Should a shoe store spend money on digital screens?
05.04.2023 5809

Should a shoe store spend money on digital screens?

Surely, many of you have paid attention to screens in clothing and footwear stores, and someone may have thought about purchasing them for their outlets. Or, perhaps you have already bought them and even installed them. Screens in shop windows and on the trading floor are one of the tools for communication with customers, product and brand presentation, the growth of which is noticeable. The fact that a dynamic screen can become a magnet that attracts the attention of buyers is an indisputable fact. Why does a shoe store need such a screen, is it worth spending money on it and how to use it later, SR deals with professionals - an expert in visual merchandising, window dressing and store building Marina Polkovnikova and a specialist in the development and integration of digital solutions for fashion retail Dmitry Chidirov.

Marina Polkovnikova Marina Polkovnikova -

– founder and CEO of VMC Retail, an expert in the field of commercial merchandising and store building. Clients include the brands Caprice, 12 storeez, Skolkovo, KOTON, Loriblu, I am studio, Cavalli class, CPM Moscow, OZ Mall, FORUM shopping center, Colliers, Asia Park, I Mall Esplanade, etc.

Dmitry Chidirov Dmitry Chidirov - Director of digital-integrator for retail company "Electronic money". 100+ sales support technology projects, including for Ecco, Camper, Dolce&Gabbana, Tele2, M.Video, MegaFon, Rigla and others.

Dmitry, Marina, tell us about the use of screens in retail? What tasks can they help a shoe store solve?

D.Ch.: Screens in retail - digital signage technology - is a tool for informational and emotional communication with customers.

The technology is not so much new as it has not yet been mastered by retail.

With the right approach, technology opens up great opportunities for shoe stores. With their help, you can:

  •  favorably highlight your point of sale;
  •  draw attention to your offers;
  •  develop omnichannel;
  •  increase the number of regular customers.

MP: Screens in modern stores are already a must-have, since we have been living in the digital world for a long time, and today clip thinking is developed to one degree or another by every person: all of us, being in social networks, scroll pages, stories, channels and accounts. It is the clip thinking of a modern person that makes us use video content in stores. Thus, the screen in the showcase space is, first of all, attracting attention in a clip way: when something changes dramatically, actively, we involuntarily pay attention to it.

Video panels serve not only to attract attention, but also to inform about the product, promotions and inform about new arrivals. Highlighting your point of sale is another important function of a video screen: if the neighbors do not have screens, but you do, plus they are still coolly beaten in the store, for example, along with mannequins, then it looks very unusual and attractive.

To draw attention to a new collection, a promotional campaign, to some advanced technology, as, for example, the German brand Caprice does, video screens successfully cope with all this. They help develop omnichannel, especially if these are touch-effect (interactive) screens, when you can approach the screen and communicate with it - ask questions, study collections, and so on.

But when store owners think about integrating video screens into the retail space and storefronts, many of them don't know exactly what needs to be done to achieve this. Someone thinks: "Yes, what's so difficult about it - to buy a screen and tell a story, and, in fact, that's it." Someone looks at colleagues, competitors, large retailers who already have screens - large wall video panels, small screens where video content of various formats is shown, and tries to make something similar on their own. As a result, both those and others face problems when the screens are already bought, and understand that everything is not so simple.

One of the main questions - is it worth it for a shoe store to spend money on digital screens, and how to qualify these expenses - as an investment or an expense?

D.Ch.: The possibilities of modern screens as a means of visual display of information are almost limitless. It is important to prepare for their conscious application and make the right choice from the huge, rapidly changing technology market. In order to achieve a business goal - to convey your message to customers using a screen, it is not enough just to buy a screen.

Based on our experience in implementing technologies in retail, I can say that modern store technologies (in this case, video screens) are often perceived by the retail business solely as costs and are not thought out in a single trading concept. In practice, it looks like this: the screen was bought before its use was thoroughly thought out, as a result, there was no return, the results did not meet expectations, and the owner’s conclusion was such that they spent money in vain.

The results are coming to those retailers who see digital technologies as business opportunities that are inextricably linked with other sales tools - as opportunities to create a competitive advantage, increase sales, reduce costs and dependency on staff, and so on.

When will it be right to make a decision to integrate a video screen into the retail space?

D.Ch.: The ideal moment to decide on the use of screens in the store is the design of this store. The brief for the development of the store concept should also include information about what tasks the business would like to solve using screens.

Designing a store or redesigning individual areas with the integration of screens into them that will influence buyers with broadcasts requires specialized competencies - specialized specialists that retailers need to protect investments in technology. As in any other professional matter.

Where is the best place to install video screens, what zones are the most effective?

D.Ch.: The most effective areas and goals for placing screens in shoe stores are:

  • showcase - we attract traffic, increase brand awareness;
  • display area - increase conversion, reduce dependence on sales staff;
  • checkout - we increase the average bill, increase loyalty, provide seamless integration with ecom-omnichannel.

