New Digital Display Technologies: Redefining Visual Merchandising
Remaining competitive with ecommerce is no easy feat – but brick-and-mortar retailers are doing just that. We have seen a tremendous recovery in 2022 with retail space vacancies dropping to the lowest in over 10 years and brick and mortar gaining retail share back from ecommerce that peaked in Q2 of 2020. That’s because stores are evolving from transactional hubs into emotionally engaging experiences made possible with innovative technologies. In particular, digital signage offers retailers more engaging visual merchandising opportunities while providing guests with personalized, streamlined shopping experiences.
Today’s digital display technologies are enabling store designers and digital content creators to look beyond the rectangular, wall-mounted screen to make an impact. Throughout 2023, custom, interactive signage will continue to transform the retail experience and present exciting branding opportunities that redefines what it means to shop in-store.
Transparent OLED Touch Creates Interactive Experiences
A major development for the retail market is the introduction of Transparent OLED touch displays, which create a unique experience that beckons to the customer to engage while delivering an experience that blends the digital and physical worlds within a retail store. The cutting-edge display technology provides a highly responsive, accurate touch experience while still allowing significantly greater transparency than a conventional transparent LCD display.
Interactive transparent OLED displays are being used in various locations throughout the store, either as a design piece, an informational piece, or both. In fact, retailers are increasingly stationing it in front of merchandise – a previously incomprehensible spot for digital signage – and featuring information about the product it sits in front of that customers can swipe through.
DVLED ‘Wows’ Inside and Outside
DVLED (Direct View LED Signage) is currently the market’s best means to build video walls without any dividing lines and limits imposed by fixed 16:9 aspect ratios – a huge benefit for retailers to provide a natural viewing experience anywhere in the store, with a high-quality aesthetic and sharp images with vivid colors.
With the technology’s durability and brightness, it lends itself to create engaging viewing experiences both indoors and outdoors. Inside a store, DVLED could be used to create a wall-mounted centerpiece that serves as a focal viewpoint for shoppers creating an event space. Before guests even enter the store, DVLED technology can capture the attention of customers from the outside setting the mood and increasing excitement. Window-facing DVLED videowalls are bright enough to be mounted in exterior windows facing direct sunlight to deliver vibrant, eye-catching imagery and messages to the public increasing the audience to people who have not even set foot in the store yet.
Throughout 2023, custom, interactive signage will continue to transform the retail experience and present exciting branding opportunities that redefines what it means to shop in-store.
Custom LED + LCD Signage Turns Any Surface into a Branding Canvas
Robots Roll into Retail
Throughout stores, custom LED and LCD digital signage is being utilized as show-stopping artwork to create exciting, eye-catching moments. Wide, large-scale displays are being used to turn columns into digital artwork, wayfinding or advertising surfaces, or be hung horizontally to draw guests to product displays or departments.
Plus, the emerging use of waves of curves and custom-shaped displays is opening opportunities for retail stores to utilize new designs and create that emotional brand-enforcing in-store marketing. Plus, these displays may also have touch options that enhance the elevate the retail experience to the next level which is interactive. LCD touchscreens are increasingly being used as kiosks where customers can interact with content, to satiate the customers desire to learn more about a products’ unique attributes or receive instant customer service.
With modern content management solutions, LED and LCD displays can be arranged and hung in any orientation, with content produced specifically for those displays. For example, a multi-panel LCD video wall that, instead of being a standard rectangle, is turned 45 degrees and mounted as a diamond. Specific content can then be made for that display – resulting in an undeniably attractive video solution that’s unique from competitive stores. Content can even play across disparate displays, allowing designers to deliver artistic expressions such as moving images from one screen to another several feet away.
Multi-purpose customer service robots are now finding their way into stores and feature LCD touchscreens that offer fun, functional ways to greet customers, provide wayfinding assistance, display impactful promotions, and track valuable data on interaction times and usage. Featuring responsive voice activation and bright, interactive touch screens, robots are revolutionizing the customer experience by tackling complex shopper interactions like answering voice questions and accompanying them to their in-store destination while also displaying promotions and providing store security comfort.
In addition to working in tandem with a retail staff to provide extra assistance, guiding robots serve as another unique visual merchandising canvas. Advertising and branding opportunities are virtually unlimited; robots can be programmed to showcase new merchandise promotions and lead interested shoppers right to the products they’d like to purchase.
The incredible variety of digital signage available and the breakneck pace of innovation offer a plethora of options to bring retail spaces to life and deliver real benefits and ROI throughout 2023. Whether retailers are enabling new communal retail spaces, encouraging interactivity or helping malls energize underutilized spaces, digital display technologies are transforming how retail stores engage customers.
As Chief Growth and Innovation Officer, Jamal Khan is responsible for designing and effectively executing strategies to increase innovation and growth at Connection. Khan joined Connection through the company’s 2016 acquisition of GlobalServe Inc., where he served as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to GlobalServe, Khan worked in leadership capacities at Instinet, VeriSign, Arpatech, and Merck Medco.
As a leader with two decades of broad spectrum experience, from core technology and sales to marketing and operational P&L management, Khan has nurtured and developed high-performance organizations through the adherence of operating principles garnered and developed over years of multi-disciplinary senior management roles. Khan’s skills are ideally suited for bringing technology solutions and products to market, as well as leading ongoing operations that require strategic alignment, turnaround, or positioning for breakout performance.
Khan is an industry expert with years of engineering expertise in the areas of Trading Systems, eCommerce, and Cyber Security. He is a Guest Lecturer at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business, on the subject of Artificial Intelligence. He is also an inventor of six approved patents related to human-machine interface design, data orchestration, and machine learning, and has been actively involved in technology startups as both an investor and mentor.