We have been in the digital age for some time now. We use digital end devices every day - several hours, countless minutes and almost every second. Digitalisation, along with the possibility connected with it of being able to access and exchange data at almost any time and almost anywhere, poses new challenges to stationary retail in particular. Consumers can order products at any time and anywhere online and have them delivered to their doorsteps without having physically entered a shop. This may make the digital world seem more like a curse than a blessing for stationary retail. However, if you look at digitalisation from another angle, you will determine that new worlds are being opened up for stationary retail too.
The user behaviour of the consumers in stationary retail must also be considered. Digital development has led to the creation of new communication and sales channels that open up countless ways of coming into contact with customers and advertising and selling products. The use of digital end devices in stationary retail - also in the sales area – is described as digital in-store communication.
Digital in-store communication
Digital in-store communication comprises all digital touchpoints in stationary retail. Digital touchpoints are screens, video walls, touchscreens etc.
When viewing such touchpoints in the stationary sales area, we talk of the extended customer journey – the path the customer takes through the store. Digital in-store solutions in the extended customer journey not only promote sales and provide information but also contribute to an improved sales experience for the customer. As a sales and communication platform, digital touchpoints create a direct added value for end customers, retailers and manufacturers.
Digital touchpoints in stores provide numerous ways to trigger purchase impulses in end customers.
It is important that consumers recognise their benefits rapidly and are able to benefit from them with little or no effort. Because only in this way can an enhanced customer experience be generated in the customer.
Digital in-store communication enables retailers and manufacturers to offer their products and services in stationary retail. Depending on the target group, product range on offer or shop format, different touchpoints can be implemented in the stores in order to accompany customers on their journey or help them to continue their journey.
Focus on aim and benefit
The use of digital end devices and data supports stationary retail in its exchange with consumers and optimises the physical shopping experience. In additional to positioning at the point of sale, digital solutions can also support the sale of additional services or support sales staff in their sales talks. The retailer’s requirements, his target group and current situation are all crucial when choosing the right solution. Each retailer follows his own strategy, pursues his own shop concepts and communicates inside and outside the stores with a focus on his own target group. This uniqueness should also be reflected in the individual digital solution. For this reason, digital solutions in retail must pursue clear aims, be defined in terms of their target group and offer the end customer added value. As in all touchpoints with the customer, digital in-store communication solutions must also be tailored to the customer’s requirements. Without any concrete definition of benefit and setting of aims or taking all decisive parameters into account, such as space, contents and processes, a retailer will not reach the desired success.
Ability to react quickly
With digital solutions, retailers also benefit from more flexibility in the advertising of products because it is possible to react faster in terms of special offers and promotions. So for instance, in the event of an overstock situation (too many goods in stock that need to be sold because of an expiration period) it is possible to react faster and present an appropriate special offer on the screens without having to design, print and exchange posters. In this way overstock can be reduced ideally and efficiently.
Creating added value
With digital in-store solutions, customer- and benefit-orientated use and the corresponding positioning of touchpoints are crucial in order to create added value for customers and retailers alike - whether in the form of promotions and special offers, as an information source or product adviser, for generating attention or for supporting sales. Digital communication systems have the bonus that retailers are offered an efficient and time-saving alternative to posters and banners. Additionally, contents can be published that are relevant to target group, time and location. In this way end customers are addressed and informed even more explicitly and digital solutions can also be used for statistics and success evaluations. This can be done by evaluating sales figures with the advertised products, for example. If the digital solution is used as a bidirectional communication system, retailers will also gather crucial data on their customers - real “big data”. In this way, interactive systems can also be expanded by including CRM tools such as loyalty programs in order to collate crucial data about customers’ shopping behaviour.
In the following you will see a selection of benefits that can be generated using digital in-store communication:
Benefits of digital in-store communication for end customers
- Enhanced shopping experience
- Products and additional information can be found easily and quickly
- Support in purchasing decisions: product comparison
- Online benefits can also be exploited in stationary retail
- Use of the latest technologies for optimising shopping
- Increased inspiration
Benefits of digital in-store communication for retailers and/or manufacturers
- Increase of sales by creating relevance (right time – right place – right audience – in context!)
- Increase of frequency by means of long-distance effect
- Frequency reversion through customer guidance and orientation
- Increased attention through moving pictures
- Enhancement of image through emotionalisation
- Increased revenue by integration into the customer journey with appropriate conversion (offline, online, mobile)
- Increased satisfaction among employees and customers through accurate communication
- Refinancing through advertising revenues and sales increase
- Cost reduction for communication in comparison to print and other manually prepared solutions
The structured use of digital touchpoints in stationary retail requires a clear definition of aims and coordination of the touchpoints with the customer journey. A successful digital in-store solution takes customer requirements into account and communicates in a way that is customer- and benefit-orientated for a special shopping experience. The aim is to create a positive shopping experience. Retailers are supported by digital in-store communication in sales and in communication in the stationary sales area; digital in-store communication generates purchase impulses for increasing sales and revenue.