Smart Stores and the Way Forward

SNA News Thumb Gerard
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As Senior Director of Marketing, Gerard leads strategy, digital, and demand generation to share the SNA Displays story with customers, partners, and the digital display industry. He brings over 20 years of broad B2B experience to SNA Displays, and loves working with the many creative and talented people in this industry to see their Dreams Live Digitally.

Over the past several months while working from home, the closed-up world around me has me relying on internet shopping for more than I’d like. Normally, I can find anything I might need just a short walk away in my Brooklyn neighborhood.

As both the world and my neighborhood attempt to open back up, my new shopping habits have caused me – and many others – to view a trip to the store in an entirely new way. With many sundry items, ranging from cold brew coffee to razor blades, I’m very comfortable buying online; things like clothes and shoes are a different story. I’ll always prefer to try things on before I buy them. And, honestly, returning clothes that don’t fit well or look as good as their online photo is just too much of a hassle.

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Retailers that rely on brick-and-mortar stores know this all too well and are strategizing with how they can better compete with options such as Amazon. Many are trying to use a physical presence to their advantage by creating an in-store shopping experience that consumers prefer to buying online. This includes not only the service provided by staff but also the in-store amenities.

Digital signage is increasingly playing a major role in how physical stores are enhancing customer experiences. While digital displays certainly help an environment stand out, when paired with an intelligent content management system (CMS) on the backend, retailers can create a space in which customers are able to interact with not only the sales staff but with the store itself.

Imagine a display that flashes the flavor profile of a new Scotch you’re eyeing as soon as you pick up the bottle. Or a radio-frequency identification (RFID) that identifies the shirt you’ve brought into a fitting room, provides care instructions on a digital display, and suggests accessories to pair it with.

“Smart” stores with digital signage can provide all the data resources you’d have online while letting you enjoy the tangible, interactive, and immersive aspects of shopping in person. We’ve written the Evolving the In-Store Retail Experience eBrief, which imagines retail environments that introduce digital technology to set themselves apart. We’d love for you to give it a read and let us know your thoughts.

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