The precision of the Internet combined with the intimacy of the Point of Sale (POS) provides for innovative digital POS advertising that triggers buying decisions in retail environments.
Despite the wide range of options for addressing customers on the Internet and following their digital customer journey, most purchasing decisions, around 70 per cent, are not made online, but on the spur of the moment at the Point of Sale.
In spite of the continued internet e-commerce trend, the act of purchasing is still a very analogue affair. The advantages of digitising the final touchpoint at the Point of Sale are becoming increasingly obvious: It is firstly a way of significantly increasing the effectiveness of advertising by taking advantage of the physical proximity of the customer and secondly it can increase advertising impact by controlling which content and advertising is delivered at what time. That is why developing digital solutions for the POS touchpoint where customers make their actual purchasing decisions a crucial part of every customer journey marketing strategy.
Brands can take advantage of digital screens to present dynamic content and advertising directly at the POS.
Digital screen based advertising, better known as Digital Signage, stands out, is attention-grabbing and addresses the consumer directly in their current situation.
With Digital Signage it is possible to focus communication and advertising on the time and place where the consumer is present. The result: Even better and more successful advertising. What’s more, the communication can be scaled-up on unlimited digital screens, updated and adapted in real time to meet the precise needs of a company, brand or product.
pilot Screentime focuses on consumer behaviour at the POS with the development of digital signage solutions (see Fig. Framework conditions at the POS). The situation in which a potential buyer finds themselves at POS is crucial in deciding an on-screen content strategy:
Does the consumer have the chance to engage with the screen communication for a long time? Is there a limit to how long the seller has to grab their attention? And what are the main KPIs of the screen based communication combined with other POS activities?
The contents of a digital POS solution should always correspond to the situation and increase coverage and likelihood of interaction (see Fig. 2).
pilot Screentime has developed a number of digital signage solutions that highlight the opportunities created by digitising the Point of Sale. The following three examples illustrate the innovation and interaction aspects, as well as the CMS-controlled customer journey at the POS.
pilot Screentime has developed an innovative POS solution for beverage manufacturer hella, which catches the eye of every customer in the supermarket:
Unique, digital refrigerators that are fitted with a transparent full-HD display and provide the consumer with a wide range of dynamic content.
The transparent refrigerator screen provides consumers at the POS with regularly updated content and advertising in HD video.
This means it is possible to display weather forecasts, for example, or store information such as opening times.
Screen content on the digital refrigerators is played back via an easy-to-use content management system from market leader Scala and via a playlist (see Fig. Example of a Digital Signage Playlist).
pilot Screentime has developed two digital POS campaigns for international store operator Heinemann with the goal of engaging Travellers at Frankfurt and Hamburg airports.
This makes it possible for travellers in the non-Schengen area of Frankfurt airport to send extra special holiday greetings by means of an interactive, digital screen. As part of the ‘From Europe with Love’ campaign, passersby had their attention grabbed by an innovative, large-format display, designed to extend the time that customers linger in the Heinemann Duty Free shop.
Consumers are drawn in and engaged by a high level of interactivity – and get a playful glimpse into the Heinemann brand.
Visitors to the Heinemann shop had the opportunity to photograph themselves with the landmarks of different European capitals wearing the traditional clothing of the country using a portrait-format 4K touch display with face tracking, and could then forward the image to their email account. Operation of the interactive touchscreen is intuitive, from selecting the different image right through to sending the final e-card.
Consumers at the Hamburg and Frankfurt airports were drawn into another digital POS activity in the shape of the Heinemann ‘Colour your City’ campaign. Here, they were given the opportunity to create cityscapes using a digital screen.
pilot Screentime installed digital screens equipped with ‘Kinect’ cameras in Heinemann duty free shops. Travellers were able to construct images on the screen using gestures and movement.
Travellers also play an important role for the Danish company Scandlines, which makes best use of the physical customer journey from customers’ arrival in the harbour and their onboard stay, departure and visit to the border shops.
pilot Screentime developed a communication concept for Scandlines that takes advantage of the real-time passenger situation.
With around 400 digital screens, on six Scandlines vessels, Scandlines can offer a range of content and advertising that enhances the passengers’ journey – providing relevant and effective communication at every touchpoint.
Digital screens with content such as road and traffic conditions, weather, news, catering services, promotions and company-own advertising accompany passengers in real-time (see. Fig. Digital screens along the Customer Journey for Scandlines).
The digital screen network is controlled from the Scandlines HQ using a content management system, which is currently used to play 52 channels by means of 256 playlists (see the infobox on the left for more information).
These five issues are crucial in the strategic planning of a digital signage solution at the POS:
What is the desired effect of the digital POS activity on the target audience?
* Engagement: Do you want to engage the target group with the POS activity for a long period of time?
* Attention: Is the goal to draw the target group’s attention to advertising as they walk past?
What is the situation of my target group at the POS?
* How much time does the target group have to engage with a digital POS solution?
* What is the situation of my target group at the POS and are one or more creative solutions necessary?
* Is it possible to include the target group’s customer journey in strategic planning?
What technology is required for the POS concept?
* What are the technical possibilities and restrictions that need to be considered?
* Is the solution visible and accessible at the POS?
* Does the solution require an explanation, e.g. how to operate an interactive solution?
Is the content of the digital POS solution appealing and target-group oriented?
* Is the content aimed at the needs of the target audience?
* Should the content inform, entertain or do both?
* Could useful information and content be provided to increase attention?
* Are moving images or static content more appropriate? Does the copy make sense to all customers?
* Can copy be replaced by iconography?
How is the digital POS activity controlled?
* Does the content need to be regularly updated or adapted?
* Do playlists need to be created automatically?
* Is it necessary to implement a CMS for the control and maintenance of different digital solutions?