Monday, November 2, 2015

Display Interpersonal Warmth Above Digital Ads

Researchers at Babson College and Stockholm School of Economics say in-store digital display advertising hurts sales revenues when used by small retailers. Better to stick with traditional signage than install computer monitors showing animated images, this seems to mean. Moreover, traditional signage costs less and robs less merchandise space than computer monitors do.
     Yet the real takeaway from this research might not be to give up on in-store digital display advertising. Instead, use the technology strategically. After all, the research also found that digital displays in Big Box hypermarket stores were responsible for increasing sales markedly, and the increases continued for at least five months after the signs were first turned on.
     Consider how your smaller retail business can achieve similar benefits:
  • Display your website content in-store. This helps the viewer integrate the multiple shopping and promotional channels you offer. 
  • Advocate co-op advertising to your suppliers. A significant cost with digital display advertising is for production of compelling content. Ask the manufacturers of the products you sell what they have available and could produce for your use. 
  • Make it part of a state-of-the-art appeal. If you sell products which foster creative thinking, accommodate people who want to play around with the items. Interactive digital displays, such as with touch screen menus, help. 
  • Entertain the shopper. People love a story, so brief story-based ads can be highly effective as marketing tools for retailers. But don’t entertain the shopper to the point where the shopper is distracted from your primary selling message. Researchers from University of Iowa and Northwestern University found that if the ad, even if relevant to the shopper, interrupts the shopper’s flow of thinking, the consumer will dislike the ad. 
     Still, why were the Babson/Stockholm results so different for large than for small retailers? I suspect it’s because the distinctive appeal of the successful smaller retailer is in the warmth shown to the shopper by familiar faces and interpersonal conversations. Those are less important at the Big Box, where price is a primary consideration. My suspicious were strengthened when I saw that, in the research, digital displays lifted sales only when item prices were being promoted.
     Small to midsize retailers can learn from large retailers. Discern where the large retailer seems clumsy, then grab market share by being more nimble. Assess how what is working superbly for the Big Box might be successfully scaled down or adapted.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Integrate Multiple Shopping Channels
Play Full with the Sales Potential of “Playful”
Entertain with Story-Based Advertisements
Learn From the History of Giant Retailers

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