With the rapid advancement of digital technologies resulting in smaller and more powerful media players and touch screens, it becomes second nature to think that these technologies will carry over seamlessly to all facets of our lives. However, if you're considering a purely digital retail display strategy for your product line then maybe you shouldn't jump on the band wagon just yet. Digital displays and signage can seem like the newest and coolest wave to ride, but might not be the right choice for your business. Ask yourself if you need the customer to actually hold your product in order to understand your company's story, or can it be communicated in another way? The answer to this question is crucial to influencing the consumers' buying cycle. This article will explore some of the pros and cons of both analog and digital displays and how they relate to your display strategy.
Technology is becoming more and more accessible these days. Consider a computer from the 1990's compared to a modern system. Larger and flatter screens, sharper resolutions, deeper color values, and higher information capacities at much lower costs have made digital signage and displays more common than ever. But think of how often a new device is released to the public. For example, how old is your smart phone? Is there a newer and better version available yet? How much did it cost when the technology was new, compared to how much it costs now? What may seem cutting edge today may become out dated before you know it. Do you have the budget to keep up with new technology trends or will you focus on the staying power of a well-built analog display? A “one-time-buy” approach will likely be better suited to a more limited budget, as staying on top of digital trends can become very costly.
Can your digital display be built and programmed on-site or does the manufacturer need to ship it fully assembled and ready to go? What about changing out seasonal and promotional content? Analog displays can last a long time, but the information they present may need to be updated to keep current. This presents a small problem logistically, especially if you have to change a large number of displays in different stores, as this may require extensive planning and preparation. However, updating analog displays can be done quite efficiently with the right strategy. A digital display such as a media player, on the other hand, only needs access to the updated files to make a change through an SD card or thumb drive, or in some cases may need access to a centralized server. Always think about the future and plan for the unexpected. Who knows when you'll need a new display delivered to a store on the other side of the country!
What happens when your digital displays break down? Customers may wonder “If your display doesn't work, why should your product?”. Anything from a system crash, to blown out pixels, to a loose plug can keep a digital display from functioning correctly. This may keep customers from acknowledging your brand at all! Unless you have a background in IT, this can become a challenging, time consuming and expensive problem to solve. If your digital display is in an industrial environment (i.e. Hardware stores vs. Grocery stores), is it durable enough to withstand the abuse? The durability and longevity of an analog display is leagues ahead. Although they can be susceptible to physical damage due to their more physical presence in an aisle, many systems are designed for durability so they can last for years and some are even guaranteed for LIFE in some cases. Furthermore, they can be installed, maintained
and updated by virtually anyone!
Impact on your brand:
Your displays will influence the way your brand is perceived and any combination of digital and analog display strategies will likely result in an increase in brand awareness. But what is it that you want to convey to customers? What is it that makes your brand special? Think of how you want shoppers to interact with your display and design it to capitalize on the points that make your product and company unique. Strong branding and an engaging, informative display strategy can make a huge impact on sales and can earn you loyal customers! How are you helping your customer? Are they better informed to purchase the right product for their needs?
There are lots of ways to engage new customers through signage and display such as the use of media players, product samples, complementary product merchandising, tear-pads, step-by-step ordering and installation walk throughs and more! Consider the options available to you and weigh the pros and cons. Ask yourself if your budget can keep up with new trends? Will your chosen displays be able to endure the wear and tear of the environment they are in? How will you update and maintain your displays in the future? And finally, How will shoppers remember your brand after they have had an experience with your display. Did you make the right impression?
What are your thoughts on the points raised in this article? How do you and your team plan for new retail displays for your products? What has worked for your business in the past? Let us know your thoughts in the comments field below and don't forget to like and share, too!