You’ve been resisting the change. You’ve been justifying why your paper and poster marketing campaign is still relevant. You’ve even been telling other businesses that you want to stay “old school” with your big vinyl banners and paper posters so you stand out.

You’ll stand out, all right.

So far out, that consumers just might walk right past you.

There are certainly small businesses that might not need to make the switch from print advertising to digital advertising. At least not yet.

It’s the Digital Age and we want to welcome you to it. You might know it’s the better option, but might have a difficult time justifying the cost to the finance team.

Here are 5 reasons why retailers should switch from print to digital.

1. It Engages Your Audience

We are a people of interest. Or rather, we are a people that like interesting things. Human psychology says that we, as humans, have six human needs we must fulfill in order to feel whole.

One of those needs is Variety, or, the need for the unknown.

We truly need to experience things that are different. Therefore, we need change. We need new stimuli, and we need it regularly.

For many, digital signage is new stimuli. (At least in the land of digital marketing.) If you can engage and stimulate your audience with something powerful, you’re on to something.

Case in Point:
At the Westfield Shopping Centre in London, Virgin Media, a UK-based provider of broadband Internet, television, and mobile services decided they needed a little variety for their business.

When they opened a new retail store in the Westfield Shopping Centre in 2012, they decided to ditch print marketing for interactive digital signage. The retailer went with a large touchscreen video wall that displayed various phone options for users to browse. From phone options to case colors, this allowed curious consumers to take a closer look at features and pricing.

In a word, the video wall allowed them to engage. When you can bring the consumer closer to the product by doing this, that consumer is more likely to purchase.

As a retailer, who doesn’t want that? It’s pretty easy to justify the cost of digital signage when you see the increase in revenue.

Pizza Hut figured this out when they launched interactive tabletops in some of their locations. Talk about engaging an audience! This option lets hungry visitors make their own digital pizza right there at the table.

It’s like a video game, only you eat the finished product.

I don’t know about you, but even if I wasn’t a Pizza Hut fan, I just might make my way into a store just to try the new technology.

2. It Yields Long-Term Savings

The reason so many of us resist buying a big ticket item is, well, because it’s a big ticket item. Our initial thought is that it costs more than we’re prepared to spend.

Many of us don’t realize that the upfront cost of digital signage is often the same as the cost of what we spend on paper and poster marketing all year long!

If we were to think of the costs we accrue now and compare them with the cost of a digital campaign, we might be pleasantly surprised.

For example, consider what it costs annually to:
– have campaigns printed and distributed.
– employ staff to design, create and distribute those signs.
– employ the same staff to redesign, recreate, and redistribute those new, updated signs.

Bear in mind, too, that digital signage campaigns have a higher Return on Investment (ROI) than traditional campaigns.

We’ve seen time and time again that sales increase when digital signage is at the forefront of a sales funnel, especially when creative video plays a role.

When we can stare at a statistic that tells us anywhere from 65-85% of consumers are more likely to buy after watching a product video, investing in a digital signage campaign that brings you to this space is hard to ignore.

The digital marketing format yields long-term savings, brings more interest to your retail store, and gives you an ROI that makes moving into the Digital Age a really cozy ride.

3. Change Content in an Instant

Years ago, I had a friend who worked at a car wash some days after school. His job was to make sure the machines were full of soap and that the vending machines were fully operable at all times.

He was also charged with changing out the 2.5 x 6 vinyl banners that welcomed visitors at the entrance of the car wash, greeted them again at the wall by the vacuum cleaners, and one more time as they entered the actual car wash.

Each sign boasted a special price or promotion for the week. When it rained one day and was expected to be sunny the next, he used to say, “I know I’m going to have to change those banners out again because everyone will be in to wash the rain and mud off their cars. It takes forever!”

I was smart enough to work inside after school, so I can’t relate.

What I can relate to is the struggle of retailers constantly rotating content to meet the needs of customer demand and climatic change. It’s time-consuming and, if not changed out in a timely manner, can cause confusion and conflict with sales.

Digital signage kills the need to change out signs completely. Within minutes, users can update content in a back room and their store, even 1,000 miles away, will see the updates within seconds.

Restaurateurs consider this a huge benefit that saves time, hours, and employee manpower. By updating pricing, promotions, and adding specials to create an upsell feature, fast casual chains can adjust to customer demand without deploying employees or having new signs printed.

4. Manage Advertising

This section goes hand in hand with changing content. The only piece missing above is the concept that digital marketing and advertising campaigns are often better managed without layers of people that can create possible miscommunication and unintended chaos. (For example, if the retailer is launching a campaign to more than one store.)

Managing a digital advertising campaign from one location with one piece of software takes the headache out of the word “manage.” It allows for consistency and accuracy.

If a retailer owns several stores that cross borders, keeping advertising simple with digital management can open up the space for employees to focus on other areas of the store that need attention. Lots of CMS software for digital signage is easy to use, making management a breeze.

5. Increase Brand Recognition

There is a billboard for a liquor store on a highway I frequent. It’s been there for years. The paint on the sign is chipped and faded, giving me the impression that the store no longer exists. However, when I exit, the store is alive and well, waiting for thirsty patrons to venture in and buy their goods.

About a quarter of a mile down the highway on the same side is a digital billboard for a different liquor store. The sign is bright and modern and boasts new specials from time to time. That store is off the same exit, only further down the road from the first.

Which store would you head to?

Relevant marketing can increase brand recognition. The way the digital liquor sign showcases its products, allows the brand to make its mark in the community and stays true to its mission statement, giving sign viewers a taste of strong brand recognition. The store (Allen’s Liquor) will be remembered over its competitor because of this.

Conclusion

In the end, you want to be remembered. You want to be chosen over your competition, and with good reason.

You’re in business to make money.

You’re in business to make change.

You’re also in business to serve. And to do that, you’ve got to be willing to ride the wave of change, even if it’s a digital wave.

By engaging your audience with fun, colorful and sharable content, you bring the world a little closer to you. Social media isn’t going away anytime soon. As a matter of fact, it’s growing.

Creating a digital signage campaign for your retail business that educates and engages can move mountains for you and your business.

Despite the initial fear of investment, digital sign users are seeing an ROI that turns their store and their products around. By determining the cost of what your paper campaign is over a year and comparing it to the investment of digital signage, you may discover the cost difference isn’t that big and that it yields long-term savings in the end.

Finally, retailers love that they can change content on the fly. To be able to manage content based on customer demand and climactic change has been a big influencer for many when moving from print to digital in retail. Fresh, relevant content is winning over new buyers every day.

So there you have it. Welcome to the Digital Age. We really do have lots of fun here.

What would influence you to make the change from paper to digital?
If you haven’t made the shift, what is your resistance?