DSF PRESS RELEASES
Five Steps Retailers Can Take to Keep Shoppers
Jeff Hastings, BrightSign CEO
On the surface it would seem brick-and-mortar retailers are in trouble. Big legacy brands like Sears and JC Penny are dramatically scaling back their storefront presence, while retailers like Toys R Us are shuttering altogether. True, e-commerce is causing havoc in the brick-and-mortar space, but I firmly believe that reports of the demise of retail are greatly exaggerated.
Customers still enjoy the experience of going shopping – most people are not so reclusive that they wish to curtail in-store shopping altogether. They don’t want to live life between four walls with everything brought to their door. They like to get out, to meet and interact with people including knowledgeable retail assistants. There’s an upside to seeing and handling certain products before purchase.
The key to recovering foot-traffic in retail is the shopping experience itself. Here are five examples of our customers around the world going to extraordinary measures to enhance the brick-and-mortar retail shopping experience:
- Make The Customer’s Experience Smooth and Seamless: Robinsons 200,000 sq. ft. flagship store in the Dubai Festival Mall has signage that can be instantly updated by store staff. Customers are welcomed by way-finders directing them smoothly not only to the relevant department, but to the brand that they’ve come to see. Each department has brand columns featuring video content provided by those brands. In the VIP check-out, further screens advertise special promotions to the most affluent customers.
- Encourage Interaction: Travel is a top online purchase, but the UK’s first interactive holiday store, Cruise 1st in Manchester, offers customers a truly unique space in which to select their next cruise holiday. Passing shoppers are attracted by in-window screens and a 2×2 video wall showing 4K video content and images. In-store, live TV content from Cruise 1st’s own Sky TV channel is displayed on a video wall. Touchscreen kiosks make choosing a holiday a game for the entire family.
- Beacon Technology: Improves the overall digital signage experience by increasing audience engagement and creating a personalized experience on two screens. Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon technology, 2-way communication between digital signage and mobile devices is achieved and allows for the delivery of highly targeted promotions based on location as well as the ability to control digital signage playback from a mobile device.
- Use Social Media On The In-store Signage to Engage Customers: Vegas EXP has embraced digitally enhanced experiential shopping. It has a total of 28 screens, with a 55-inch interactive display in the heart of the store. When idle, the screen displays content such as notable Instagram feeds and the local weather forecast. When customers engage with the display, they can browse the online catalog but also have fun with the “selfie mode,” scrolling through and taking selfies in front of various iconic Las Vegas backdrops.
- Create a “wow” factor: El Palacio de Hierro’s flagship store located in Mexico City has replicated a large overhead stained glass ceiling with a 60-inch LED sphere and full-ceiling LED display installed atop the store’s 66-foot-high main concourse.
With innovations like these, it’s clear to see we’re not even close to end-times for the physical retailer. The dip we’re seeing in retail is a sign that retailers haven’t yet hit on the right formula to stay relevant in this digital age. But savvy retailers are facing the issue head-on and using digital signage to deliver the right experience to keep customers coming back.
Morey’s Piers, Beachfront Water Parks and Hotels, a 6-block beachfront amusement park featuring 100+ rides & attractions on the Jersey Shore, has implemented a digital signage network of more than 30 networked screens across its ticket booths and restaurant facilities.
Morey’s Piers has been family owned and operated since 1969 and serves an estimated 5 million guests annually. Voted the 2015 best seaside amusement park in the world by Amusement Today and #1 Best Beach Boardwalk by Family Vacation Critic in 2015, the amusement park spans over eighteen acres and includes three amusement piers and two beachfront water parks.
The sales staff at Morey’s Piers often found that they spent more time explaining the various pricing options to visitors than they were actually selling tickets. Therefore, they required a simple and effective way to convey the best deals for the customers.
The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke, one of the oldest affiliates of the greater Boys & Girls Clubs of America, implemented a digital signage network powered by Mvix. The goal is to engage parents and club members to increase participation in club events and activities.
The Holyoke Club serves more than 350 youths daily and operates 3 satellite branches, including a teen mentorship program. The Club runs childcare services and several academic and recreational after-school prov grams for kindergarten through high school students.
The staff at Holyoke Boys & Girls Club pinned announcements on cork boards but saw very little engagement from parents and kids.
The Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport, located just outside of the nation’s capital, launched a digital signage network powered by Mvix for their hotel lobby, corporate meeting rooms, and employee spaces.
Conveniently located two miles east of Dulles International Airport, Crowne Plaza recently completed a $14 million renovation. The renovation included upgrades to its 327 guest rooms, 12 conference spaces, and the addition of Starbucks, Houlihan’s Restaurant and Bar, and the Executive Club Level & Lounge for business travelers.
This May the FDA’s long-awaited menu-labeling regulations went into effect, following a one-year reprieve intended to give restauranteurs more time to become compliant. This legislation is far-reaching, requiring restaurant chains with 20 or more locations to display nutritional information on their menus to help customers make healthful, informed choices. And while these new rules squarely affect fast casual chains, the regulations are far-reaching in that they apply not just to fast casual, but to other chain locations offering food service such as movie theaters, convenience stores and even vending machines.
At the Digital Signage Expo in March, Rich Ventura, VP of Strategy for NEC and DSF Chair, noticed an emerging theme that had not existed in previous years. About 70 percent of the booths on the show floor had information or products related to analytics.
“Content was king. It’s not anymore. Not at all. Data is king now. Whoever owns and manipulates or drives the data, that is the key now,” he said.
Digital signage, in other words, has reached a maturation point where just turning on a screen and playing content is no longer good enough. Users need to know what those systems are doing for them and their customers.
