Digital store windows give retailers a new sales tool

Digital store windows give retailers a new sales tool
December 1, 2023  |  BY

Since the dawn of retail, the store window has played a key role in sales. Merchandising, displays, mannequins, and other promotional tactics – when executed correctly – can lure customers and increase cash flow.

We’re now witnessing an expanded function of the store window, thanks to the latest digital technology. Due to Covid, consumers today spend more time on their devices, which causes them to shop differently. In turn, retailers have been forced to create more outside touchpoints to entice shoppers to go inside brick and mortar shops.

One of the most popular strategies is to essentially replace store windows with digital screens. While displaying physical products with decorative effects can be successful, a digital screen offers the chance to show a limitless number of offerings, along with complementary video and/or music. And let’s face it: In today’s ever-present competition for attention spans, static, physical store window displays can’t compete with high-resolution, high-brightness, LED videowalls beaming constant (and entertaining) content to passersby.

The cost of digital store windows may be prohibitive for many low and mid-tier retailers at this point. But its inevitable that – as with other tech – as adoption increases, prices will drop, which will make these futuristic store windows ubiquitous across Main Street America. Also keep in mind that LED technology is now more accessible and easier to install. And because LED solutions are quiet, lightweight, and customizable, they can adapt to the needs of retailers of any size – from mega-chains to a single store run by a budding entrepreneur.

Beyond the potential for increased traffic and sales, this technology also allows digital content to be controlled remotely, whether it’s from down the block or across the country in corporate headquarters. That amount of control isn’t just restricted to when to serve specific content; management can control what they will serve. No longer having to rely on in-house merchandising personnel, retailers can literally change tactics on the fly to react to sales figures, unforeseen events, the latest shopping trends – even behavior from that very day

Digital store windows can also provide a new advantage through the use of QR codes. Consumers take out their phones and scan a QR code on the LED screen, which allows retailers to improve engagement. Interestingly, this can even occur when the store is closed. As such, retailers can measure foot traffic and interactions like never before.

Consumers enjoy an engaging experience by simply scanning a QR code, which can provide a range of content and product content. And since shoppers have been trained to not “touch” surfaces due to Covid-era restrictions, using their own phones allows them to safely view different product choices and scroll through the various promotions a retailer may be offering at any given time.

With this type of interactive technology, retailers can benefit from longer time per engagement; consumers, accordingly, get to “handle” products for more time than if they were physically browsing products in the actual store aisles.

Due to these technical possibilities, and despite foot traffic still below pre-pandemic levels, smart retail brands haven’t been shy about investing in this new generation of retail window displays. That’s because they understand that attracting shoppers is the key to increasing store visits; they can’t just wait idly for consumers to decide to stop by once again.

Digital shop windows entice potential shoppers not only with what they display at any moment, they provide a sense of what can be expected during the in-store experience.

In fact, the only limit to what consumers can “see” is based on the retailer’s creativity. In fact, retailers can literally serve up new content almost every time a shopper walks by. And with today’s limited attention spans, coupled with the “social media effect” of consumers who now expect constantly unique interactions, digital window displays give retailers the ultimate flexible sales tool — one that can adapt to any scenario.

Retailers have historically been pioneers when it comes to using technology to increase sales and overall efficiency. From the rolling shopping cart to neon signs to the electronic cash register, retailers have always embraced innovation to achieve ROI and brand loyalty. In short, they understand that societal changes are really opportunities to improve the business.

Why let your customers stare at your store window and wonder what’s inside? Now you can engage them – and present a world of shopping possibilities.