Digital signage in large supermarkets. New opportunities and scenarios for the future.
(Italian digital solutions provider)
Digital signage can improve communication between brands and customers within store environments. Although not widely used currently, its usage is expected to grow within Europe by 30% in the next year.
Experientia conducted a research study to understand people’s real information needs when shopping in large supermarkets, through a mix of secondary research, contextual observations and qualitative research. From our insights, we provided recommendations on how to use the technology to meet specific business goals.
The desk research explored digital signage not just in the Italian context, but also in the international market, where a wider range of rich and sophisticated solutions are implemented. This included 12 case studies of best practice. From the findings, Experientia identified trends and themes which characterised the most successful examples.
The contextual observations followed 8 people inside a supermarket as they completed their grocery shopping, to understand their information needs and particularly to investigate their behaviour when they encountered problems, such as whether they searched for a shop assistant or tried to solve problems by looking at packaging and available information aids. We looked at what motivated people to select a certain product, their navigation and orientation within the store, and their relationship to the signage and communication present.
Each participant was also interviewed in their home before and after the supermarket shopping, to better understand their lifestyles and general buying behaviours. We explored whether and how people created shopping lists, or planned weekly menus, as well as how they prepared for their grocery shopping. The closing interview gained insights on the motivations behind specific purchases, such as what was planned and what was an impulse buy.
We found that the current digital signage offer is overly focused on the technology itself, with little attention paid to the contents being presented. Our findings suggest that in the future, businesses should concentrate on content and information, interaction and experience, bi-directional communication and co-creation.
Based on the research insights, Experientia created an opportunity map that illustrated the ideal path for the evolution of digital signage, and then created five future use scenarios that addressed the themes and problem areas that emerged during the research analysis: understanding information; perception of experience; orientation and movement within the store environment; complications in the purchase process; and extension of the experience.
Each scenario used sophisticated digital signage to create a highly differentiated commercial offer, which would lead to an enduring competitive advantage. Finally, we made a series of recommendations for considerations when creating a new digital signage strategy.
The final booklet detailed the outputs from each research phase. This included benchmarking results and case-studies; in-depth summaries of interviews and observations; high-level insights and opportunity maps; future scenarios; and strategic recommendations on how to accommodate the technology to identified business goals.