Digital is king
Digital is king – whether that is LED or LCD, says Retail Dimension Ltd director Kyle Pennell. His company is a multi-faceted supplier to blue chip corporates, and has been involved in many of New Zealand’s largest signage roll-outs. Clients include Z Energy, Lotto NZ, NZ Post/Kiwibank, Michael Hill and Westpac.
“You only need to look at the US where there’s virtually no national retailer that doesn’t use digital to know that it’s a matter of time before its reasonably ubiquitous in NZ,” he says.
Retailers are gaining a greater understanding of the fact that signage can play a part in assisting the customer decision-making process about where they will shop. And that signage isn’t simply a logo, but a way of connecting the consumer to your brand personality, says Pennell.
“The proliferation of digital in-store is a key indicator that savvy retailers can communicate not just on the external face of the store, but all the way through the shopper journey and capture not only more dwell time, but sales.”
Pennell says that as consumers move to more personalised services such as Netflix or Spotify, the cut-through in radio and TV advertising diminishes.
This has an impact on in-store marketing. “Retailers have to connect more with their customers at the point of sale, and there’s no doubt digital signage can assist greatly here, if done well,” says Pennell.
In New Zealand, fast food restaurants such as McDonalds and KFC have embraced digital and it works well, he says. Digital has had less impact on supermarkets.
“It’s been tried and discarded but it will come around again, there’s no doubt about that,” he says.
Pennell thinks no one does digital signage better than Lotto NZ: “They use short messaging incredibly well, the messages are clear, concise, bright, engaging and continually different. I think many others could learn a lot from what Lotto are doing.”
Looking ahead, digital will play an increasingly vital role in the implementation of a retailer’s omnichannel strategy. Overseas, retailers are integrating social media with digital signage to create a unique experience.
Brands are using digital screens in-store to encourage real-time conversations and encouraging customers to use social media outlets to chat about their in-store experience.
While customers wait to see their comments feature on the screen in-store, they are paying attention to what’s being displayed on the screen – whatever advertising format that may be.
First Retail Group managing director Chris Wilkinson believes we are playing catch up with the use of digital signage, and New Zealand has got to make sure that our internet networks have the capacity and speed to be support mass rollouts of digital signage.
Meanwhile, the influence of digital is starting to be seen in malls and public arenas around New Zealand.
In September, QMS Media officially switched on the ‘Britomart Towers’, a pair of digital sites in Auckland’s busy Britomart train station.
The Britomart Towers are positioned either side of the escalators that funnel commuters in and out of the station. QMS believes the digital screen offers advertisers the impact of digital outdoor, with the ability to target a previously hard to reach customer – the busy rail commuter.