Wireless Connectivity Enables Retailers to Do More to Reach Customers & Gain Efficiencies
Today, retailers are competing with more brands than ever for the limited attention spans of their audiences. Static advertising is a dying medium; instead, retailers are investing in interactive, attention-grabbing digital signage solutions. From in-store signs that leverage Beacon technology to serve up individualized content, to outdoor stunts like Reebok’s recent “Are You Fast Enough” campaign, digital signs are a key tool for catching consumers’ eyes.
As consumers get better at avoiding advertising, brands are competing to create the most engaging, interactive content possible. Central to this shift toward engagement and interactivity is digital signage.
The predicted rate of growth in digital signage usage is astounding: experts predict that the digital signage market will grow 8.18% year over year through 2020. While Internet-connected digital signage opens up a host of new and exciting possibilities for retail marketing and sales strategies, not all retailers will be able to achieve bottom-line ROI for these technologies. A reliable, easy-to-manage wireless network can mean the difference between revenue generator and loss leader.
4G LTE can provide faster ROI and added value to digital signage solutions by increasing revenue and reducing overhead.
With connected digital signage, companies can adjust their messaging as frequently as necessary, and ads can be far more granular in their targeting and content. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, connected digital signs let retailers utilize different creative presentations from store to store, or even customer to customer. With the ability to update signage instantly from a remote location, and as frequently as necessary, retailers can innovate faster, test ideas with less investment, and stay ahead of the pack.
Connect on Day One
Pop-up stores and pop-up advertising are driven by speed. The appeal of the spectacle is rooted in the here-today-gone-tomorrow factor, so agility and flexibility are essential. Being tethered to an ISP’s timeline for setup negates much of the flexibility and agility that digital signage brings to the table otherwise. It’s a difficult decision: wait for wired connectivity, or go offline. 4G LTE connectivity lets the network move as quickly as you need it to.
Improve Customer Experience
With the high bandwidth available through 4G LTE connectivity, digital signage can leverage live video and large file sizes, and can even offer an integrated WiFi hotspot for customers. These factors can go a long way in holding a customer’s coveted attention span.
Capture Actionable Data
When digital signage is connected to the Internet, it’s possible for retailers to gain real-time intelligence, respond to the information quickly, and maximize sales. For example, Gridbox Media uses 4G LTE connectivity in its digital signage solutions to allow its retail clients to track which items customers are most interested in, providing instant feedback for its merchandising teams.
Manage the Distributed Enterprise Remotely
Having different connectivity solutions and sources in different signage situations has the potential to create extra work and cause mistakes. With 4G LTE, retailers can manage a single wireless network, with devices connecting from across the entire world, from a remote location. Firmware updates, security patches, and configuration changes can be rolled out en masse, and IT teams can rest assured that all network devices are properly configured and operating uniformly.
Limit Truck Rolls & Management Costs
One potential drawback of digital signage is that, unlike with static signs, in-store personnel may not have the necessary knowledge or training to update signage, nor can they help troubleshoot should a sign experience connectivity issues. With 4G LTE, network connectivity is as simple as “plug and play.” With the right cloud-based network management platform, IT teams can virtually eliminate the costs associated with truck rolls and shipping devices back to headquarters. Network admins can manage and troubleshoot network devices without ever stepping foot on site.
Secure the Network Through Isolation
Perhaps the most important way that 4G LTE helps retailers maximize ROI on their digital signage is by helping mitigate security risks commonly presented by the influx of connected devices within the growing Internet of Things. As retailers deploy more and more endpoints, networks are becoming exponentially more complex, which endangers employees’ and customers’ personal and credit card data and puts companies at risk of hefty fines and serious brand damage.
Monolithic networks, which depend on proper segmentation and firewall configuration, are inherently prone to security vulnerabilities. Putting “dumb” devices on the same network as sensitive data like Point-of-Sale makes companies more susceptible to pivot attacks such as the 2013 Target data breach, in which hackers breached a weak point in the network — the HVAC system — to gain entry to core network infrastructure.
Keeping devices such as digital signage on separate, Parallel Networks (physically separated from the Point-of-Sale network, for instance) helps support PCI 3.0 Compliance and strengthens cybersecurity by helping shrink your company’s attack surface.
On-Demand Webinar: ‘Using 4G LTE to Connect & Enhance Digital Signage’
To learn more about maximizing digital signage for retail, watch Cradlepoint’s on-demand webinar.