NRF14: Selling digital signage to the sellers

Jan. 10, 2014

The National Retail Federation BIG Show kicks off this weekend in New York City, and as usual digital signage will make its presence felt on the show floor — as technology providers try to sell to the sellers on their dynamic wares.

Retail remains by most estimates the largest vertical for digital signage, so it's elementary that there should be a wide spectrum of digital signage specialists showing at the NRF's annual convention and expo.

So, display providers like NEC Display Solutions, Panasonic, Planar Systems and Samsung Electronics are showcasing their wares, as are solution providers such as ComQi, Scala and STRATACACHE — and broader-based tech companies such as Cisco, HP and Intel also will feature in-store digital signage in their presentations.

Tech titan HP will showcase a wide variety of solutions for the retail store, from enterprise solutions to in-store kiosks and self-service solutions to digital signage video walls, according to Andy Bowden, the company's senior marketing manager for digital signage solutions.

It's important for the technology and medium to make itself felt at the biggest retail show of the year, Bowden said.

"We have a strong presence in the retail market and we see digital signage as a key piece of the omnichannel experience and for various key customer touchpoints for in-store experiences," he said in a recent interview.

For instance, ComQi will showcase its Passport digital signage and mobile platform at NRF. The company says its Passport platform makes digital signage interactive with shoppers' smartphones, creating a targeted communication channel between the retailers and the shoppers, through the stores' digital signage and the shoppers' smartphones and tablets.

The company also will have Chuck Martin, bestselling author of "The Third Screen: Marketing to Your Customers in a World Gone Mobile" and on the vanguard of mobile shopping, at its booth for a book signing and giveaway session at the show.

And Samsung, for example, will have a number of retail solutions set up in its booth with partners — virtual dressing room environments, interactive storefront windows and its latest digital signage products, as well as mobility and other products that work well for the retail space and POS.

Digital signage software giant Scala said it will show products designed to help move the retail industry forward in "the digitally connected store" that connects retailer systems and data to all of the digital screens in the store to create a cohesive experience. The company will show how it further integrates mobile apps and emergent technologies such as iBeacon to allow for a high level of personalization, as well as how tech like Scala Advanced Analytics can comb through data to find patterns and suggest optimized content for all of the touchpoints in the physical store.

Spacenet Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of SageNet and a provider of managed network services, also is showcasing its full suite of retail network solutions at the show.

SageNet completed its acquisition of Spacenet in December, and together the two companies provide a wide range of technology solutions for U.S. retailers with hundreds to thousands of stores, according to a company announcement. Spacenet helps retailers fine-tune their networks to power POS, video surveillance, digital signage, unified communications, third-party apps and more.

At this year's BIG Show, Spacenet's "Big Bandwidth Speedway" theme is all about speed, security and reliability, featuring a comprehensive line of high-speed communications options including Cable, DSL, T1, Fiber, Ethernet, 4G/LTE and satellite services, which SageNet/Spacenet provide to ensure retailers' networks operate at top performance. The booth will highlight four unique "solutions" pods and a digital signage wall to showcase solutions for retailers' most pressing challenges, the company said.

And digital media solutions provider STRATACACHE announced today it is unveiling a new, interactive retail journey empowering consumers to become more involved in the shopping experience — its Connected Journey that features interactive ways for retailers to inspire consumers along the path to purchase.

"Retailers not only need to search for moments of inspiration to sell to customers, but rather to put together a series of moments that takes the shopper on an entire journey from the very first moment they connect with a retailer," STRATACACHE SVP of Interactive and Mobile Experiences Russell Young said in the company announcement.

The Connected Journey includes the company's Digital Play experience, designed to engage shoppers and extend their dwell time via interactive, gestural-based messages. In addition, its Connected Assistant allows retailers to connect consumers with store associates via mobile for increased conversion and customer satisfaction. And its Responsive Merchandising experience connects physical to digital in an interactive display designed to get shoppers to engage with display merchandise. Allowing consumers to engage with retail products through browser-based connections, these connected experiences support a BYOD approach to in-store engagement, the company said

"NRF's BIG Show sets the retail trends, and we're excited to display our latest Connected Journey experience," STRATACACHE CEO Chris Riegel said in the company announcement. "Innovative in-store solutions have a big impact on bringing retailers closer to the consumer, and we're thrilled to showcase the latest digital experiences."

Learn more about retail digital signage.

Topics: Audience Measurement , Content Management , Customer Experience , Display Technology , Retail

Companies: Planar Systems, Inc. , Samsung Electronics America , NEC Display Solutions , ComQi, Inc. , Stratacache , Intel Corporation

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