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Digital screens in grocery stores

By Stewart Samuel

Digital signage is becoming more prevalent in grocery stores as retailers look to engage shoppers through relevant content and develop a new source of revenue.

M&S, UK: Enticing shoppers

Exterior digital signage is brighter and more eye-catching than traditional signs, making it more effective at drawing foot traffic. Digital signs can be changed easily to display different messages or promotions. Digital screens close to store entrances can also create a modern and interactive shopping experience for customers. At M&S, Stevenage, UK, a large screen above the store entrance is used to display a range of brand and promotional messages.

7-Eleven, USA: Supporting time of day menus

Digital signage can be effective at food counters to display menus, specials, and pricing information, or in promoting certain items or offering upsell options, such as adding a drink or dessert to orders. And it can communicate important information to customers, such as allergen alerts or preparation times.

These screens are particularly popular in convenience stores where food-to-go is a significant part of the offer. They can be customized to display different content depending on the time of day, location, or customer demographic. This allows food service providers to tailor their messaging to specific audiences. 7-Eleven’s ‘Evolution’ format stores in the U.S., which can feature up to two food service counters, use screens to show complete menus, rotating different features and promotions, and product imagery to build appeal.

Tesco, UK: Showcasing brand partners

One of the largest opportunities for retailers with digital in-store media is monetization through their supplier partners. Several retailers are rolling out signage systems throughout their stores with the goal of driving advertising revenue. UK-based Tesco has been one of the most active retailers in this area. Recently, it announced plans to introduce digital signage to 500 stores, forming part of its retail media program, which provides suppliers with data on ad effectiveness.

The connected ends form part of a larger digital media programme that includes social, search, paid-for online, magazine, couponing, POS, and other elements.

Checkers, South Africa: Bringing categories to life

Digital touchscreens can facilitate product discovery by enabling shoppers to swipe through product images and details, making it easier to browse through a large number of products. Touchscreens also enable the use of interactive product visualizations and allow users to tap on links and images to learn more about a product or make a purchase. This makes discovering and purchasing products more seamless and convenient.

At Checkers in South Africa, the ‘Cheese Experience’ helps shoppers navigate the category without needing a staff member to be permanently placed in the area. Customers can choose the type of cheese they want to buy, the occasion they want the cheese for, or the type of meal they are cooking, and it will generate a cheese and wine suggestion. The retailer uses a similar solution in the wine category.

Reitan, Sweden: Activating brand values

Digital signage allows retailers to share their brand message and values with customers in a visually appealing and interactive way. It can display brand-specific content, such as promotional videos, advertisements, or infographics, helping to create a strong brand identity and reinforcing the values and message that the retailer wants to convey. This can include messages around front-of-mind issues for shoppers such as sustainability. Reitan emphasizes its sustainability credentials and its approach to product ranging. The sequence also includes promotional messaging.

Stewart Samuel is IGD’s Director of Retail Futures      [email protected]

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