3 Digital Signage Technology Predictions for Retailers in 2020

The approach of the New Year does not just mean the end of 2019, it means the end of an entire decade. It’s now time to reflect on the closing year and make our predictions for interactive and intelligent digital signage in 2020!

We want to say a big thank you to all our customers, partners and readers. 2019 would not have been the same without you.

We’ve loved working with you on projects and find nothing more exciting than bringing your ideas to life. A big hello to Oathall Community College who we’ve worked with to improve and modernise communications with its students and staff by developing interactive touch screens and digital signage. SignStix’s partner Toshiba TEC supplied the video walls and digital screens and the content was created and deployed using the SignStix software.

We had a great time providing retail digital signage experiences for a British luxury and lifestyle brand, luxury vinyl flooring specialist, grocery store, electrical retailer and a French luxury skin care, cosmetics and perfume company.

We added a multisensory digital experience at five UK bar venues across the UK to our portfolio and expanded our business overseas, helping to increase customer engagement within the entertainment sector at Big Air Trampoline Parks.

From day one as a signage company, we’ve always wanted to be very different and be at the forefront by having developers in-house that can provide cutting-edge innovations. This years’ Partner Event was held in our new offices, The Walk, in Leeds City Centre. The Walk is the first UK’s technology hub involving Market Gravity (a Deloitte Company), Hyper Group and ourselves. It has been devised to use data, insight and experimentation to shape innovation and create new customer experiences – to boost consumer satisfaction, demand, footfall and loyalty – with the bottom line being to improve the profitability of bricks and mortar.

One of our cutting-edge innovations of 2019 was our ‘Power Tool’ release. Until now, some of the most powerful functionality in SignStix was only available to expert users willing to try their hand at coding with the SignStix JavaScript API. The aim of the new ‘Power Tools’ concept is to make that functionality available to everyone via easy-to-use dialogs in SignStix Creator. The first power tool released is for ‘Lift & Learn’ experiences, where the signage changes to show more detail about whatever item the user has just lifted from a SignStix RFID Pad. You can create interactive experiences where the content on the screen changes whenever someone physically picks up a product.  All the detail about the product is displayed clearly on the screen, instead of the customer having to pore over the small print on the packaging.

Not to forget, we received confirmation that we are one of the finalists at the Digital Signage Awards 2020 for technical advances and innovation in management and other software.

Looking to The Future: Digital Signage in 2020

The most exciting opportunities for SignStix have come to us from retailers wanting their stores to be as intelligent as their online propositions. Alongside exciting digital experiences to promote and engage their customers, savvy retailers want to know what effect this is having, and they want to test their digital campaigns to find out how they changed footfall, engagements and ultimately sales.

This has given us the drive to develop amazing technologies based on computer vision, AI, CCTV cameras, IoT and other sensors. We combine all the data they generate and feed it into a hyper localised ‘BIG DATA’ engine to put the right campaign in front of the right customer at the right time. The result is a store that lets our clients test their propositions and measure the successes, therefore only rolling those campaigns across their estate once they know they are the options that make the biggest difference.

Retail is changing, we have found huge growth areas from those retailers that demand a store that they can understand as well as their clickstream.

We See 3 Big Technologies Hitting our Retailer Clients in 2020

1. Computer Vision and AI

Retailers can track with great accuracy what their customers are doing online, but how do they replicate this in-store?

One way is by using AI to analyse data from cameras placed in different zones within their stores. This allows accurate heat-mapping of shoppers’ journeys and the ability to track dwell time. It also helps retailers understand what customers are doing in their stores, how they are interacting with staff, with products and with the space.
Moreover, the impact of new promotions and marketing activations can be measured quickly and accurately from user-friendly dashboards.

At SignStix, we’re excited to already be working in this area, on these very challenges, with our partner analytics tool Shopalytix.

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2. Analytics – Data Science

When shoppers trust retailers, they are more likely to opt into sharing data in exchange for personalised experiences.

We’ve worked with clients this year who are targeting highly specific offers that drive basket value. The key is combining data from all sources, what is happening in the store, who is walking through the door, what is the best offer we can put in front of them.

Delivering this is a case of connecting in-store digital experiences, mobile and web clickstream data, in-store computer vision through existing CCTV networks, indoor and outdoor sensors and data streams that can provide more context to drive automated decision making. This helps the retailer decipher what offer is going to work for that one person at this one time.

If a customer identifies themselves within the store, through activation of a mobile app or scanning a QR code, for example, they can receive personalised content, including product recommendations, reminders, offers and promotions.

An example of this for one client were store displays that offer shoppers individually customised recipe suggestions when shopping for meals for that evening.

3. Interactive Digital Experiences

This year we visited a shoe shop with no shoes! Digital experiences throughout the store helped explain the story behind the products to great depths you didn’t need these products on shelves.

SignStix have created several interactive digital experiences for clients. Firstly, a range of sensors giving engaging interactivity to customers who can play with products in the digital domain and have them delivered straight to their home.

Secondly, we’ve enabled retailers to experiment with having 24/7/365 window shopping, letting customers take over that window screen and transact. Imagine the potential if your store was closed and your customers could still browse your special offers, promotions and purchase products online.

Thirdly, the evolution of the self-checkout by using facial recognition. Many of us have had a self-checkout experience go quite well, only to be tipped at the final hurdle as you scan your weekend treat and see the dreaded ‘Age’ Verification Required”! An unpredictable amount of time then ticks by slowly as you wait for assistance under the flashing red light of shame. The Frictionless Checkout removes all this customer pain by storing a ‘facial fingerprint’. A high-tech facial comparison then recognises authorized customers on each subsequent visit, allowing them to complete their purchases smoothly and efficiently.