Digital Price Tags

Posted by on Sep 9, 2011 in DOOH

Retail, hospitality and consumer-driven digital out of home get the most attention. It’s the most sexy and has some of the greatest potential for obtaining advertising revenue. But there has always been that perpetual struggle for measuring and giving feedback for a return on investment. There are limitations, assumptions, extrapolations and so much subjectivity that can go into digital signage measurement that make it difficult to move forward. There are certain areas however, which benefit almost immediately and whose ROI can be measured in time and resources without advanced calculations and measurement devices. Digital price tags offer such a benefit.

The following are some ways in which replacing print price tags with their digital counterpart saves organizations time, money and other valuable resources.

The Form Factor

In the digital signage display market, size can easily be equated with cost. Don’t you think that if everyone could get a 100″ LCD for the same price per inch as a 7″ or even a 19″ that the demand would outpace supply? It most certainly would. Because in-aisle digital screens are generally much smaller than what we generally think of for standard digital signage installations, they are often ignored. However, the ROI on smaller form-factor displays can often be greater because the cost per inch is so much more economical.

In many a retail signage install there are generally only a couple of signage players with some type of extending device taking the signal out to various other units throughout the store. So, in general, the only cost is the display, the distribution, the mounting/install, and the content. More information on the benefits of such by reading some of our older posts here at the digital signage blog. Just trust me when I say the ROI can be measured much more quickly, thanks be to the form-factor.

Employee Time: The Most Valuable Resource

Human capital is the most productive, but also the most expensive. When inefficiencies abound in the use of human beings it can cost the company a great deal more than a slightly mismanaged supply chain ever would. As an efficiency generator, digital changes the priorities of employees so they can focus more on revenue rather than on the small things that matter less such as whether or not an item should be marked as $3 .00 or $2.99.

My cousin-in-law who works as a regional operator for Sports Authority (formerly Gart Sports) told me once about how much time and energy is spent on changing out pricing on particular clothing items. Cost of printing aside, I’m only referring to the amount of time spent by employees. One store will spend several hours each week writing and changing the static signage displayed throughout the store. What a waste of human capital. Digital would allow for price tags to be changed on every store screen with the simple push of a button, saving the organization thousands in the aggregate across a network of stores. No more spending time printing and writing (which is worse than printing) for the price tag changes which happen regularlyi.

Customer Dwell Time

Digital signs have been shown to increase customer dwell time, which–statistically speaking–nearly always increases the amount spent on a particular item. This is as true in retail as it is in relationships and nearly every other aspect of our lives. If someone wanted to date someone for 3 months vs. 3 years but never had the intention of committing to that person, which of the two do you feel would have the greatest difficulty in severing all ties with their significant other? Paco Underhill’s research indicates a similar trend:

The standard tools of marketing work, they just don’t work anywhere near as well as they used to. Many purchasing decisions are made, or can be heavily influenced, on the floor of the store itself. Shoppers are susceptible to impressions and information they acquire in stores, rather than just relying on brand-name loyalty or advertising to tell them what to buy.

As a result, an important medium for transmitting messages and closing sales is now the store and the aisle. That building, that place, has become a great big three-dimensional advertisement for itself. Signage, shelf-position, display space and special fixtures all make it either likelier or less likely that a shopper will buy a particular item (or any item at all)…

…Finally, our studies prove that the longer a shopper remains in a store, the more he or she will buy. And the amount of time a shopper spends in a store depends on how comfortable and enjoyable the experience is.(Why We Buy, pp. 32-33)

Price tags most certainly can aid in making the retail experience more enjoyable through aesthetics and hopefully keep the consumer in-store longer, thus increasing the store’s per customer margins.

Revenue On-The-Fly

Because prices can be changed on the fly, revenue can increase on-the-fly as well. This is as true of price tags as well as any digital menu board on the market.

The video below has everything to do with exorbitant price tags, but unfortunately nothing to do with digital price tags. This video indicates that higher prices can lead to greater happiness and enjoyment. Interestingly, if you increase the prices of your items via the digital price tag, you may also be increasing your customers’ enjoyment of that particular item. The video below discusses how people get more enjoyment out of using more expensive items. Another benefit may be that they feel the item is worth more because it is being advertising with a digital sign rather than just a piece of cardboard and a sharpie pen–but that’s all just speculation.

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