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Digital signage offers proven value to retail stores, driving sales, reducing perceived wait-times, and increasing shopping cart value. But, for shopping areas planning to implement signage, it’s not just displays and what’s on them, it’s where they’re located. Most of us are at least passingly familiar with the psychology of poster and banner ad placement and digital signage placement is often no different.

Digital displays make the most impact when they add to the experience and the environment, when customers have to wait, and when customers are actively looking for information or distraction. These 4 strategic places to position digital signage in your retail store will get you started.

4 Strategic Places to Position Digital Signage

Placement determines when and how customers see digital signage, how much attention they give it, and what they are looking for when they see it. This means that the best placement areas will always be those with fewer customers to block view, places where customers are waiting for longer periods of time, and areas where customers want or need more information.

Shopping Areas

Most retail stores divide the store into various areas such as “electronics” and “Media”. Equipping each “area” with a digital display can help you to offer information, customer help, and atmosphere alongside ads and product promotions.

These displays can be positioned nearly anywhere in the area, but should typically be centrally located, so that customers see them when entering the area, and when shopping. Depending on the size and budget of the store, this may mean integrating displays throughout shelving, creating a single display visible from most of the area, or creating interactive displays around the shopping area.

Here, your primary concerns are ensuring that display content is visible and relevant. Most retail stores manage this by linking display advertisement to inventory, using smart tools like RFID and motion sensing, and programming displays with ads relevant to products in the store.

Depending on setup, this can result in eye-catching displays with custom greetings, product information based on items customers pick up, or up-to-date inventory and availability information for sale and promotion products.

Window Dressing

While large stores rarely benefit from window dressing, small shops and even shopping malls generally do. Window displays function to catch the eye, draw attention, and encourage customers to make that crucial decision to step inside. Here, most stores should focus on simple billboard displays or video walls. Linking product ads, product videos, and smart tools like motion sensors and facial recognition might be helpful.

Why? Smart sensors can identify passersby based on age, gender, or clothing color. They can then be shown relevant ads (target ads to men aged 40-50), given tailored ads (display clothing in similar colors), or even offered custom greets, “Hello madam, yes, you in the blue trench coat.” The more you can attract attention, showcase what’s in your store, and give passersby a reason to step into your store, the more beneficial these signs will be.

Info Areas

Most retail stores have information and help areas and it makes sense to supplement these with digital displays. Here, screens function to offer information, wait-times, and self-help. For example, stores with pickup points for online delivery greatly benefit from installing digital pickup points customers can use themselves. Walmart uses digital Click and Collect stations to reduce the load on customer service and reduce wait times for picking up digital orders.

You can also install self-help including customer-facing ticket submission booths, inventory lookup kiosks, and web shop kiosks where customers can find and order items, even when they aren’t in stock in the store.

Cash Registers/ Point of Sale

Cash register and point of sale displays are potentially one of the most valuable placement options for retail because they bring together several aspects of optimum placement. Customers spend anywhere from 1-15+ minutes in lines depending on the store in question. Most importantly, digital displays at point of sale reduces perceived wait time, helping to reduce frustration and therefore boost customer satisfaction.

Customers are also more likely to view ads and promotions at registers because they are bored and already waiting. Most are already ready to buy as well, which means you can increase the value of a sale with a few carefully targeted digital ads and good product placement.

However, some studies show that digital ads at cash registers can increase sales on the next visit, even if customers don’t act on the ad right away.

Placement Tips

Digital signage has the most impact when customers see it, when their attention is not elsewhere, and when it’s relevant to what they are looking at. This means some locations are better-suited for digital signage and others require careful placement to work or drive revenue.

Calculating Maximum Height

At “eye height” is a difficult measurement when people vary considerably in height. However, most digital signage installers use a simple formula that can be used to calculate the expected height of the sign based on the average height of a person (5’8″ in the U.S.) and the distance the sign is expected to be viewed from.

Tan (angle of view) x distance = optimal height + viewer height = optimal display height

20 degrees (0.364) x 20 feet = 7.28 feet + 5.66 feet = 12.94 feet

Using this same calculation, you could reach an expected optimal 7.42 feet for displays viewed from up closer.

Here, it’s crucial to take the height of the viewer, the angle of the screen, the angle in which the viewer can see the screen, and any obstacles that might block the screen into account.

Avoiding Decompression Zones

Decompression zones are areas in stores where customers walk in and aren’t typically paying attention to anything. In most stores, this is within the first 5-15 feet of the door. If you walk into a large store, you’ll usually notice these areas are largely empty except for greeters or welcome signs. Why? Studies show that most people are “decompressing.” They’re adjusting from being outside, in another shop, or otherwise doing something else. Any digital signage you place in these zones is likely to be wasted.

Store layouts

Digital displays should complement and add to the store layout, adding information, infotainment, and support where needed. Most customers will simply be overwhelmed and may “tune out” row after row of displays showing ads, especially if those ads are all the same. Design displays into your store layout, ensure that each has its own purpose, and program displays to show content based on their area, customers passing by, or other custom information.

Retail stores can increasingly utilize digital signage in smarter ways, making more of spaces, technology, and customer interaction. Today’s digital screens offer customer support, product information, interactive ads, and much more. And, with careful placement, they will help to boost sales, customer satisfaction, and improve customer awareness of products.