How can retailers use online content to engage customers in-store?

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Image courtesy of FINA

Retailers are increasingly using digital signage to engage their customers in-store.

According to a survey conducted by Point of Purchase Advertising International (POPAI), more than 46,000 stores are now using digital signage, compared with just 12,500 in 2007. This figure is expected to rise to 58,000 by the end of this year.

Clearly retailers are trying to influence consumer purchasing through digital channels in both the on and offline arena. However, content on most digital signage screens is still “push” advertising or static images of products on offer. Perhaps retailers would be better placed to further integrate the online and offline world by making the content “social” or, at the very least, user-generated?

POPAI  found that bespoke, regularly updated content was the most effective at engaging consumers in-store. Surely the product-specific, user-generated content, appearing in real-time on the social web and written by the consumer for the consumer, is as up to date and bespoke as you can get?

Brands or retailers with an online community or Facebook page dedicated to their products or services would be particularly successful at exploring this option. Some of the content needed probably already exisits and the digital signage screens would just serve to bring it to the eyes of the consumer in-store.

Retailers are realising that in order to achieve an increase in footfall, and therefore sales, stores and shopping malls have to provide customers with a more engaging shopping experience. Digital signage is a fairly cost-effective way for retailers to utilise the consumer generated content online to increase customer engagement in-store.

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