Audio and video broadcasting is currently receiving much attention in the foodservice industry. For restaurateurs with customers in the lobby, in-store promotion is not aimed at convincing consumers to dine; it’s about influencing what to purchase. Effective in-store content has been shown to impact consumers to purchase at a higher incremental level in average check.
SIGNAGE ENABLES UPSELLING, BRANDING AND BUNDLING
The signage effort is focused on upselling, branding, and bundling. Content can include menu item descriptions, preparation instructions, and related informational items as well as new item introduction, add-ons and modifiers, recipes, nutrient content, and in-store discounts and promotions.
Given the time-specific nature of presentation, the results of a digital signage campaign can be easily tracked and measured. Consumers appreciate being entertained and informed, not just marketed to.
Research indicates that since consumers in restaurants are at the point of purchase by choice, they are more prone to influence than customers in other retail settings. Dynamic digital signage can be persuasive as it delivers special promotions, updates menu items and intelligently advertises selections based on time of day.
EFFECTIVE CONTENT ENGAGES THE CONSUMER
Similar to a vending customer, restaurant patrons rely on short and relevant information that can be comprehended quickly. A smart approach is not to plan long broadcast pieces but to break up short promotional materials with non-advertising content, thereby creatively engaging the viewer without overselling. Such an approach has evolved from management recognizing that there was a large amount of in-store commercial real estate that needed to be matched with a powerful networked media.
The conversion from static (photo displays or sequences) to dynamic content (video “signets”) has led to more in-store target marketing.
In many fast food restaurants, the drive-through may be responsible for more than half of its transactions, and the menu board can play a significant role in consumer purchase decisions.
POINT OF SALE MESSAGE IMPACT SALES
The display simply plays a major part in the quickness and convenience of the experience. Despite this apparent need for speed, dynamic digital signage has also been shown to positively impact point of purchase decisions and lead to increases in sales. Just as contactless payment readers are designed to move the customers through the line quicker, so too is digital signage intended to accelerate service but with a higher contribution margin.
Fast food restaurant operators are finding that dynamic digital signage can enhance the customer’s point of sale experience while extending the company’s brand and strengthening customer loyalty. It is likely that vending operators will have a similar experience.
Video clips can be viewed on several devices, including a television screen, PC monitor, cell phone, video iPod, smart billboard, and assorted non-traditional platforms. There are more touchpoints appearing in more places than ever before, and vending operators would be wise to keep track of such developments.
Berry Chill, a yogurt chain based in Chicago, provides customers with a daily menu of chilled yogurt (including regular and rotating flavor choices). Customers are able to customize selected yogurt or choose from a list of signature creations. Berry Chill has installed Scala Infochannel software, a digital network featuring creative content. Unit installation includes four LCD screens at the order counter, two for menu ordering purposes, and two for promotion of Berry Chill’s clothing line, nutritional information, and charitable efforts.
PAY AT PUMP ADVERTISING: A MODEL FOR VENDING?
The vending industry may have a preview of coming attractions when it reviews the experience of gas stations and their experiences with digital media. Gas station video screens, which display paid advertisements as well as market products sold on-premises, represent an application somewhat akin to vending.
Pay-at-the-pump technology, introduced in 1987, has been highly successful at moving petroleum, but it has resulted in a significant reduction in-store traffic where higher margin items are sold. Industry experts predict two-thirds of gasoline customers never enter the store.