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Interactive digital signage software can be a game-changer for retail. This technology brings transformation and gives businesses an opportunity to create and deliver content better.
State of the retail industry
Offline retail wasn’t in a good place before the pandemic. With the swift rise of internet commerce, the physical locations that didn’t follow the trends suffered huge losses. The last two Toys R Us stores closed in January 2021 with a previous highly publicized liquidation process of the company in 2018. In 2019 the retail industry suffered a dramatic wave of closures with more than 9,300 stores shutting down in one of the worst years for the branch. The media has called it a “retail apocalypse”.
And we all know what happened next. COVID-19 pandemic like a merciless hammer smashed right at the nail of a coffin of already-staggering industry. The world has learned the real-life meaning of previously largely ignored words of “quarantine” and “social distancing”. And life hasn’t been the same ever since. Coresight tracked 8,741 closures in 2020 and the numbers were even higher in 2021.
Not only has the novel coronavirus put the businesses on a brink of collapse (or to an actual collapse for some), it has shifted the public perception of such a basic human behavior as browsing through the store. For the last two years the message from the many governments in the world was loud and clear:
- going out is risky
- if you dared to go out be sure to take all the precautions not to interact with anyone
- If you dared to interact with anyone there might be repercussions
For a retail industry where sales depend on the interaction with a customer and of the engagement of a customer with the products, it’s an obvious knockout.
Searching for the silver lining
Still, the retail is not going anywhere, the hope is there. However, the hope is there only for those who are willing to adapt and change their ways. The pandemic has shown that everything can change in a matter of days for whole industries. And it’s not only about the government-imposed restrictions, those measures come and go. If there’s a lockdown, it’s always temporary. Give it a few weeks, the shopping mall will open its doors again.
The real question here would be: if the shopping mall reopens in 2022, will people come as they used to?
And the answer is not that easy. As we said, even before the pandemic the tides were swiftly shifting from mall-based and brick-and-mortar retail to the e-commerce kingdom. According to the latest stats, in 2020 alone $105 billion was added to US e-commerce. This part of the economy grows exponentially and the sky’s the limit. With new variants of coronavirus, challenges of vaccination programs, and changed consumer attitudes, no analyst can predict a bright future for classical offline retail.
So right now it’s not whether the industry will get back on track (it most probably won’t), it’s about surviving the pandemic, adapting, and getting out better. Those who are in retail should consider new approaches that not only will help with staying afloat but will change the interaction with customers. Interactive digital signage software is one of those tools. Here’s why.
The promise of digital technology
One of the most fascinating paradoxes of human nature is that no matter how deep online we’re going, how elaborate VR becomes, how omnipresent online shopping is, we’re still social animals and can’t happily live without going out. In other words, interaction is essential for humans. Whether it’s chatting with friends, going out for a coffee, or, for the sake of our topic, visiting a store. The urge to browse simply can’t die, no matter how impactful the pandemic is.
What can die, though, are those retailers that won’t see the change in the air. People want to visit the stores but they want to do it on their terms. So as a retail business operating in 2022 you should think about two things:
- The safety of a customer that comes to your store in the middle of pandemic
- The entertaining engagement that addresses the prevalence of the online medium in the lives of customers
This is its main advantage for today in retail. With screens, you are able to combine two worlds and create a superb experience for your customers. And it can ensure safety too by broadcasting alerts, important information, social distancing-related messages.
With a good digital strategy in place, you have the power to transform your retail experience and adequately react to the challenges that the present gives. Without technology, you’re risking being thrown out of the boat by the market itself.
Digital signage, on the other hand, gives you an unlimited set of capabilities in visual delivery and content production. With such a flexible tool in your hands, cruising through the fluctuation of the pandemic becomes much easier as you know that your business has become more adaptable to troubles.
How to start right away
There’s no time left to waste, really. The adaptation of any technology is a strategic process where both the business and the customers have to get used to a new thing. The best for a swift change would be to opt for the cloud-based interactive digital signage software. Our solution, Kitcast, is one of the representatives of this branch of signage technology.
It’s reliable, secure, flexible, versatile, and easy-to-use. And the main advantage of our software is that you shouldn’t spend days implementing it. The process is intuitive and takes mere minutes.
In order to start using digital signage right away with Kitcast you would only need to:
- Plug an Apple TV device into your screen
- Download Kitcast app in the App Store
- Follow a simple installation process and link your screen in the app
That’s all. Simple and quick and you have a full-fledged digital signage system at your fingertips. So be sure to make the most of it.