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The Rise and Rise of Digital Signage in Fashion Retail

The Digital Signage industry is growing, valued at 16.88BN USD in 2015 and expected to reach 27.34BN USD by 2022.  The use of Digital Signage is a much discussed subject amongst many of our Retail Fashion Clients, but it’s still not taking off in the way that one would expect for something that promises so much for so many.

Research tells us that Digital Signage captures 400% more views than static signs, and 80% of Brands using Digital Signage instore experienced up to 33% in additional sales, according to a Nielsen Consumer Survey.  So why if it’s so effective are we not seeing double digit growth in the industry?

Control and Cost are Driving Today’s Decisions

In my experience, there seems to be two key drivers for making a significant enterprise wide investment decision in Digital Signage for Fashion and Retail.

The ability to ensure consistent experiences instore with the latest looks and promotions across the globe - many global retailers are concerned about having a consistent brand presence instore, and Digital Signage offers the ability to centrally or regionally control content on display instore. This reduces the reliance on human intervention to remove or update instore visual merchandising.

In addition, the cost of visual merchandisers and the time taken to change traditional signage can add up to an important business case, as one fast food chain found when they made the decision to move digital.  They based their case on the time and money it was taking to replace their menus and pricing across its thousands of venues across the globe.

Whilst control and cost are important, the real opportunity is to enable immersive Digital Experiences.  As explained in my previous post, customers love having a personalized journey - and Digital Signage can definitely help retailers offer their customers a true omnichannel experience.

The Integrated Opportunity for Better Experiences

Immersive instore experiences are acknowledged by retailers as increasingly important in the face of online and particularly mobile retailing, according to the Fashion Retail Report 2014.  In addition, considering the average Fashion Retail Consumer now regularly uses up to five channels to do shopping, it’s important to think beyond the store and beyond control and cost when thinking through the Digital Signage opportunity.

Windows are the Next Big Advertising Opportunity

The Fashion industry spends over 500BN USD per year on advertising.  Most big chains own thousands of metres squared of prime advertising space – their own shop windows - and most are not making the most of them.  The majority of Fashion Retailers still use the traditional shop mannequins to attract and entice.

We see Digital Windows as the next big advertising opportunity for Fashion Retailers… not only to entice Consumers into their stores, but to reinforce the Brand Awareness, create engagement with the brand and be relevant.

Relevance Pays

Making advertising contextually relevant improves results.  Or, that’s what Adshel and Neuro-Insight discovered in the world’s first neurological study to prove the effectiveness of contextually relevant advertising across digital out of home.  They found it was up to 19% more effective than non-contextual advertising.

Digital Signage as a replacement of the traditional shop window offers a fantastic opportunity to ‘get relevant’.  Integrating Digital Signage content scheduling with time of day, day of week or even weather sensors can provide a simple example of how to provide contextually relevant advertising.  For example, when it’s raining showing the latest video of rainwear instead of the same reel regardless of weather, time of day or day of week.

Getting Up Close and Personal

As more and more Retailers embed RFID tags into garments, the opportunity of contextual relevance continues for Digital Signage instore.  For example: Digital Signage can be used in changing rooms to display relevant accessories and complementary items to the items the customers is trying on at the time.

Content is Still a Barrier

The opportunity that Digital Signage provides can only be leveraged with the right content, and lots of it.  With the production of high quality commercials costing ten of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s essential that creative thinking gets smart.

Payback needs to be big and that is only possible by ensuring that every digital asset can be leveraged in at least 10 different ways, and possibily monetized with an advertising business case.

Agencies need to help their Clients think through how to integrate across Ecommerce, Web, Mobile, Signage in co-ordinated, integrated and optimized ways for maximum effect.

It’s All About Customer Engagement

As the phenomena of ‘Pokemon Go’ has proven, Customers want to be engaged and immersed. They want a story and they want escapism.  Fashion Retailers have the best tools in the world to create those stories through the clothes, the looks and emotions that they can stimulate.

Digital Signage in Fashion Retail is as yet a relatively under exploited medium, but one which is a crucial piece in the omnichannel experience puzzle for Fashion Retailers today.

Natalie Kouzeleas

Natalie Kouzeleas

Natalie is a Strategy Advisor focused on Digital Transformation; her current focus is in the area of Commercial Effectiveness, Digital Transformation and Analytics. With more than 25 years of experience in Direct Marketing, Strategic Consulting and Sales Solutions Design for Global Organizations, Natalie has an intimate knowledge of the Industry and is a regular spokesperson and presenter at international Marketing conferences.

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