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Retail Solutions

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SIMPLE SOLUTIONS FOR RETAIL SIGNAGE
Engaging the Customer at the Shelf Level

Not everyone needs, wants, or can afford, say, a network of 52-inch LCDs with the complexity of installation, content management, and maintenance they require. There are inexpensive, easy-touse, plug-and-play solutions that can help retailers meet the challenge of enhancing their displays and engaging their customers. Retailers looking to augment their static printed displays with electronics can do it effectively and economically.

There are solutions that involve a more manageable level of cost and expertise, from smaller

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Nine West found a solution that was no hassle easy-to-install, cost-effective, and reliable. The retailer employed three 17-inch LCD flat panel screens ensconced within a deep display shelf and controlled by a single Digital View video player using solid state Flash memory cards. (6.4- to 8-inch) LCDs with integrated media players for on-the-shelf displays, to even more economical solutions that require no LCDs at all.

ON-THE-SHELF DISPLAYS — A SIMPLE, ECONOMICAL NETWORK CAN DO THE JOB

Nine West, a fashion footwear marketer with more than 600 retail stores in over 60 countries, wanted to enhance their customers’ shopping experience by offering moving video of their various product offerings in-store.

Almost without exception, however, the digital display vendors they looked at were offering costly and complicated display networks. Nine West was looking for a simple solution that was cost-effective and evaluated a lot of systems, but the cost of setting up a network in each store was more than the company thought it would get a return on.

Nine West found a solution that was no hassle easy-to-install, cost-effective, and reliable. The retailer employed three 17-inch LCD flat panel screens ensconced within a deep display shelf and controlled by a single Digital View video player using solid state Flash memory cards. The installation itself is typically located at the back of the store as part of an attractive, eye-catching presentation wall. Customers are engaged by video loops, ranging from one to several minutes in length, showing new product announcements, fashion updates and selections from the company’s online Hot9 trends feature. The Flash memory cards’ content is renewed and revised according to Nine West’s media campaign schedule.

Another solution designed specifically to meet the needs of the out-ofhome and retail promotion market is the range of VideoFlyer media players. Digital

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ActivPrint uses black (negatively charged) and white (positively charged) pigment microcapsules. When an electric current runs through it, positive or negative current can be used to control which different color microcapsules are brought to the surface. View VideoFlyers integrate highquality displays with digital media players. The VideoFlyer 064 model features a high-quality 6.4-inch LCD display with a built-in speaker and a number of options (including interactive features such as touch, motion sensor, and bar code), making it ideal for retail shelf edge and other point-of-purchase (POP) promotions.

Suunto, a leading designer and manufacturer of sports instruments for training, diving, mountaineering, hiking, skiing, sailing, and golf, employs the VideoFlyer 064 for in-store displays of their range of multi-function electronic wristwatches designed for outdoor use.

The VideoFlyer 064 is part of an instore display that is used to educate the consumer on how their watches work and which one would be the best choice. The idea was to give them as much information as possible on features and benefits without overwhelming them with technical details. If help is not available, the company realized, many people walk out and the sale is lost. So, since there is not always a salesperson around to talk about the watches to potential customers, Suunto wanted something that would work as a “silent salesman,” and that’s where the VideoFlyer 064 with touchscreen LCD fit the bill. It allowed the consumer to dial down to as much information as they needed at their own discretion and at their own pace.

The 8-segment screen provided ample room to talk about each product category. The overall size was just right, as it didn’t take up too much space and allowed Suunto to build a custom POP around the touchscreen itself. And, last but not least, the price was within the budget.

BATTERY-POWERED SIGNAGE

If proximity and number of AC power outlets is a problem, as is sometimes the case with older stores, particularly supermarkets, there are digital signage solutions that run on batteries, providing the flexibility to put signage anywhere. Even if older stores have ample AC power, the point is that it is very expensive to have AC power cabled in to the shelf-edge when it is not there already, and very few retail environments, new or old, come with power at the shelf-edge.

Also, many retail environments use free-standing promotional gondolas that are meant to be re-positioned, so having cabled AC power is not an option.

To address these challenges, there is the VideoFlyer-SP, an integrated 7-inch LCD panel and media player designed to be a shelf-edge player with interactivity to fully engage customers at the point of purchase. It runs on a power pack containing four 6V lantern batteries, and battery life is approximately 30 days based on two hours of play time per day. That means maintenance staff can visit the store once a month and simply swap out the four lantern

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VideoFlyer 064 model features a high-quality 6.4-inch LCD display with a built-in speaker and a number of options (including interactive features such as touch, motion sensor, and bar code), making it ideal for retail shelf edge and other point-of-purchase (POP) promotions. batteries in the power pack. Key to the system’s energy savings is the fact that the LCDs are not always on. There are a series of flashing buttons on the display that entice the customer to press for more information. The button is pressed, the screen comes on, plays the video loop and switches off. There are four blinking LED lights that are “always on” to attract a customer to touch and, by doing so, turn on the system. This also conserves power when not in use. The media player supports most common video and still image media formats, while the integrated LCD display has an environmentally friendly low power and mercury-free LED backlight.

A STEP UP FROM PRINT IF VIDEO ISN’T AN OPTION

If a retailer is not quite ready for video, and print just isn’t good enough, there’s ActivPrint, a new technology that turns static advertising into eye-catching animated displays using programmable epaper technology and animation combined with the latest design techniques to bring advertising materials to life — in any shape and with up to ten animation steps. It can be used on shelves or integrated into any type of advertising solution.

ActivPrint can handle standard or custom shapes, operates up to a year on two AA batteries, and turns static advertising into a high-resolution animated display. It uses black (negatively charged) and white (positively charged) pigment microcapsules. When an electric current runs through it, positive or negative current can be used to control which different color microcapsules are brought to the surface. This has the effect of “turning on” positively charged white microcapsules and making the image visible or, by turning on the black, negatively charged microcapsules, making the image invisible (in effect, hiding it).

There are a variety of solutions that can help retailers meet the challenge of enhancing their displays and engaging their customers without plunging them into a system that is unnecessarily overcomplicated or over-budget.

Dusty Perryman (dustyperryman@digitalview. com) is director of sales, media systems, for Digital View, Inc., Mountain View, CA. Dusty is a lifer in the technology industry, having worked in the Silicon Valley for 30+ years with both software and hardware companies.

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