on-location digital signs can be perplexing to customers at best and actually discourage them from visiting the store again worst.
To be sure, retailers who say they are not getting what they want from the IT technology they’ve implemented are concerned with far more than just digital signage technology. But to the degree that they use or plan to use digital signage in the future, the five tips offered here should improve their satisfaction with how this powerful communications medium is performing.