Digital Advertising on the Store Shelf – Finding New Ways to Approach the Customer

06/01/2014

Aside from the (especially in food retailing) still popular and favored print advertising with ad flyers or ads in the daily newspaper, other types of advertising, which have a measurable impact on impulse buying directly at the POS, have also established themselves for some time now. New digital advertising solutions play a particularly big role when it comes to what product the customer chooses at the store shelf.
Photo: intelligent cooling rack includes several large screens; © Online Software AG

The intelligent cooling rack includes several large screens. Additionally, modern
LCD displays replace the classic price tags; © Online Software AG

Aside from the (especially in food retailing) still popular and favored print advertising with ad flyers or ads in the daily newspaper, other types of advertising, which have a measurable impact on impulse buying directly at the POS, have also established themselves for some time now. New digital advertising solutions play a particularly big role when it comes to what product the customer chooses at the store shelf.

It is only a few short seconds during which a customer notices a product on the store shelf or overlooks it and simply walks past it. This is a key moment for retailers. After all, current studies show that 75 percent of all purchase decisions are made directly at the store shelf. Yet a big portion of the advertising budget of food retailers still goes towards sales promotion measures outside the store and especially into traditional ad flyers. However, the importance of in-store marketing continues to increase. And just like with many other areas, retail increasingly focuses on digital solutions in this aspect.

Supermarket television: moving images on the rise

Since several brands have already had great experiences in distributing their ad campaigns with videos on the Internet over the past few years, videos are also increasingly becoming a medium at the POS. The reason for this is clear: video images automatically attract the customer’s attention, compared to billboards for example, which today are often no longer perceived as a message in the public domain. In fact, they are so commonplace that they often register no effect whatsoever in terms of customer attention.

Yet even with in-store videos, different factors need to be considered to achieve optimal distribution of advertising content. Monitor and product should not be placed too far from each other – ideally, the monitor is being installed above the store shelf. After all, once a customer has noticed a product, he/she doesn’t want to look for it on the store shelf for several minutes. It is also important in terms of spot content to choose high-contrast images and large fonts, meaning overall a strong visual language, since the sound is often being swallowed up in the store.

Digital signage solutions for food retailing

However, supermarket television is not the only digital signage application with which food retail is able to achieve a positive impact. Especially in new creations, information pillars and other types of displays are increasingly being used – and when it comes to price labeling, many retailers focus on digital solutions.

Contents are critical for these solutions. After all, if the customer is solely confronted with pure advertising, he/she blanks them out as quickly as a traditional TV ad or he/she gets irritated and scared off. With its application, retail therefore has to make sure –depending on the size and placement of the respective display of course – that it offers the customer a proper mix of advertising, information and entertainment.

The intelligent shelf

With “Shelf Vision“, retailer real,- has introduced a particularly comprehensive digital signage solution created especially for food retail this year. The solution that was developed in collaboration with the METRO GROUP Future Store Initiative, the Online Software AG, Maixsys and industry partners Danone, Arla Foods, Ferrero and Unilever combines elements that are modern and at the same time suitable for daily use and was awarded the POPAI Digital Award for the best digital signage solution.

“The individual product areas at real,- have a contemporary design and are always adapted to the needs of our customers – this also applies for the cooling area. Nevertheless, our goal was to design the present cooling shelves in an even more modern way and to make it more attractive for our customers and industry partners by using the latest technology. The result is the ‘Shelf Vision‘ cooling system“, Wulff Lucas, Project Manager at the real,- SB Warenhaus GmbH commented on the award for the solution by the POPAI jury. “Instead of the traditional shelf rails with paper labels, electronic shelf rails with liquid crystal displays (LCDs) were being installed, which are brought to life with colorful images, videos and animations via the PRESTIGEenterprise software by the Online Software AG.“

Among other things, the intelligent cooling shelf includes several large-format screens, which structure the entire cooling shelf according to product segments and thus facilitate well-thought-out customer flow. In addition, modern LC displays also replace traditional price tags. Aside from the display of text-based advertising elements, you can also play back advertising spots or animations on these displays to appeal to customers on an emotional level and point out sales promotions, new products or offers.

Including the customer’s digital devices

Even though these kinds of in-store digital applications certainly have their benefits, several retailers are already taking this a step further, namely in the mobile area. In this case, the retailer truly reaches the customer directly on his/her own device. The customers’ Smartphones provide ideal conditions for modern POS marketing, for example in the form of mobile couponing. With the corresponding apps, it is possible to collect coupons with the Smartphone and directly redeem them at the food retailer’s checkout counters. The “open wallet” mobile couponing solution by acardo for example is already being used in more than 1,000 food markets all over Germany. Digital coupons can therefore be provided exactly where a big portion of purchase decisions are being made, that is to say directly at the point of sale.

With a comprehensive solution, retailers today have the opportunity to play back appropriate advertising geared towards a specific target group on the different existing digital ad spaces in the store – regardless of whether that applies to large-format screens, scales or smaller displays directly at the shelf. This is not just about reaching a particularly tech-savvy target group. Outfitting the supermarket with digital solutions facilitates a targeted approach for different types of customer groups directly in the store.

Author: Daniel Stöter; EuroShop
First publication at iXtenso.com