Defined by the National Association of Convenience Stores’ (or simply NACS) Constitution and Bylaws, a convenience store or c-stores is a business in a “convenient location [for people] to quickly purchase” products they need. Ranging from a kiosk to a 4,000 square feet establishment, these stores offer a variety of necessities, from food to gasoline.
The convenience store industry is booming, with in-store sales at $251.9 billion in 2019, which is a 4.4% increase from 2018. This data is backed up by numerous factors, like having retail signage displays, either in print or digital. However, there is a significant shift from print (flyers or tarpaulins) to digital (LED display signages).
From Print To Digital
Print media has been around for years, and it has been the main mode of communication and advertisement. However, in the advent of technology, people have found other ways to communicate and advertise. Here are some factors to consider in opting for digital signage than print ones:
Customer behaviors. Unlike flyers, digital signages cannot be thrown away by customers. When properly placed, they can be informative, entertaining, and can make a customer buy the advertised product.
New landscape. Technology, higher production costs of print signages, and environmental regulations made it easier for digital signages to come on top.
Flexibility and control. Adaptable and internally-managed, convenience stores can change the signages at any time.
Less hassle. Digital signages and its contents are easier to set up than those print ones that need adhesives.
Moving pictures. Another factor is the dynamic contents. Digital signages can have videos or sounds.
Ways How Digital Signages Improve Your Convenience Store
There is an evident decrease in the number of convenience stores in the United States. As of December 2019, there are only 152,720 operating stores from 153,237 in 2018. We can attribute this data with owners not keeping pace with innovations and trends like shifting to digital signages.
Here are some benefits of having digital signages in convenient stores:
Increase In Sales
Four out of ten shoppers admitted that digital displays could affect what they buy. Unlike print signages, which are static and can end up in a trashcan, digital ones are at the point of purchase.
We can also attribute the increase and decrease in sales with the frequency of customer visits. If there are more customer visits, then the sales will increase. It is also effective to post discounts for frequent buyers and use a loyalty system to make customers come back. Here are some statistics about the increase in sales:
There was an evident 6% increase in Stella Cidre’s annual sales when they added a weather forecast feature in their digital signage.
In the 2014 study conducted by the University of Cincinnati Economic Center, there was a 2.12% increase in the total store sales of the test stores relative to their paired control stores.
Separation From Competition
In this dynamic world, convenience stores should be proactive rather than reactive. Competitive owners are thinking of ways to outsmart their competitors. Trends like Stella Cidre’s weather forecast feature and others like giving out local information or even news can benefit the convenience store to gain and keep customers.
Standing out in today’s society is a good thing, and making a good impression comes in second. Having digital signages.
Using retail signage displays to showcase products can make customers buy them and come back to the store. As said in Cenareo’s research, which they cited Popspots’ 2018 study, 57% of customers have picked a new brand or bought a new product advertised through the digital signages.
These digital signages can also entice customers to purchase something they didn’t plan to buy. There are two ways digital signages promote items:
Tertiary goods. Unlike their printed counterpart, evoke realistic images and sometimes sound, which can tickle a customer’s curiosity. A customer who only wants a bag of chips, but a perfectly placed digital signage about a special promo can make them buy that advertised product.
Upselling. Digital advertisements in LED signage displays can promote products or services related to the item they’re already buying.
Reduce Wait Time
Things like prompting customers to an open cashier can reduce their perceived waiting time to 35% and lessen their agitation. Moreover, 40% of customers would want to shop in a place where there are digital signages at their checkout lanes. Showing the following information will lessen their irritability at the checkout lanes:
What’s on sale
Upcoming events like sales
Local community events
The hardware and software needed for digital signages are getting cheaper every year due to the competitive market. Far from print signages that require printing for every revision, digital ones only require one-off cost and installation. It can also reduce human resources and excess expenses for delegating people to hand out flyers or installing bigger print signages.
Auditory and Visually Appealing
Even though we cannot ascertain the specific percentage of how much information we intake visually, in most of us our eyes are our main guide in this world. Digital signages with appealing imagery and eye-catching titles and also auditory capabilities can further engage customers and make them buy the advertised product.
Tips To Make Effective Digital Signage For Convenience Stores
In 2010, seven out of 10 Americans went inside a convenience store, and 16% of them noticed the digital displays. Also, the study stated that 47% of those who had seen the signages had recalled the ad. Although this study was a decade ago, these data are still very applicable in the present time.
With the given benefits above, convenience stores should keep in mind these factors when deciding on getting digital signages:
Content of the message. This factor implies the appeal type (provoking emotion) or product category. The feeling of the video playing through the display should complement the advertised product. Complying to this factor can persuade the customers to buy the advertised product.
Context and quality of exposure. C-stores should take into consideration their customer’s need state (what they need at the time of the visit), traffic speed and direction (where is the busiest place inside), and the message frequency (how many times the message will play) and duration.
The two factors can significantly help the convenience store in creating quality content for their digital signages. According to Although the last one is more on the location of the signages, here are some pointers where to put the signages:
Outdoors. Massive LED Signage displays on roofs as marquee signs can attract passing motorists and smaller LEDs just before the door can promote.
Indoors. Displays at the checkout lane can help customers with their patience and self-checkout kiosks can flash promos for the day.
Menu Boards. A lot of convenience stores offer a dynamic menu board that can notably help customers pick what they want.
Freezer/Cooler doors. Transparent LCD and OLED displays instead of a standard freezer door is a new trend in the retail signage displays.
Communication is the key to every business and today’s market is very aggressive. With millennials entering the industry, everyone should step up their strategies. Convenience stores should utilize retail signage displays, especially digital ones like LED display signs to better accommodate the ever-changing behavior of customers.