Point-of-sale marketing tactics have historically been limited to basic placards displaying outdated graphics along with some small print pushing today’s hot items. Some marketers take it one step further and recommend pyramids of precipitously stacked products, which a child on a sugar rush inevitably topples.
The bottom line is: effective in-store marketing is just as important as it ever was Suffice it to say that for brand marketers, in-store advertising techniques have effectively stagnated, keeping brick-and-mortar sellers on the outside of the programmatic media revolution. This is a concerning phenomenon for retailers, especially considering that 85% of consumers still prefer to complete their purchases in physical stores rather than online.
The bottom line is: effective in-store marketing is just as important as it ever was, and it’s time to build momentum with customers by capitalizing on technology.
Digitizing Brick-And-Mortar Environments
“Digital signage is a critical need,” proclaims Jon Stine, the Global Director of Retail Sales at Intel. He continues, “Over the past five years, 65% to 70% of shopper journeys start online, while 88%… are transacted in the store.”
Innovative brand marketers at the forefront of the in-store digital advertising revolution have already employed some successful tactics. For example, the retail giant REI adopted in-store kiosks that deliver web-based service, empowering customers to assist themselves with research, price comparisons and available inventory checks while freeing up floor associates, and therefore limiting labor costs.
Nike’s London store installed interactive touchscreens to allow customers full access to further information about their products, successfully bringing in-store customers online.
Motivating brick-and-mortar customers to interact with a brand online, even if that interaction is limited to in-store kiosk or touch-pad, cultivates a more collaborative, responsive sales environment. It also aligns digital marketing efforts with in-store customer experiences.
But perhaps most significantly, this effort culls data from customers who would otherwise remain “undocumented.” The information collected from in-store audience members can bolster brand marketing efforts , because the more insight available about customer needs, demographics and behaviors, the better a brand can segment, target and drive purchases. “The future… is about data-driven decision making,” says Stine. “The retail leaders of tomorrow will be the companies that can acquire and analyze this data and do something with it.”
What In-Store Video Can Accomplish
Onsite video screens allow retailers to strengthen their brand while mitigating the customer’s discomfort of waiting in a queue.
Considering that the average brick-and-mortar shopper spends 20 minutes of dwell time in each store, and an average of eight minutes in the grocery checkout line, brand marketers should be considerably more motivated to capitalize on that captive audience.
Montreal-based infotainment company Impax Media is making an intriguing move to accomplish exactly that goal. Impax places 32-inch high-definition screens just above product displays in grocery checkout lanes, creating a dramatic, brand-focused video wall across the entire front end of a supermarket. The individual retailer manages a percentage of the programming featured on the screen, which often includes a mix of quick meal ideas, cooking tips and “what’s on sale today” spots.
Even more compelling is that this same technology performs double-duty – while broadcasting, it culls information from in-store customers, taking audience research into physical retail spaces. Using technology that tracks eye contact, a time counter is activated for each view.
Additionally, the software uses anonymous facial analysis to segment viewers by age and gender, skyrocketing the advertiser’s audience intelligence.
Local Brand Optimization
Point-of-sale video is an especially strong channel for local brands, since proximity marketing can be utilized to its fullest potential.
Most retail customers do their shopping in their hometowns, and earning local exposure via video is a lot easier than trying to rank locally in the competitive search engine results pages. Since local television advertising can be cost-prohibitive, on-site branded video may offer the most bang for local media buyers’ bucks.
Keep in mind, though, that attention is a more valuable metric than impressions for in-store video. Keeping a potential customer in front of branded content for several minutes is a feat that digital channels rarely achieve.
The Revolution Has Begun
Burgeoning technology is allowing retail brand marketers inroads that they’ve been previously denied. Gone are the days of stacking cans of corn and hoping the precarious pyramid does its marketing job.
Point-of-sale video shows so much promise because it targets an audience that was previously not engaging via dedicated screens. It also aligns extremely well with brands’ digital marketing efforts, further developing brands’ abilities to gather actionable audience intelligence.
The tools are now in place.
Join the revolution.