Smart small business owners look for new ways to capture the attention of consumers. There are only so many messages you can send out to current customers before turning your attention to attracting new clients. Digital signage offers a number of advantages to brands, including grabbing the attention of passersby as well as offering information and interactivity. There are as many ways to utilize digital signage as there are company types, but some are more effective than others.
There are about 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S., so you’re competing not only against your closest competitor but also for the attention of your target audience. And just because your model might be unique doesn’t mean it’s where people will choose to spend their hard-earned dollars. You must grab your audience’s attention and keep it. Your first obstacle is the other stores around you. But you also need something people will remember when they go home and sit in front of their computers, where worldwide retail is at their fingertips.
If you run a brick-and-mortar storefront, then digital signage is a must-have. However, buying the equipment and knowing the best ways to use it are two different things. We have six tips that should get you started and drive traffic into your store.
1. Look at Scale
Pay attention to the size of the objects near where you’d like to place your sign. If you are overpowered by huge billboards or larger storefronts, then you’ll either need a larger sign or something that really grabs attention, such as scrolling text, flashing images or something else that grabs attention.
The best way to figure out the scale you need is to take a step back from your storefront. What does your store look like from a distance? Stand at the store next door. Does your signage grab attention? You should also pay attention to the colors. If everyone is using white and blue, throw in some red or orange to draw the eye.
2. Make Things Interactive
Although it may cost a little more, think about ways to make the sign more interactive as people approach it. For example, you might use a motion-activated sign that starts a video when people are nearby. Perhaps you can tie the sign into an app your customers have on their phones that greets them by name as they approach. With rapid advances in artificial intelligence, the capabilities of digital signs are growing and allow for some personalization.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home invested in digital signage to encourage people to adopt available pets. Through the use of RFID technology, they created a campaign where a dog followed people as they passed. They handed out cards to passersby that had RFIDs in them, too. The screen then activated and the dog followed them with the tagline #LookingForYou. The signs generated a lot of positive interest and discussion.
3. Show Social Media
If your brand is active on social media, displaying what people are saying online can be a great method to attract new customers — especially younger ones. For example, tap into the reviews on your Facebook account. You could also simply create a loop that highlights some of your favorite testimonials from social media.
4. Highlight Products
Digital boards that highlight specific products work particularly well for restaurants. You’ve likely noticed McDonald’s restaurants’ use of AI-powered menu boards. Stores set the boards to show specific products at different times of the day. The image may shift, showing one item and then rotating to another. Prices and other information are clearly listed, making it simple for people to find the item they want to order. The boards are designed to break down different categories such as beverages, desserts and sandwiches.
McDonald’s uses menu boards to show their many menu options. The boards can be programmed to show breakfast or lunch items. It also highlights big images of current specialty items or discount offers.
5. Promote Sales
Whether you ordered too much inventory or you need to clear out seasonal items, displays can inform customers of what’s currently on sale and drive traffic into your store. Since you can easily change your signs with a few clicks of a computer mouse, you can also swap out the offerings every few days.
Shoppers who visited last week and got a great deal on a new blouse may want a pair of pants to go along with their new find. You can also list offers such as buy-one-get-one, half-off or percentage-off sales.
6. Create an Experience
Digital signs can also be utilized to create an experiential display. Turn your storefront into a beach, complete with ocean waves on your digital screens. Invite people to enjoy warm tropical breezes and the sound of the sea as they browse your store and take a break from the cold winter weather. You can create almost any environment imaginable with digital signage, allowing you to host themed events and draw visitors to your storefront.
7. Entertain Customers
Digital signage adds another depth to your store it otherwise wouldn’t have. Engage people as they pass by, tell your story, and come up with creative ways to drive foot traffic and positive buzz. With a little ingenuity, you’ll soon have a loyal following. Some people might stop in front of your store just to see what new signs you’ve come up with. Combined with window displays and smart interior layouts, you can increase your sales simply by using signage effectively.
Lexie is a graphic designer and marketing enthusiast. She loves checking out local flea markets and taking her goldendoodle on hikes. Follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner and check out her design blog, Design Roast.