How Digital Signage Can Help Retailers Fight COVID-19

Opening a retail store in the current pandemic climate is dicey at best. Using digital signage can help you keep employees and customers safe while improving their shopping experience. 

Storeworks and our software partners collaborate intimately with you to design and launch digital signage that makes sense in your stores. We help you create a welcoming, elevated shopper experience that results in audience expansion, brand loyalty, and increased sales.

Contact Storeworks today to begin crafting your digital signage strategy for maximal safety and customer satisfaction. 

First, clarify your digital signage objectives

What do you want your digital signage to do? Will you use it to detail a department’s sanitation schedule and remind your cleaning staff to execute on time? What about alerting customers to your busier traffic times so they can avoid long wait times at the check-out and entrance?

Will you display safety protocols throughout the store for employees and customers alike? What about directional reminders for where you place your hand-sanitizing stations?

Brainstorming and clarifying your customized content for your unique safety challenges is crucial for efficient video screens.

Digital signage and CMS, a marriage made in heaven

Tall, vertical digital sign displaying 2 people in trendy fashion. The sign is located in a busy corporate hallway with people walking by.Most retailers have at least a few digital sign screens in their stores. Using those screens to their maximum potential means employing intuitive content management systems (CMS.) 

If your digital signs take hours to update and require calls to tech support with each screen change, you may as well go back to using cardboard and paint. 

Reliable, simple, and branded screen templates with easy-to-swap information fields are essential to effective digital signage. (At Storeworks, we collaborate with SkyKit for their intuitive, cloud-based, CMS platform.)

Your CMS should be agile, as well as reliable. You’ll want to display your standard safety protocols and customer safety guidelines perennially. However, some platforms enable timely screen “pop-ups” that let you update information in real-time. 

For example, you may want your brand messaging to continually display all you do to keep customers and employees safe and healthy. Plus, you may have daily updates like customer traffic or seasonal sales you wish to promote. 

A CMS platform with a home screen and a pop-up slide show can allow you to multitask efficiently with your video walls and other screens.

Digital Signage and employee communication

man standing at a digital sign kiosk in front of large windows in a corporate office.Keeping customers up-to-date on your safety measures and wait-times is only a small piece of the strategic digital signage pie. You can also use digital signs to maintain employee communication and adherence while minimizing close contact.

Large, hard-to-miss internal signs (back office, stock room, shipping and receiving, break room) can wonderfully communicate company announcements and to-do checklists.

Smaller, departmental signage can help manage workflows, meeting schedules, and other tasks while helping employees uphold social distancing policies.

Further, with some CMS platforms, your admin staff in charge of company messaging can access your digital signage through a convenient app. This feature further enables remote work for essential team members without interrupting store operations.

Digital signage, customer experience, and safety

Utilizing screens to help customers avoid physical touchpoints in-store is another avenue for enhanced customer experience and safety. 

Clear signage detailing product or department locations can help customers shorten their time inside. Your signage should create clarity for customers finding their way, and can also help them gain detailed product information without touching anything.

You can view your digital sign strategy as a funnel. Position the most prominent signs at the front-of-store for department location, general health and safety guidelines, and other store announcements. 

As the customer proceeds into the store, more digital signage can funnel them to their desired products or departments. Once they reach their intended product location, smaller signs may be useful to detail product features, sale prices, or closeouts.

With a flexible CMS platform, these smaller signs can change their messaging for criteria like inventory status, new products, or even coordinate with messaging from other social media channels.

You can still maintain a powerful customer safety directive while embracing digital signage to identify further with your visitors. Rotating “social proof” messaging from social media channels and images of real users can meaningfully deepen your customers’ brand experience.

When you couple a superior store experience with feelings of health, safety, and security, your visitors may be more likely to return often.

Digital signage and line busting

A wall of video touch screens with a woman's hand reaching out to touch the screen.Many large retailers must still manage long lines to get into their stores, even several months into post-COVID reopening initiatives. Placing a “bouncer” at the entrance to manage in-store customer capacity creates several employee and customer experience challenges:

  • Long wait-times to gain store entry
  • Increased staffing expenditures on non-sales tasks (i.e., the gatekeeper at the entrance can’t sell products)
  • The burden of monitoring social distancing within the waiting line itself

Digital signage can help your customers navigate entry lines and plan for approximate wait times once they arrive. You can also remind your customers to observe social distancing and wearing masks (if that’s your store policy) as they make their way through entry lines.

Since you know your store’s traffic patterns, you can also communicate known “busy times” to your customers at the door (and your other marketing channels.) Guests can plan their visits accordingly when armed with the detailed information you provide on your screens.

You can also communicate how you’ll let people into your store (one at a time? Groups of 50? Tables of four?), and where to go once they get in. After all, an informed guest is typically a happier one.

Storeworks and customized digital sign solutions

We know each of our clients has a specific set of customer experience challenges and opportunities. 

Our crack team of designers, architects, software experts, and tech support specialists works closely with your stakeholders to craft the in-store digital solutions that set you apart.

We learn your business model and key performance indicators (KPIs) to guide your store automation, intelligent warehousing, and in-store fulfillment for the best possible ROI.

Contact us today to start a conversation that enhances your visitor experience, customer loyalty, and brand impact.