Will digital signage continue to evolve to focus on the customer experience, away from simple advertising as we move into 2020?
Today’s connected consumer is empowered like never before. Digital experiences help shape our daily lives and routines. Digital signage is table stakes these days, and most brands and retailers have already adopted this medium as a form of digital communication for physical spaces. Digital signage has evolved greatly over the past several years, maturing from just being a one-way communication medium to a more effective and connected two-way interactive experience that extends even farther through other screens and connection points. Our screen of choice today is our mobile device. It is our connection to society, our personal assistant and our most trusted advisor.
No one makes many purchase decisions these days without going through a wide process that can involve visiting a physical store to find what we like, using smart phones to compare prices and read reviews, going on social media to seek the opinions of friends, and then sometimes completing the purchase on-line. This is the basis for today’s ‘digital shopper.’ To be successful, brands and retailers must think about what their shoppers actually demand from the digital path to purchase. While this way of targeting consumers has completely disrupted advertising, the relationship between shopper and retailer is still very simple. Shoppers give time, money and effort to purchase, and in return, they receive items, customer service and hopefully satisfaction. When it comes to meeting shopper needs, any digital experience that can save time, money or effort (or all of the above) will have a good chance of success. Any experience that does not deliver against at least one of these basic needs will likely fail.
As we move into 2020, data, AI, customer profile information, shopping behaviors and history and other insights are empowering brands to more accurately match what consumers like and are interested in buying. These evolved level of insights are in turn helping to provide a deeper level of personalization in digital experiences. By providing more relevant content to consumers, the power of digital experience is becoming even more influential and effective. Bringing together the convenience of the online experience with the tactile allure of the physical environment is the sweet spot to deliver more engaging shopping experiences. The main focus will undoubtedly be focused on the customer. Consumers shop based on impulse and make purchase decisions emotionally. Sometimes, this is more driven by a desired emotional response than getting the lowest price. Customers choose to develop bonds with brands because they buy into their culture, portrayed lifestyle and sense of community almost as much as practical benefits like price, convenience or satisfaction.
To be successful, tomorrow’s digital experiences must look to deliver on two key factors:
Digital experiences have the ability to completely immerse customers in a brand lifestyle, culture and essence. Telling richer stories in the physical environment is how brands can hope to tug on those emotional heartstrings that can ultimately persuade purchase. Brand engagement is transforming thanks to the power of storytelling. Pairing practicality and emotion is how brands will succeed at converting customers along the digital path to purchase as digital experiences continue to evolve and mature.
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