How and what content is selected for digital screens?

D.Ch.: What and how to fill the screen, do you have content that is interesting to the buyer, and where to get it - these questions should be asked at the design stage, and not when the screen has already been purchased, installed - and then you realized that you have nothing special to show . Ideas for the content and presentation of the material, sources of content are important issues that determine the success of the project.

MP: I agree with my colleague! Thinking about the content that you can broadcast to customers should still be at the stage of designing and developing the concept of integrating video screens. And in life it often happens when a retailer installs vertical video screens, which in concept look very beautiful and more attractive than horizontal ones, and in fact it turns out that he does not have vertical video content. An important point that needs to be discussed with designers at the very beginning. I know from practice that more often companies shoot horizontal content, while vertical content is filmed on a phone, more often for social networks on a phone camera, and it has different technical requirements.

Here is a good example from my practice: the Caprice brand, which had limited video content, wanted to tell customers about new advanced insole technologies, and show the development on video in the brand's new store in Surgut. The idea was to enhance the image of Caprice as a developer of advanced technologies in footwear with the help of video. We knew that the company only had horizontal filming at the very beginning of the work and successfully integrated horizontal video screens into the already finished new design concept. There were certain restrictions on the dimensions of the screens and the design of the trading floor, but in the end, we managed to take into account all the nuances and implement the idea as it was intended.

And how to make the video sequence interesting and eye-catching?

D.Ch.: It is important to seize the moment. While most retailers haven't figured out yet that a single "bright spot" on a screen isn't enough to attract shoppers, make your digital installations really interesting, "hooking" shoppers, making them stop and delve into the essence of what they see on the screen. We recommend actively using such opportunities as:

- Broadcast design. For example, an addition to the main video/photo block of a hot offer block, a ticker, weather/currency widgets;

- setting up a broadcast schedule - we broadcast the most relevant content;

- creative arrangement of screens - Lego-combinatorics is used (a composition of several screens).

MP: I agree with Dmitry about the use of screens in retail.

It is also important to find the right locations for video screens and choose the content that will hit right on target. It will be just a logo, or a promotional story, or an image shoot, or a professional selection of photos - all formats work if they are well thought out and correctly, beautifully presented. Moreover, the choice of screens should be approached only through the prism of your content and your capabilities in its creation - then the chances that everything will look very decent and cool in the end are very high.

What screens are used in retail? I think that an ordinary TV panel bought at a hardware store will not work here ...

D.C.: In successful projects, only professional screens are used, because only they ensure the quality and continuity of broadcasts, which means they guarantee the necessary perception of your offer by buyers.  

The huge difference in sensations from looking at the broadcast of professional and domestic screens will be clear to every person at the first glance at the screen. To do this, you do not need to understand the technical capabilities, the viewer sees this intuitively.

Household TVs should not be used for the following main reasons:

* they will not provide the necessary brightness;

* will "glare";

* the image will not be visible if you move away from the screen to the side;

* they can not work continuously in the schedule of the shops, so they will often break down;

* they do not have built-in capabilities for remote content management.

The experience of household TVs in a store subconsciously reduces the value of the goods and services presented to customers.

MP: How will you manage your content on screens purchased from electronics stores? No, only manually. Household TVs can be used in retail, but they will require a whole range of special gadgets with additional costs that are not obvious at the start. And there are many such pitfalls with household appliances, so we encourage you to think about video screens at the stage of developing a new design concept through the prism of what video content you already have / will have, and what you will broadcast, what message you want to convey to customers through the screens . In retail, professional video screens are used more often. In order for the purchase of a screen not to become an article of loss, but to be a good investment, you need to prepare for it and understand your capabilities - and can you, as a company, constantly generate content; what information you want to broadcast; where will the screen be located or where is it integrated, if we are talking about a ready-made store?

With the right approach, a video screen can become part of a large concept, it can work as another seller and beautifully broadcast all the necessary information to buyers. And this, by the way, is another big plus of the video screen compared to lightboxes with interchangeable images, which are cheaper at the moment, but more expensive to maintain and operate over a period (year).

D.Ch.: Yes, if you compare a lightbox and a video screen, then four times a year to change the lightbox (the whole frame and a removable canvas) costs the same as buying and integrating one global screen. Within a year, the video screen fully pays for itself.

If we compare household and professional video panels, then they are tens of percent more expensive than household ones, but not at times. Choosing household appliances for professional purposes, you generate costs, choosing professional solutions - you invest, invest in the growth of your business. Such an answer to the question with which we began our conversation.

Surely, many of you have paid attention to screens in clothing and footwear stores, and someone may have thought about purchasing them for their outlets. Or maybe you have already bought them and even ...
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