eCommerce | June 9, 2014

Will Digital Displays Replace the High Street Shop Front?

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In recent years the news has been littered with stories of the dying high street and how many companies are having to go into administration. But internet purchases are more popular than ever, up nearly 20% since 2013.

A new creation, digital displays, look set to bridge the gap between online and the high street and make UK consumers fall in love with the high street once more.

So What Are Digital Displays?

image (1)Digital displays use touch screen interactivity on shop windows to engage with shoppers and passers-by. These LED displays are databases which showcase a selection of the stores best-selling or latest items, providing the customer with a taster of what to expect if they walk through the shops doors.

Imagine online shopping on a giant tablet in the store’s window.

But could digital displays really be the future of the high street shop front? What are the benefits?

The Customer Experience

There is the age old saying: ‘the customer is always right’. Keeping the customer happy is at the top of every company’s to do list. Digital displays enhance the immersive customer experience and it is hoped that going this ‘extra mile’ will create loyal customers who come back time after time.

Some people find shopping stressful, especially when it is busy and these screens can take away some of that anxiety. And items can be found in only a few movements, cutting out timely searches for specific items.

Maximising Space

Digital displays and estate agents are hitting it off big time right now thanks to the ability to advertise a large volume of properties in such a small space. Traditionally an estate agent would display a selection of their properties in the shop window to entice customers in. Now with the use of interactive screens, all of the properties can be in the shop window.

These screens come in a variety of sizes too, so they can fit in even the smallest of window displays.

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Added Information

Regular displays will show the item and its price – oh and sometimes the size range. Digital displays can tell a customer so much more. Additional information such as stock availability, different colours, different angled views or similar items can easily be included to create a more informed consumer.

There could even be a video clip of a model wearing the product down a runway or a stylist creating an outfit using the item. The possibilities are endless.

Affordable Advertising

ROI on these digital displays can be huge – especially right now, as they are still something of a rare curiosity. Whether rented or bought, they can have a positive influence on a business’s profitability, as they can engage with passing custom even when the shop is closed.

Other Benefits

  • Robust but thin
  • Works with even gloved hands
  • Can be viewed from any angle and in direct sunlight
  • Vandal and shock proof
  • Temporary or permanent options available

What the Experts Think

Digital shop window displays have been a long term project. Paul Chojecki, a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications in Germany, has been working on digital display technology for some years now. He said:

“Retailers’ store fronts are arguably their most valuable asset and this new prototype means they could make much more of them,”

“The interactive store window will let retailers use their store fronts as a giant catalogue, allowing passers-by to view products in store and purchase goods after hours.”

Jose Avalos, the general manager of Intel’s embedded computing division also commented:

“This innovative retail solution is designed to meet the changing needs of tomorrow’s marketplace by promoting brand interaction and delivering a more personalized and enjoyable shopping experience,”

“The interactive technology illustrates how retailers are able to reduce energy consumption, lower total cost of ownership and increase profits with features such as remote manageability and anonymous video analytics.”

So are digital displays going to replace the high street shop front? We don’t think so – but they may improve addition. Do you work in a retail environment? Do you think that this technology could work? Let us know what you think!

(images: James Hogg Design, Fearing’s Audio Video SecurityBrand Leadership, Pixabay and Phys)

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