The push to make all things digital has reached the world of retail.
Retail stores like grocery stores, department stores, pharmacies, clothing stores, and others are using more digital displays including signage and electronic shelf labels. The general consensus seems to be that the push to make everything digital is a good thing. Many digital signage companies are even talking about how going all digital can improve return on investment (ROI).
As we covered in our previous blog, Digital Signage Best Practices, Mistakes, and Disadvantages, digital signage has its place, but going full digital is not the most practical, or most profitable solution. In many cases, the digital push is more of a vanity project than something that delivers value, and it can actually hurt your ROI.
The integration of digital solutions has done wonders in retail as smart digital signage and electronic shelf labels can be integrated with planograms and ensure control, speed, accuracy, and consistency in your messaging when it comes to promotions, pricing, and inventory. When used in an effective and efficient manner, this can lead to a good ROI for retail businesses.
However, it pays to be smart about how you implement digital signage, electronic signage, and electronic shelf labels. You must consider where it is profitable and practical to use digital signage, and where it is more economical to use printed signage. Going fully digital just because the opportunity is there is not in the best interest of your business, shareholders, or customers in terms of value.
The best approach is to use blended signage, which means using digital signage where it is practical and continuing to use print signage where it makes sense as far as practicality and cost. At ECS Global, we know that using a blend of technologies is often the most practical and profitable approach. is a blended solution that integrates both digital and printed signage and shelf tags to truly improve your ROI.
Efficient Use of Digital Signage
As mentioned above, the best way to get a good ROI is to have a solution that uses a blend of digital and paper signage and displays. This makes it important to think critically about how to best use digital signage so that it is a boon to your ROI, rather than a detriment.
The temptation to go all digital may be strong and digital signage companies may tout this as the best way to improve your ROI. But the idea that going fully digital without considering the potential inefficiencies of digital signage in certain applications will boost your ROI is nonsense.
The use of digital signage is beneficial to your ROI when used efficiently. With digital signage, you can change prices, promotions, and other information quickly and easily, and these actions can even be automated. Any changes to your digital signage will be instantly sent out to all of your digital displays, TV screens, and electronic shelf tags.
The following are the best applications of digital signage:
- Frequent price changes: In the world of retail, the price of some items changes more frequently than the prices of others. Electronic shelf tags are an efficient solution for products that change price frequently. You can also consider using electronic shelf tags in sections for seasonal products where the products change every 2-3 months.
- Promotional displays: Many retail stores have physical displays for promotion dependent products. As promotions change, so do the products. Digital signage and electronic shelf tags can be changed easily to reflect the new products and pricing with each promotion.
- Dynamic digital signage: Many retail stores make use of digital signage on TV screens that can incorporate images, videos, and animations. These signs can also be created and changed very easily with a solution like the Media Manager that is within ECS5. If your business makes use of digital displays in which the content changes regularly, ECS5 can help you make efficient use of these displays. If the content on these displays remains static, it is more cost-effective for these signs to be printed.
Efficient Use of Paper Signage
Digital signage is the most cost-effective when used in applications where prices, products, and promotions change frequently. The ease of which digital signage can be managed and changed may seem like it can improve your ROI on the surface, but you also must consider the costs of buying, implementing, supporting, and replacing digital signage.
In any given retail store, there are many SKUs that may change infrequently or not at all in a year. Going fully digital with your signage means that you are paying to implement and support the capability in areas where dynamic signage is simply not needed which ends up costing your business money and cutting into your ROI. In these situations, using printed signage is much more cost-effective and better for your ROI.
When using a blended signage solution like ECS5, your print and digital signage can be integrated and controlled from the same system. Using printed signage and shelf tags for products in which the price or product description rarely, if ever, change costs you less than having a static digital sign or electronic shelf label hold that place. If a change does occur, you can make the change within ECS5 and the design for your paper signage and shelf tags will be updated automatically.
ECS5 also integrates your store planogram so that only paper shelf tags for products that are currently in stock will be printed, which cuts down on waste materials. Paper signage and shelf tags can also be printed easily within the system and employees can print them from anywhere within the store using mobile printers.
Printed signage and shelf tags are significantly cheaper than digital signage and electronic shelf tags. Sticking with paper signage for static prices and promotions will help reduce your costs for a better ROI.
Blended Signage Solutions with ECS5
For retail stores like grocery stores, pharmacies, department stores, clothing stores, and others, going fully digital with your signage is not the best way to improve ROI. Digital signage companies may try to sell you on this idea, but it is not in the best interest of your business, your customers, or your shareholders.
Retail businesses benefit most from a blended solution with intelligent usage of paper signage and shelf tags and digital signage. ECS Global Inc. offers a blended signage solution with our in which you can design, manage, print, and implement paper signage and shelf tags as well as digital signage from one place.
ECS5 allows you to dynamically create and manage digital and print signage and shelf labels and it integrates planogram designs, inventory, product information, retail mobile devices, mobile printers, and point of sale terminals to ensure accuracy across all of your communications. You can leverage the benefits of digital and print signage and save your business the cost of implementing digital signage capabilities where they are not needed for a much better ROI.
Contact us today to learn more about ECS5.