“Our industry, in the beginning, was commodity-based – screens, computers, cables, everything. We went from a commodity market to a package-type market, when you start talking about simpler solutions,” Ventura said. “Then we went from a package market to a brand-driven market and we started looking more at what brands are doing.”
The fourth step, he added, is an experiential industry. That’s where we are now – digital signage companies are creating experiences to drive the messages and branding. He points to Samsung’s SMART signage MagicInfo solution as an example. Based on the data on purchasing behavior by time of the day, customer-tailored analysis and customer interaction, the solution provides tailored ads and information on products. At the DSE, Samsung showcased the potential application of the solution in the hypermarket, fashion and F&B.
“This has been a breakthrough year for experiential. You’re not going into booths and seeing a bunch of monitors or players in a line. You’re seeing applications really being used,” Ventura said.
These experiences are driven specifically by those analytics, which are showing that, clearly, customers are responding to interactive experiences.
Such data mining is also propelling digital-out-of-home players to deliver bigger experiences. For example, when the DSE was taking place in Vegas, Broadsign took over Harmon Corner on the Strip and delivered content programmatically under a billboard. (Read more about that installation here).
“That was the first time something like that’s been done. We’ve been talking about this for years and now we’re seeing it,” Ventura said. “This is the tip of a renaissance period for our industry.”
There was no defined turning point, however. The digital signage industry has simply matured to this point, while the audience is better educated.
“You can tell because end-user traffic is up more than it’s been any other year. There were some big end-users walking the show this year. There was real business happening on the show floor,” Ventura said. “Our customers have gotten smarter and more tech savvy. They’re interested in how to do things better. All of those things go back to data.”
Notably, Ventura said customers are no longer afraid to take risks and do something different.
“For the last six or seven years in (the quick-service restaurant space), for example, it was all the same thing: digital menu boards. Everyone has them, the same thing,” he said. “There was nothing unique about it. Now, we’re seeing brands ask the question, ‘how do I do this differently?’ We’re seeing everything from projection to glass media to projection on a digital menu.”
While Ventura chairs the DSF, his day job for NEC also gives him deep insight into the macro and micro trends within the industry. With this hat on, he said the difference this year is the sharper focus on down-the-road strategy.
“What are we going to be doing two, three, four years down the road? We have to look at where our customers are, where they’re strong, what markets they’re in and how we can support them two to three years from now. It won’t be the same,” Ventura said. “You have to stop thinking about what you want to sell them and start thinking through their eyes.”
How does that approach translate to digital signage, specifically? Ventura says, for example, a K-12 school should be looked at through a lens of what’s not going to change 20 years from now.
“They’re still going to have to teach and raise their test scores and raise money. We have to look at what we can do to help them increase efficiency while doing all of those things and still teaching,” Ventura said. “We have to focus more on what’s not changing in their day-to-day lives and how we can help them. It’s a huge challenge because of how fast technology moves.”
Ventura said it’s important, however, to focus on experiences before the technology.
“If we earmark for the technology right off the bat, we will fail. Don’t focus on the new 40-inch LCD screen when you’re talking to your customers, because a year from now, it’ll be a 41-inch screen,” he said. “Focus on the experiences.”
30 April, 2018 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Digital Signage Federation® Announces DSF Europe Leadership
Warrenton, VA – The Digital Signage Federation (DSF), the independent not-for-profit trade organization serving the digital signage industry, and the Digital Signage Federation Europe (DSF Europe) have announced the newly elected leadership for the European Affiliate.
Dirk Huelsermann, Managing Director of STRATACACHE Capital, is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of DSF Europe. Mr. Huelsermann has chaired the association since its inception for more than nine years and has said, “With this announcement, the aim is to help rejuvenate DSF Europe and continue to build a solid foundation that works on behalf of our members. The affiliation with the DSF will allow us to offer our members additional educational and professional development opportunities.”
Mr. Huelsermann also announced the two newly elected officers of DSF Europe. The new President of DSF Europe will be Simon Jackson, Vice President, Strategic & Vertical Sales EMEA, NEC Display Solutions. The new Vice President of DSF Europe will be Leif Liljebrunn, President and CEO of ZetaDisplay AB.
Mr. Jackson said “I would like to thank Mr. Huelsermann for his work on growing this organization. Soon we will be announcing our programming plan for the remainder of 2018 and encourage our members, and potential members, to connect with us at an upcoming event.”
DSF Chairman Richard Ventura, Vice President of Strategy for NEC Display Solutions of America, Inc., said “The ability for business to share collaboratively on growing our industry within a global network is important. Our issues extend across borders and a strong DSF Europe is important to all our stakeholders, whether they are in the Americas or elsewhere. I want to congratulate Mr. Huelsermann on his successes leading DSF Europe, and the organization under its former name, OVAB Europe.”
Although supported and endorsed by the DSF, the European affiliate operates independently. Their members focus on issues within a specific European context but receive certain benefits from the shared membership. These benefits include access to information and discounts for professional development.
About the Digital Signage Federation
DSF’s Mission is to support and promote the common business interests of the world-wide digital signage, interactive technologies and the digital out-of-home network industries. The DSF is a not-for-profit independent voice of the digital signage industry reflecting the diversity of its membership. It promotes professional recognition through certifications, continuing education, conferences, publications, and presentations offered by the DSF and affiliate groups. It provides government lobbying to leverage the collective strength of members and represent their interests at the higher levels of government and the community. The DSF provides leadership and networking opportunities focused on building a solid foundation for the advancement of the digital signage industry. For more information, visit www.digitalsignagefederation.org.