In Canada, Digital signage is going up at the pump — the gas pump that is. The 26-inch LCD (liquid crystal display) screens being used are so advanced that, "If it´s really bright outside, the brightness of the LCD changes to reflect that — to make it more bright so you can see it just as easily as if it were in the middle of the night," says Kris Konrath, director of marketing for Convergent Media Systems, an Atlanta company that helps its customers create, install, run and maintain digital signage.
Digital signage, as discussed yesterday in this space, is a screen — usually a TV or plasma variety — that enables a retailer to convey brief, targeted video messages to customers.
At the Canadian gas stations, Konrath says, "While you´re fueling your car, you´re being communicated a message from the fuel provider or any advertisers that he may have on the network."
Another of Convergent´s Canadian clients, a chain of telecommunications stores, was having difficulty explaining the benefit and cost savings of bundled services to its customers. "They sell local telephone service, long distance, Internet, satellite TV, and they found it was complicated to get the message across to their customers that it is beneficial to bundle all of these services together because it saves money."
So the company ran a digital signage pilot at a couple of stores. The goal of the message, Konrath says, was to simplify the concept of bundled services for consumers, to make it easier for them to understand what the store was offering, then provide a call to action.
"And over the first 12 weeks," Konrath says, "they found a 9 percent increase in sales. They said, "This is pretty good, but we don´t really believe it.´ So they said, "Let´s test it again. Let´s go for another 12 weeks.´ And after the second 12 weeks, sales increased by 12 percent.
"And they said, "You´ve got to be kidding.’ And after another test, sales went up 14 percent. Since then, the increase has been hovering between 12 and 14 percent."
Finally convinced, the company now is in the process of installing digital signage in all its stores. Apparently, the company got one message while their customers got another one.
Next week in Retail Strategies: the third and final stirring episode of digital signage.