Innovative retailers are now starting to combine both digital signage and mobile technology to enhance their customers’ shopping experiences.
Take a walk around any modern shopping outlet and where there is a retail opportunity you’ll find digital signage, powered by a growing number of software solutions offering personalised, localised and specialist messaging and information. Within this field, a small number of developers are throwing their weight behind the interaction between connecting the calls to action on screen and its audiences, using mobile phones as a ‘digital bridge’ to provide a number of enhanced services. Importantly, many of these enhanced functions are served by software, meaning existing signage can be ‘upgraded’ without additional hardware costs – and the benefits are promising.
Tap to buy payments
With the introduction of Android Pay and Apple Pay, the traditional store check-out interaction was revolutionised. With 1.64bn devices expected to be NFR enabled by 2018, software such as Scala and Clear Channel’s own Connect platform are turning digital signage installations into fully operating purchasing kiosks, where consumers can identify, select and pay for goods; either collecting them at the check out, or ordering home delivery.
Location aware beacons
Beacon technology has endured a difficult roll-out, yet stores that persist with it are beginning to find audiences receptive to its merits. In January, the US pharmacy chain Rite Aid, rolled out beacons across its 4,500 stores, offering customers the chance to get personalised discount vouchers and reward schemes. Where digital signage plays a key role in this is by showing customers the benefits of connecting to a store’s Bluetooth low energy (BLE) network and offering specialist discounts and offers if they install and open the necessary app. The rewards for businesses are potentially massive, as studies have shown BLE tech drives customer loyalty and purchasing, as well as delivering precise and deep audience retail data.
Being able to scan a digital signage offering with your phone camera and redeem an offer or discount is an increasingly effective way of driving sales in retail, and QR codes are designed to deliver exactly this experience. Pizza Hut experimented with its its digital signage menu board, adding QR codes that generated a voucher for discount pizza on a customer’s return visit, and saw a redemption rate of nearly 40 per cent. One thing to be wary of, however, is that QR codes send the user directly to a webpage, so that website needs to have a mobile version otherwise you’ll quickly lose your audience.
Check-in and ticketing
Apple’s Wallet app and Google’s Android Pass Wallet banish printed tickets to history. Digital signage makes the perfect partner to these apps, meaning consumers can check in for an events, hotel rooms, cinema showings or even restaurant bookings quickly. At present there are very few software solutions available to ‘link-up’ the two – passkit.com offers one way – but there are work arounds. EventBrite has introduced location aware ticketing, which adds an event pass to a user’s Wallet when they enter an event’s location; other work arounds include generating a short URL or QR code, which the user scans from their phone when they reach the venue. This then adds the pass to their wallet and confirms their attendance or booking.
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