Thanks to the declining prices of hardware, display solutions have become cheaper, and are starting to compete with print. But is it really a fair fight? Which part of print could display solutions compete with? These are important and exciting questions to keep in mind when the retail market is transforming, and along with it the consumers’ behaviour. So, the question is; How does Hybrid Signage affect the fight?
In the retail industry, display solutions are increasing rapidly and will play an important role in in-store communication in the future. The Nordic retail market is still at an early stage when it comes to digital signage usage. It is common to play TV commercials in order to always have content on the screens. However, this method has not been proven profitable.
This poses an important question; what is the purpose and goal of your in-store communication? If the goal is to create a WOW experience while simplifying the purchasing decision, the signage content is of utmost importance. How you choose to show your content is just as important, is your content more suitable on a display, printed sign or phone?
You should keep the following in mind:
Is the content adapted to the signage placement?
Is the content relevant to the product?
Does the content motivate a purchase decision?
Is the content reinforced by complimentary signage?
Digital signage vs print – where, how, what and who?
Consumers want relevant information. More and more stores aim to create targeted and personalised communication. But in-store communication is often forgotten. At any given moment or place in the store, what is important for the customer? What does this customer need to be inspired and make a purchasing decision?
Some tips to keep in mind when producing in-store signage:
Where in the store should the signage be located? What type of signage is suitable? Digital? Phone? Printed sign? What type of content should be displayed on which unit? Who is the target group, and who will see the content?
Content should be produced based on the answers to the questions above. The content should also collaborate with your other in-store marketing channels.
In what way does your signage communicate with the intended target group? This is also a question that you should ask yourself before producing new signage, whether it’s digital or printed.
Print is the traditional and most common form of in-store signage. It’s available in different sizes, and materials, from shelf labels to banners, and it’s easy to place inside and outside the store.
The benefit of print is the flexibility; they are easy to move around, and they are available in a variety of formats and materials, such as polyester, water and weather resistant.
QR codes has been around for a long time and recently gained new power in retail. Today, many phones have a built-in QR reader, making QR codes more accessible. A QR code linked to inspirational content can lead the consumer to buy more products. It’s a way to reinforce print with mobile applications, which is being used more frequently in retail today.
The use of digital signage in retail is growing, the hardware prices continue to drop, and technology is developing rapidly. Digital signage has many advantages, amongst them the possibility to effortlessly change, schedule and adjust content. Digital signage can display several products, animations and videos that attract attention.
As with print, digital signage screens come in different sizes. Sizes from 10” to 49” are currently the most common ones. You should keep in mind where and how they are going to be displayed when choosing the size of your digital signage screens.
A brand new world opened up for marketers when digital signage was implemented in store marketing communication. Imagine being able to update thousands of screens with just one click!
To have a strategy for what content to display, on which screen and for which occasion is vital. Therefore, the selection of adequate software is just as important.
PostNord, Ipsos and Neurons INC conducted a unique study (Behind the Mind, Neuromarketing 2016), and concluded that a combination of physical and digital advertising is the most effective type of advertising. In addition to that, they found that being exposed to physical advertising before digital advertising reinforces the emotional impact of a campaign.
Digital signage vs print – relevance is key
Digital displays whose messages match the exposed products simplify the purchase decision. Displays with content that doesn’t match the exposed products are confusing and often ignored entirely.
“The message in digital displays must be adjacent to the exposed products”, says Erik Wästlund, researcher at Karlstad University. “If the digital display shows a message that has nothing to do with the products around, you don’t perceive that message at all. It seems quite common to put the screens in the wrong place – but then, they won’t have any effect”, continues Erik Wästlund (read the white paper Eye-tracking reveals purchasing decisions).
Younger age groups use their phone every two minutes. Customers who use their phone spend 41% more time in the store, than customers who don’t (Ahlbom et al. 2017).
Today, customers who use their phone during shopping buy 30% more, on average, than those who don’t (Nordfält and Ahlbom, Marketing in store, 2018). Therefore, we cannot exclude the phone from in-store communication.
By including the phone in store communication, you can complement the messages in the digital and printed signs, thus creating additional interaction with the consumers. One example is to direct a customer to a website for more information about a product or perhaps show them something that inspires them, such as a recipe, to purchase complementary products.
QR codes, site awareness and smarter apps are some useful examples of possibilities within mobile in-store communication.
Today, a physical store has to add value and offer an experience that cannot be obtained online. In-store communication is an essential factor to make this happen. Therefore, it is time to stop the fight between print and digital signage. Instead, aim towards the enormous potential of combining knowledge, print, digital and mobile communication within the physical store.
The combination becomes extremely powerful. Together, these factors deliver an experience that cannot be created online. We call it Hybrid Signage.