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What’s keeping our customers awake at night?


      What’s keeping our customers awake at night?


We’ve just finished a round of trade shows. From big international shows to smaller events much closer to home. And, as ever, the thing we enjoyed most is chatting with the people who use our systems already, and others who are thinking of making the switch. Naturally in these conversations we focus on the big challenges you face as those are the things you need help with most. So, what’s keeping our customers awake at night?

“Trading is seriously tough”

Okay, okay, this isn’t news. But what we did find encouraging is that retailers aren’t going to give up without a fight. You won’t have missed the deluge of negative press pouring down every high street. With so many household names in trouble, we were half expecting empty show halls and a dearth of leads. How wrong we were. The challenges are common across most markets. Footfall down. Spending down. Confidence down. Yet the headline issues don’t translate the same way for every business. We’ve spoken with people running supermarkets, clothing stores, tech stores, opticians, and just about anything else you can name. All looking for digital signage solutions which can help keep them ahead of the game.

“We can’t keep up with Amazon’s endless price changes”

In tech markets especially, last year’s new model is this year’s clearance item, and prices fall accordingly through the product’s lifecycle. At least that’s how it used to be. Dynamic pricing, where retailers make changes to pricing based on current supply and demand is now becoming mainstream. This means putting prices up when there are more customers than goods to sell them, and down when you are in danger of being left holding obsolete stock. Again, this is simple enough when managed over a reasonable timeframe. What we now see though is daily price changes and a situation where printed POS can’t keep up. Driven by Amazon who are famous for the frequency of their price changes, the only way bricks and mortar can fight back is by switching to digital display at the shelf edge. Unsurprisingly, we’ve had a few conversations about making this happen.

“People keep talking about storytelling, but I don’t know where to start”

It’s all about stories not products nowadays. Everyone is talking about ways to make in-store more exciting than online. Of course, that’s far easier said than done. One common realisation is that storytelling is central to the solution. Creating some drama. That’s the way to go. Surely the best way to make this happen is integrating dynamic content on high quality screens and bringing the story to life? Why not bring this onto the street by framing the entrance around your business with digital content which will pull people in who might not have considered stopping by? And of course, remember the golden rule with storytelling, always start with the customer. Yes, your brand and product stories are important, but not as much as the shoppers’ own.

“Shoppers want to see people like them, not catwalk models”

Across retail, especially in fashion, and health and beauty, people are calling for real people not models promoting products. Using digital in-store is the best way to make this happen. Imagine yourself confronted with a wall of seemingly identical blue jeans. You can see from the POS that they are far from identical with dozens of fit options. Before long there’s a pile of product on the floor and you’ve lost the will to shop. What if you could dial in your size and preferred fit and see a model of your dimensions wearing each style available? Better still if the system is driven by proximity sensors knowing what you are looking at.
Adding functionality like this will help increase conversion by making it easier for your shopper to select and buy. And later in the customer’s shop, when they try the product for size, encourage them to to take a selfie in the fitting room and share that too.

“I’m worried we’ve missed the boat on digital signage”

Everyone is expecting digital signage to grow. Okay, the disclaimer on this one is clearly that as a digital signage provider people aren’t likely to come out of their way to tell us they don’t believe in digital signage. What we are seeing are increasing numbers of people who feel they are being left behind, or that their existing systems aren’t working hard enough for them. If that feels like you, pick up the phone and see how we can help.

So, where do we go from here?

Apple’s Angela Ahrendts recently summed things up nicely “the retail sector is not dying, but it does have to evolve and serve a bigger purpose than selling” (Marketing Week, June 2018).

Here at MRG systems we always talk about solutions not technologies. That means we listen to you and then develop the technology you need to solve the challenges you face. We also keep our eyes open. A group of us walked down one of London’s main retail streets after a long day at a show.

We saw store after store using static digital displays in windows which were easily missed. Many people had obviously got the idea that digital can look good and be easy to update, yet they are effectively still replicating design work which could be done with posters. There is a missed opportunity for many of these retailers to create more dynamic content.
Our LiveSpace digital signage system is born from years of listening and learning. So, if you see new opportunities and challenges in keeping your customers shopping, get in touch as we’d love to help.