Is digital signage the key to omnichannel success in retail?


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As retailers increasingly look to adopt omnichannel strategies, they are faced with the challenge of providing customers with a seamless experience across all channels. In fact, 9 in 10 retail leaders believe that maintaining consistency across all channels is essential, while just over three quarters see omnichannel retailing as key to their success in the next five years.

What is the key to achieving this consistency? The overwhelming majority of retail leaders surveyed (92%) think incorporating digital signage into omnichannel solutions will be important. By using digital displays to provide customers with relevant information and personalised experiences across channels, retailers can create a consistent brand experience between the online and physical world that drives engagement and sales.

But digital signage is not the only technology that can help retailers achieve their omnichannel goals. The same survey found that 39% of retail leaders see AI and machine learning as key enablers of omnichannel success. By leveraging these technologies, retailers can better understand customer behaviour, predict future needs and tailor experiences accordingly.

So, why is consistency across channels so important?

The benefits of consistency across all channels

The consensus shown by retailers on maintaining consistency across all channels is to be expected and makes perfect sense. If a customer is interacting with any channel, be that on mobile or in store, they should immediately know and see the brand they are looking at. It’s what draws people into companies, its ethos and ultimately, its products. And as these customers jump between channels, the experience should link up and feel connected.

Yet achieving this can be easier said than done. Different teams may be working on the design and strategy of different channels without fully sharing information, ideas and data with each other. When it comes to the digital channels, achieving consistency may be easier, with content just requiring a change in digital format and tone of voice to fit the required channel. But how do you begin to replicate the online, eCommerce and social media world in brick-and-mortar stores?

How digital signage can help enhance omnichannel capabilities

The scrolling world of our smartphones has created a stream of quick, eye-catching content that has become a major influence in displaying brand identity. Digital signage is, of course, able to replicate this format in store. It’s what makes the medium so perfect for improving omnichannel capabilities and bridging the virtual world with the physical one.

One of its major capabilities is its versatility, enabling retailers to show different content throughout the day that fits with campaigns, customer footfall and atmosphere. The displays are able to replicate online and social media channels, illustrating the same product offers, branded imagery, reels, commercial material and campaign videos. Any content that is changed on one channel, such as on Instagram, can then be transposed to the in store digital signage. The more connected the strategy, the better the customer experience.

Consistency is not just about ‘the look’, but also how the signage is able to direct you to different channels, creating opportunities to upsell, promote events and offer recommended products. Signage can be strategically placed in certain sections in the store showing relevant content for those products. Interactive touch screens and QR codes can make the leap from the instore products to online product descriptions, website news and social media channels. They can also help customers to answer any initial questions, quickly decide on items and find where they are located in the store.

In-store staff can then access any relevant customer information to create a more joined up experience and enhance the process with bespoke advice and guidance.

Embracing change and leveraging new technologies

Even over the last five years, the scale of change has been rapid. Brands have looked to leverage the power of technology to entice customers back in store post-pandemic, connect online channels and deliver new ways of creating the customer experience. This has required an openness to embracing change and implementing new technology to meet evolving consumer trends.

AI is of course becoming an increasingly influential presence in the industry. While still in its infancy, it has the potential to deliver new levels of customer insight, gathering data from across channels to help brands understand how displays are influencing purchasing habits, for example, and predictive analysis on what content will land with customers now and in the future. The more connected the data, the better the omnichannel experience.

The omnichannel bridge: “integration of digital and physical”

For now, the major bridge in the omnichannel experience is between the online world and the physical one. The latest data from PWC has shown that consumers are increasingly wanting “the physical shopping experience to be enhanced, facilitated or mediated by digital technologies: call it phygital.”

In order to make these changes consistently, digital signage offers the most immediate and effective medium, able to reflect the online world clearly in the physical one. This signage can then be enhanced with interactive screens, VR headsets and AI.

The expectations of consumers are changing as the shopping experience evolves, with a growing emphasis on this mix and finding ways to optimise the omnichannel experience. Digital signage can be the bridge for omnichannel success.

Alexios Blanos
Alexios has over 15 years of experience in Digital Engagement solutions and Global deployment. He covers a wide range of vertical markets and supports local and global brands to define their Digital Customer Journey strategy by bridging physical space and digital together. In the past he has delivered digital experiences for brands like Giorgio Armani, United Colors of Benetton and EE that have been recognised within the industry and award winning (POPAI, DBA, Retail Week).


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