Customer-Influenced Content leads Digital Signage Trends for 2021

Brick-and-mortar stores have been under pressure with the onslaught of online shopping for several years but the COVID-19 pandemic created a new set of challenges for retail stores. With fear of the pandemic and social distancing, sanitising and mask-wearing being the norm, retailers are facing a new battle to attract customers back to stores whilst providing a safe, engaging, entertaining and personalised experience. How do brick-and-mortar stores attract and retain customers whilst creating an engaging experience that competes with their online experience?

According to Chris Day, Managing Director of Moving Tactics, South Africa’s leading digital signage solutions company, the store of the future will employ integrated technologies and data, similar to those used online, to tailor the in-store experience to a specific customer.

“Retailers need to think about how they are going to get the online mindset into their stores. The future of retail will be about using multiple touchpoints, such as non-touch interactive digital signage screens, touchscreens, promotional screens and virtual queuing to develop an understanding of what customers are engaging with in-store; what they are doing; wanting to know; and prefer to purchase. Similar to online searches, data gathered from these various touchpoints will be the foundation of organic customer-influenced content,” says Day.

Taking this a step further, data gathered from the in-store digital customer journey and experience, combined with online data gathered from customers in a specific local geographic area, could provide retailers with detailed information on preferred and sought-after products, services and information, which in turn enables the retailer to develop a customer-curated experience in their store. Not only are customers being offered a more tailored and personal experience but retailers are able to plan their stockholding, staff complement, and promotions more effectively.

“Linking mobile search to these elements adds another layer of service efficiency. Whilst searching for a product or service, customers could be directed to their closest store, advised on what documentation will be required and allocated a placement in the virtual queue to see a consultant. Following on from the virtual queue allocation, the consultant would be equipped to address the customer’s queries based on their online search. It’s about providing customer service on a completely different level,” adds Day.

No matter how large the retailer network, customer-influenced content targets customers with product- and service-specific information that negates the need for blanket advertising. “The new digital in-store customer journey not only provides tailored, customer-influenced content but also applied retail analytics and big data to enhance the retailer’s customer experience and optimise business operations,” concludes Day.

QSR Digital Signage

Digital Signage experts know that specific features and technologies are employed to suit specific business sectors and environments more than others do and, in the case of Quick-Service Restaurants (QSRs), these digital signage technologies directly impact the customer experience and the bottom line.

Having worked with top brands in the QSR and retail industry, Moving Tactics, South Africa’s leading digital signage solutions company, employs digital signage technologies to optimise screen efficacy in-store. “We have worked with Famous Brands for several years and installed screens in 568 of their most well-known QSR outlets across South Africa. They prefer to work with LG, a leading supplier of large format displays that have enhanced features built into their commercial screens.

“I would advise any QSR or retail business to ensure they use commercial screens as they can provide attention-grabbing content in often harsh environments, as challenges such as excessive heat, dust and humidity have been considered in the build quality. These screens are also up to the task of working for 16-24 hours straight, day in, day out, compared to residential TV screens. And finally, they should include features that maximise business performance,” says Chris Day, Managing Director at Moving Tactics.

The top four digital signage technology features that optimise screen effectiveness in QSRs and retail are:

1. Anti-Glare
Anti-glare digital screens have been utilised in QSR franchise chains such as Wimpy, Fishaways, Steers, Milky Lane, Debonairs, Fego Caffe and Mugg & Bean restaurants across the country for obvious reasons. They reflect light resulting in low reflectivity, which results in easier to read displays and increases the ability of customers to distinguish shapes and details of objects from a distance.

2. Brightness
Sufficient brightness and contrast are essential in high or low ambient light conditions, and even more so in environments that use screens to sell the product itself. In the QSR environment, digital menu boards need to be set for high brightness so that product information is highly visible to customers and increases demand with their crystal-clear clarity and motion graphics.

3. Display Orientation and IP5x Certified Design
Commercial displays can be used in landscape or portrait modes and have a wide selection of industrial mounting options, unlike consumer TV screens. In addition, select LG commercial digital signage displays feature IPX5 dust-proof certification, which makes them dust resistant resulting in better long-term performance and less heat generation.

4. Conformal Coating
In the QSR environment, the most critical technology that will ensure that your digital displays run well for years to come is conformal coating. This coating, which is applied to the major circuit board, protects screens from environmental elements such as moisture, grease and dust.

“Specialised environments such as QSRs and retail stores have their own challenges and it is important that digital signage systems installed are built for purpose and meet the brands’ needs to enhance customer engagement and to provide appetite appeal,” concludes Day.

Edgars Re-Engineers Its In-Store Customer Journey By Partnering With Moving Tactics

Edgars has appointed Moving Tactics as its holistic in-store digital signage and media partner as it launches its new ‘open experience’ retail concept with its flagship store opening at Fourways Mall in Johannesburg. Moving Tactics, South Africa’s leading digital signage solutions company, had previously worked with Edgars, and their associated clothing and cosmetics brands, prior to the relaunch, to implement in-store digital media experiences for its customers.

