Why an App-Driven Content Approach Will Become the Major 2020 Trend to Engage On-Location Customers in Real-Time Across Retail, Conferences, Events, and More
Today’s brand marketers working in creative departments, or the agencies serving such companies, are faced with a new challenge when optimizing the customer experience delivered by digital signage in retail stores, trade shows, conferences, fast-casual restaurants, and more.
Audiences, conditioned by a digital-first decade, expect immediacy and engagement in ways that are more nuanced and personal than ever before. Consequently, consumers increasingly demand an online-like experience for in-person interactions. Fortunately, the same touchscreen technology that is already in the hands of nearly four-billion people is available to brand marketers in the form of interactive digital touchscreens that can engage consumers at a new level.
To be sure, digital signage isn’t new, but it’s taking on new meaning and renewed importance in today’s commercial landscape. Using new approaches akin to the app-driven experience consumers use on their mobile phones, brand marketers have both the challenge and enormous market opportunity to engage customers in real life, in real-time, and in real place, but only if they can crack the code on what is the right content that can easily be created, updated, and customized.
From the restaurant line to the trade show booth experience, here’s the content that can engage your customers in a whole new way.
#1 Deploy interactive content to provide an immersive in-store experience.
Online shopping is quickly becoming many shoppers’ preferred buying method, as the convenience, cost, and especially personalization, drive sales and keep people coming back for more. Indeed, a 2019 survey on customer expectations found that 63% expect personalization as a base standard of service.
Brand marketers striving to reach an in-person audience can’t miss this critical imperative if they hope to capture consumers’ attention and to drive sales.
In many ways, interactive digital touchscreens are the way to provide this immersive, personalized experience.
For example, touchscreen tables or video walls position businesses to offer optimized customer consultations. More specifically, a retailer can deploy custom multitouch software that transforms their online stores into a large-scale touchscreen that provides an enhanced user experience.
In this way, customers can browse entire product catalogs complete with interactive guides that help them find what they want. In addition, burgeoning AR capabilities allow businesses to include a virtual digital information layer on top of real products.
Today’s customers are looking for dynamic, personalized product offerings, and interactive digital signage replete with this content can provide the immersive in-store experience that meets this demand.
#2 Don’t just exhibit at your next trade show: engage viewers to convert them into users
Trade shows and exhibition events are a way to interact directly with B2B and B2C customers that are already engaged in your sector or service. However, in a crowded field filled with similar product offerings, it can be difficult to get noticed. Large booths or display centers are often unaffordable, and many products are simply difficult to convey in a showroom-style setting.
Interactive video walls can make the difference by attracting attention and enabling nuance in an arena that demands both.
For instance, product specs may not lend themselves to a showroom-style offering. Products might be too large for the venue, or they might be so small that their valuable components are impossible to convey in real-time.
With digital and interactive displays, companies can deliver product information without getting lost in the mix or missed altogether.
Of course, like a retail audience, trade show and exhibition audiences prefer personalization, and brand marketers and creative professionals can’t code and rebuild this technology from the ground up to suit each event. Instead, they should look for automated approaches that allow for quick customization and personalization, so that marketers can meet the moment, wherever it may be.
#3 Delight guests with new dining options.
Antiquated paper menus may work well in a ‘mom and pop’ diner, but most other restaurants are looking for new ways to engage with guests.
For some, this means investing in self-service stations where customers can directly interact with the menu, placing their order, complete with customizations, directly from an in-restaurant screen. McDonald’s is one of the most prominent companies embracing this strategy, as the company plans to install self-service kiosks in 14,000 locations by 2020 with the intention of boosting overall revenue by nearly $3 billion.
Even restaurants not catering to fast food clientele can deploy this strategy. Interactive tables can reduce wait times by allowing customers to place orders directly from their seats while providing new, immersive order experiences.
At the same time, customer engagement can be optimized by combining smartphones with interactive screens. Sending coupon codes that need to be scanned in the restaurant via a “check-in” process can help track the effectiveness of various marketing campaigns while encouraging people to take the next steps to actually show up in the restaurant to dine.
Taken together, it’s clear that interactive digital screens offer marketers a way to apply their age-old practices in a new tech-driven way. By customizing, updating, and innovating their content deliverables, today’s creative directors can encourage brand engagement by adding to the in-person experience.
Whether providing product resources to the retail experience, drawing attention in a crowded showroom, or helping customers relax in a restaurant, interactive digital touchscreens are one of the best ways to deliver content that engages in-person consumers in 2020, and this strategy flourishes when brand marketers work their magic and deliver the best content.
This article was originally published in AW360 and reprinted with permission.