How Digital Signage Reduces Perceived Wait Times

Moving beyond traditional transaction-only devices, POS applications now connect with data, people and numerous devices to create a smarter customer journey. As one of the top frustrations for customers in-store, organisations are considering queue management a top priority, turning to digital signage to solve the problem of unpredictable waiting times and managing customer flow.

1. Draw Attention Away From The Wait Itself

David Maister, in “The Psychology of Waiting Lines,” says, “Occupied time feels shorter than unoccupied time.” Retailers are employing this logic using digital signage to draw attention away from the wait itself and minimise boredom, offering more professional treatment for customers. By strategically placing digital signage around hotspots where dwell times are longest, relevant messaging can be displayed to entertain and inform customers.

Video walls and large digital displays located at till points provide endless possibilities for retailers to capture the attention of customers waiting in line. Integrating news updates, weather reports and sports events keep customers interested, whilst key business information reinforces brand engagement and company culture.

2. Influence Customers At The Point of Purchase

As well as a means of entertainment, retailers are using digital signage to add value to their business. With seven in 10 customers purchasing a product or service because a sign caught their eye, digital signage at the till point is a perfect place to influence customer behaviour and drive upsells.

Missguided LED Video Wall

Using vibrant visuals and animated content, retailers are conveying brand-related messages, promoting their latest products and services and showcasing marketing campaigns. Using digital signage in this way is enabling four in five product brands to experience a significant increase of up to 33 per cent in additional sales.

Quick-service restaurants represent 20 per cent of the digital signage industry and are using digital menu boards, positioned directly in line with customers’ line of site to drive impulse purchases at the point of sale.

Marks and spencer menu board

Across the U.K., tablets, interactive kiosks and video walls are becoming the standard for financial institutions, providing a much more engaging experience over a traditional printed poster. In fact, over 60 per cent of banks use digital signage to convey a message, of which 75 per cent is banking related.

The larger, more vibrant displays of today’s digital signage enable a bank to make a positive impression. They introduce a new dimension to in-branch marketing: an immersive brand experience. Equally important, digital signage’s results make it worth the extra investment over traditionally printed posters. How much more effective is digital signage? According to Intel’s three-month study revealing digital signs captured an average of over 400 per cent more views than a static sign. For banks, this provides positive proof that the way to gain today’s on-the-go consumers’ attention is with digital signage.

Organisations across a number of industries are gaining total control of the customer experience by developing an efficient approach to long wait times and customer flow.

3. Queue Management Integration

Digital signage is already being integrated with queue-management systems, due to this technology showing a direct link to increasing customer satisfaction and reducing perceived waiting times.

Providing queue-management information such as calling customers forward, displaying directions to till points and estimated waiting times, digital signage is reducing the perceived wait time at checkouts by as much as 35 per cent.

With fast business competition and the pressures of creating a multichannel customer experience, retailers are becoming fast adopters of digital signage for queue management. Other industries are also discovering the benefits of using digital signage in this way, health care facilities use displays to entertain visitors and reduce anxiety during their wait for an appointment.

In the transport industry, digital signage is reducing perceived waiting times by keeping passengers updated during service disruptions and emergencies, with real-time updates screens can deploy vital information to help ensure passenger safety.

Sources: Lavi Field Study; How Digital Signage Improves Queue Management; FedEx Office and Intel Corporation, “A Report on a Field Trial of Anonymous Video Analytics (AVA) in Digital Signage

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