Edgars relaunched its brand in 2018 and is committed to providing customers with an experiential shopping environment. “Internationally, retailers are purposefully rewiring themselves in the ever evolving retail landscape to enable the ‘experience economy’,” Edgars said.

The concept of creating entertainment through shopping and socialising is enhanced and supported by Moving Tactics’ digital signage installation. It includes point-of-sale signage, pillar screens, touch screen kiosks, convergence area screens, in-store music and large-impact staggered video walls that accompany the customer on their journey through the store.

The new 8,000m2 Edgars Fourways Mall store, has been upgraded with over 65 screens in various sections of the store including unique screen placement at Point of Sale. The Point of Sale screen content is synchronised to the nano-second to create seamless flow over a staggered six-screen video wall solution that captivates the customer.

To complement the captivating visual display, Moving Tactics has also installed and a five-zone Digital Audio Solution, across Ladieswear and Cosmetics, Menswear, Kidswear, Spa and Café. The Audio solution has been professionally designed so that there is no audio interference between departments, creating an uplifting shopping experience for the Edgars customer.

“As part of the Customer Audio and Visual Journey, we are also testing various interactive digital solution such as Digital Mannequins to allow customers to visualise the current fashion trends. And in the kids department, Kids Digital Gaming tables have been installed to keep them entertained during shopping expeditions,” Kevin Bierman, Head of Digital Signage Solutions at Moving Tactics.

Moving Tactics, who has partnered with Edgars for almost a decade, says they’re proud that the relationship has been reaffirmed for another five-year period. “We are even more excited to be part of Edgars’ new retail concept stores and to fulfil our mandate that includes in-store digital signage, radio, digital media sales, in-store activations, content development and a full in-house print service. All our technologies, except for the mobile kiosks, run via System on Chip (SOC) technology that facilitates media players being built into the screens, which leads to less downtime, resulting in a more cost-effective installation that integrates all the channels and content seamlessly.

“To date, we have completed digital signage and audio installations for Edgars at more than 150 stores nationally and we’re currently aiming at completing the last few stores for a spectacular customer experience during the festive season,” concludes Bierman.

Top 4 Must Have Digital Signage Features for the QSR Environment

The current economic climate makes it so much harder for the youth to get a foot in the employment door. To address this issue and create employment opportunities in the digital signage industry, Moving Tactics, the leading South African digital signage solutions company, has partnered with the Yes4Youth initiative that gives businesses a chance to develop work experience, drive skills development and create employment for the youth via a 12-month internship programme.

According to Chris Day, Managing Director at Moving Tactics, the company has supported this initiative for the past two years and has, to date, provided internship work opportunities for 15 youths. “We have a variety of new learnership work opportunities available that allow us to expose the digital signage industry to the youth of South Africa and give them an opportunity to get much needed work experience in this field. It’s an excellent way to get placed in a company, make a difference and, hopefully, get a foothold in this business,” says Day.

Moving Tactics is currently rolling out 12 new learnerships this year in project management, business administration and software development internally and externally, to name a few.

As a result, current intern, Vuyolwethu Singqoto, who has a certificate in Data Analytics and a Diploma in Human Resource Management, has been at Moving Tactics’ Cape Town office for the past seven months. “I have always had part-time jobs while trying to balance school full-time and work during the school holidays. The only real job I’ve had was working at my father’s Trailer Hire and manufacturing business as an office all-rounder. When I saw the advert for this internship, it ticked all my boxes.

“My goal was to work in a forward-thinking company that consistently develops and retains employees who show growth, and this was that company for me. It also is in partnership with the Yes4Youth programme that gives youth a dignified first chance at work. I value continuous learning and want to grow as a prolific leader with an innovator and I believe Moving Tactics, together with Yes4Youth, can help me achieve this,” says Singqoto.

Singqoto’s internship within the Human Resources department has been a platform from which she can positively impact and guide individuals. She believes that HR is a great mediator to motivate colleagues and guide them in finding fulfilling work. “I am excited about this opportunity as this will lead me down a fruitful career in the future as being the key knowledge bearer of company policies and insight into continuous improvement of company standards,” explains Singqoto.

In the KwaZulu-Natal office, Alton Jackson has been interning in Moving Tactics’ Technical division as an IT Technician. Alton, who has a Diploma in Information Technology, says he promised himself that he would take whatever opportunity came his way after his studies. “After applying for multiple job vacancies, internships, and learnerships, I received a call from my lecturer about this golden opportunity and I promised myself I’ll give it my all and work hard.

“I have learned about various types of systems and seen how things operate behind the scenes. I am gaining experience as I am working under a very skilled individual, so I am constantly learning. All knowledge and experience gained from this internship will help push my career further and have lots of success,” concludes Alton.

If you’re interested in applying for any of the learnerships at Moving Tactics to develop your skills in the digital signage industry, check out the website or get in touch with the Yes4Youth initiative.