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Digital Signage

Virtual Assistants: The Next Generation of Digital Signage

Technologically-savvy shoppers are demanding a more interactive retail environment. In response, retailers are opting for digital solutions that bridge traditional and virtual shopping experiences. Interactive digital signage is just one example. Through display technology, retailers are creating virtual assistants that drive customer loyalty through more engaging experiences.

Desktops, laptops, in-store kiosks and, increasingly, mobile devices already make today’s consumers more connected than ever. With these virtual assistants, users have instant access to real-time information, and quite often they can retrieve this information even faster than retail associates. According to a 2014 report by Deloitte, shoppers who use electronic devices during their shopping journey convert at a 40 percent higher rate. Forward-thinking brands are utilizing virtual assistant technology to attract these tech-savvy customers.

Tapping into Digital Signage

Digital signage is creating customer awareness and guiding shoppers to their next purchase. These next-generation signage solutions are designed to engage with increasingly tech-savvy shoppers and drive purchase decisions. Retailers use electronic signage, usually commercial grade LCD displays, to feature a brand or promotion in store. While the earliest versions of digital signage featured what equated to slide shows of static, unrelated messages, newer iterations have evolved into interactive touch-screen appliances that use full-motion video to emulate websites, promote product browsing or enable online shopping. Innovative deployments are moving beyond one-way communication, promoting interaction between customers and sales associates. For example, some screens allow store associates to access corporate pages, where they can educate shoppers about merchandise and access individual shopper histories to streamline the in-store journey. With so many ways to deliver information, virtual assistants are setting the tone for improving in-store service.

Even though robust functionality creates purchase opportunities, brands need to use display technology smartly if they want to engage with today’s informed, always-connected shoppers. Sales floor real estate is shrinking, and with consumers’ attention turned toward personal devices, placement is a major consideration when trying to maximize space and effectiveness. Fortunately, virtual assistants can be used to help display large items such as cars, furniture and mechanical equipment. They can also reduce the amount of stock kept in the storefront, leaving more open space to create an appealing, comfortable atmosphere.

Samsung is helping to drive adoption of virtual assistants through its new range of small-sized Smart Signage displays. Designed to replace static posters and appeal to shoppers’ comfort level with personal technology, these displays incorporate powerful system-on-chip processors and Wi-FiĀ® connectivity, so no external media player or ethernet cabling is required. The compact 22-inch model can be used in fitting rooms, above the sales floor or behind the cash wrap to catch the attention of busy customers. Alternatively, the smaller 10-inch version is the perfect fit for shelf fixtures and wall-mounted kiosks to help browsing shoppers find their next purchase. For the retailer, Samsung’s MagicInfo Content Management software allows staff to create and change messaging from a single central location. Text, photos, videos, templates and display schedules can all be modified from an online dashboard. By programming the displays once, they can automatically turn on in the morning and off in the evening, or be set to show targeted messaging depending on the time of day.

Continued exposure to disruptive advertising desensitizes consumers to traditional marketing. Interactive digital signage can increase conversion through customer interaction and engagement. By merging new innovations with traditional branding, retailers are improving their brand messaging and shifting the way that stores create sales.

Considering digital signage solutions for your store? Visit Samsung’s Smart Signage page to see which display is right for you.

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Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Deena M. Amato-McCoy is a veteran business journalist specializing in retail and retail technology. She has spent her career as a reporter and editor covering retail technology topics such as digital signage, beacon solutions, EMV, mobile payments and other customer engagement strategies for publications including RIS News, Grocery Headquarters, STORES, Chain Store Age, Apparel and others. Deena has cultivated strong industry relationships throughout her career, and is always keen to uncover key business trends. Follow Deena on Twitter @Deena46

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