How digital signage and kiosks can help stores match the online experience

After embracing digital shopping channels during the pandemic, Australian consumers have grown accustomed to the personalization and bespoke content offered online. So how can physical retail stores replicate the experience and provide an equally personalized interface to customers?

“The only way to do that is through digital media,” says Neal French, Chrome Enterprise JAPAC sales manager at Google. “Retailers need to mirror the tailored and personalized experience online, but in-store.”

This means adopting next-generation technologies such as digital signage, powered by a robust operating system, enabling remote management, customization and interactivity with in-store signage.

“As retail evolves, market-leading brands understand that consumers do not separate their online shopping experience from their physical shopping experience and shoppers expect a seamless experience in both. “, says Cameron Hanns, director of Entwined, a digital signage and kiosk solution. vendor.

Research from Google, published in the company’s Spring/Summer Shopping Behaviors 2021 study, found that 50% of consumers now report shopping both in-store and online. This is driving a growing expectation for exceptional in-store customer experiences, Hanns says, including demand for services such as click-and-collect and endless aisles.

“Satisfying and surprising customers during an in-store customer journey, encouraging them to buy, is one thing, but customers want to save time and access solutions that allow them to order ‘out of stock’ or ‘premium limited series’ products too.”

He says it’s critical that retailers take an omnichannel approach, so that online and offline don’t compete but work in a hybrid approach that complements each other and drives customer engagement.

A prime example of an inspiring digital in-store solution can be found in Rebel’s new flagship at Adelaide’s Rundle Mall: a product customization service previously available only for online shopping.

“Understanding their customers’ desire to make their activewear unique in a creative way takes the customer experience to a whole new level,” says Hanns. “Entwined promoted this service in-store with an LED ticker above the counter so customers could locate it easily and using directional content via screens located throughout the three-level store.”

French says the purpose of digital signage is different for each brand and vertical. “For youth brands like City Beach, the company is positioning its latest apparel branding and offering to attract customers to its stores, while brands like Caltex are using digital signage solutions to promote food and promotional offers to entice customers to buy on impulse and consume immediately, eliciting a purely emotional response.

“Digital signage offers flexibility and the ability to change the message in real time, which can significantly impact sales and increase basket size,” he said.

The Power Behind Delivery

Both Hanns and French stress the importance of a robust technology platform behind in-store signage, having seen first-hand a host of issues faced by stores using various legacy systems.

“Traditional operating systems can’t keep pace with process, cost, or implementation,” says Hanns. “Legacy systems used to run kiosks and signage space often crash, require regular OS updates, and patches or applications can become corrupted and not work. IT management style of 20 years ago: you have to send technicians on site, connect to on-site servers, update files or applications and exchange parts, for example. revenue opportunities from broken, offline kiosks and digital signs while you wait potentially days for the system to reboot.

Not anymore these days, says Hanns. “We work alongside marketers and store improvement teams, from developing the vision for in-store digital signage to rolling it out.” This process includes ensuring unity between the stories displayed and creating thoughtful and helpful digital endpoints that demonstrate stores are using simple and innovative technology to drive this customer engagement.

“We give them a kind of digital canvas: retailers have their own strategy and we give them the digital medium to execute in their stores.”

Entwined has partnered with Google Enterprise to deploy cloud-based ChromeOS on physical hardware to power digital in-store executions: ChromeOS makes it simple and scalable, bringing flexibility and agility to in-store solutions, all in real time and without the crashes and failures of legacy systems.

Using ChromeOS, Google offers strategic and analytical support to drive sales growth to make the most of the flexibility and instant implementation that the operating system offers.

“The simplicity and ease of deployment of these devices means that once the displays are connected there is never a manual update and whether your fleet contains 100 or 100,000 devices, you will remotely manage and deploy updates. product updates or campaign activations in seconds,” says Hanns.

Personalization is the key to engagement

He says many of the brands Entwined works with see personalization as a key part of their loyalty program and local connection strategy.

“Rebel, for example, uses its RCX experiential stores as part of its digital strategy to create a destination environment and connect with the local community. It does not require complex content and tedious maintenance. Collaboration in design and implementation between Rebel and Entwined means that smart “markup” rules allow content to be published and that the correct content ends up in the correctly labeled places in the right stores.

Hanns says further personalization can happen around loyalty and rewards programs, especially in retail categories such as QSR chains and fashion retailers. “When a customer identifies themselves through a loyalty/membership program by using an app to check in or scanning a membership card at a kiosk, in-store digital signage may recognize that customer and attempt to create a connecting with the brand, even suggesting trade ups based on past purchase history, or promoting promotions before a customer goes to checkout.

Hanns says this strategy has been proven to improve customer experience and in-store engagement, increase brand loyalty and increase basket size.

Touchscreen kiosks are an obvious extension to enabling these results, allowing people to easily and easily check in and alerting staff to their profile or past buying behavior who can then be better prepared to engage.

Kiosks can also enhance product sales through endless aisle models, integrating in-store and online inventory to ensure customers can purchase the size and style of products they want. “Thanks to the terminals, merchants can offer a customer their entire range via their web catalog even if the item is not in store, and allow the customer to finalize his sale in store and have the product delivered. product.”

Kiosks are at the heart of the QSR growth strategy

Kiosks are also an “incredibly important part” of the QSR strategy going forward, he says. “As space becomes harder to come by and it’s increasingly important to make the best use of it, kiosks help open doors to productivity that weren’t there before.”

Collins Food Group, Australia’s largest KFC franchise, was looking for a new space in Brisbane’s Queen St Mall. The company found a great location, but with a not-so-great layout – a small mall entrance and a large area downstairs, which meant the main service area and kitchen were downstairs, out of sight of mall traffic. Collins Foods solved the problem by using digital menu boards upstairs to encourage customer engagement and provide direct exposure to mall foot traffic, with self-service ordering and payment kiosks located below. The menus.

Improving in-store efficiency and convenience, customers order in the mall area and then descend into a sprawling, hip dining area. Their order is already being put together with the status displayed on other digital billboards and while they wait, the brand engages them with a series of brand messages encouraging them to “take five and enjoy their meal”.

Research by Tillster published in 2019 as the Self-Service Kiosk Index shows that 30% of customers would prefer to order from a self-service kiosk if queues were equal, and over 50% if the line exceeded four people.

Further research – the 2022 Kiosk Market Census – shows that businesses can increase the average check size by 15-20% if they replace in-person counter service with kiosks, simply by optimizing technology to attract customers and sell to them.

Whether through kiosks or signage, digital in-store engagement is key to helping successful retailers deliver in-store experiences and convenience that match consumers’ expectations of online shopping.
If you want to learn more about digital signage and kiosk solutions and how you can integrate them into your in-store customer experience strategy, register for the Future of Retail in-person event being held at Google headquarters in Melbourne in November. 22, at 3 p.m. Register here.

Comments are closed.