The famous London Piccadilly billboard lights were switched on again in October after a major revamp, just in time for the frantic period of holiday shopping activity we’re now seeing in the city’s West End.
What stood out for us at Grassfish, when we saw them for the first time, was just how impactful the newly-digitised screens are – especially following ten months of viewing a temporary static banner while renovation work was completed.
If ever there was a strong advert for the power of digital signage in retail, it is the gap left and emptiness felt when this globally-recognisable marketing landmark switched off its lights in January.
A Coca Cola Christmas
One of the first brands on the new-look billboard is long-term incumbent Coca-Cola, which always goes to town with marketing at this time of year.
Its famous ‘holidays are coming’ TV advert is one of the first signals for consumers that the festive period is upon us, but the drinks brand clearly sees the benefits digital signage can bring to its marketing message at this time of year.
But brands don’t need a 780 sq m screen to pack a punch. Coca Cola and others can get just as much traction with digital campaign within the store environment.
So, who else is doing a great job?
The return of the Piccadilly lights got us thinking who else is doing electronic signage well this holiday season – but on a smaller visual scale.
Swiss convenience retail customer Valora recently played an active role in Switzerland’s Digital Day, where it underlined its commitment to driving digitisation in the country by showcasing several new innovative services for customers.
Powered by Grassfish software, Valora operates a network of ideally-located POS screens, enabling the company to provide customers with informative, entertaining and promotional content to sway decisions at the point of purchase. With technology like this, there’s a real opportunity for retailers to clearly promote their festive offers, inspire shoppers and encourage upselling opportunities at a time of year when shoppers are particularly willing to spend.
Now is the time of year when the masses hit the streets and retail malls looking for gift inspiration – not just the hardcore all-year-round shoppers – so there’s an argument digital signage at peak season has an even more important role to play in influencing purchasing behaviour.
Grassfish’s new player synchronisation feature is the perfect item retailers can gift themselves this holiday period to boost their in-store customer communication all year round.
In terms of impact on customer behaviour in recent years, it’s difficult to look beyond Amazon as a leading influencer.
This year, on Black Friday week, the online retailer opened a pop-up store in London, and it used screens and tablet devices to encourage visitors to explore the company’s product range, play games to engage with the brand and participate in competitions.
It acted as new way for the online powerhouse to get closer to its customers in the build-up to the holidays, and the deployment of screens and signage played a central role.
The key features of the digital signage examples we’ve referenced are the flexibility of the software, the way they bring physical spaces to life, and how they get information to customers quickly and efficiently.
Many of the retail winners this holiday season will utilise the power of digital signage. But as the return of the Piccadilly lights has shown, the technology has a place throughout the year – it’s simply not the same without it.