Rutter’s Farm Stores turns heads and profits with digital signage network

Rutter’s Farm Stores is a company that is dedicated to keep in step with its customers. The business debuted in 1967 as an additional outlet for Rutter’s Dairy products. Today, Rutter’s has more than 55 Pennsylvania stores in York, Lancaster, Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin and Franklin counties. Named the 2010 Convenience Store Chain of the Year, Rutter’s is dedicated to creating an environment and experience that keeps its customers coming back.

It is that dedication, along with the desire to maintain its position as a technology leader in the convenience store industry, which led to the decision to deploy a digital signage network throughout several Rutter’s stores.

Enhanced Appearance, Advanced Technology
“The idea was to enhance the look of our stores, in addition to increasing sales of targeted items through advertising, by replacing static signage with cutting-edge digital displays,” said Troy Yohn, marketing technician for Rutter’s. “As a customer, when you enter one of our stores, the eye-catching displays are definitely impressive. They are distributed evenly throughout each store, with a three-screen display over the coolers, two signs by the deli, and one display each at the beverage station and seating area.”

When it came to selecting a digital signage platform for its network, Rutter’s had several requirements that needed consideration. For one, the company had a special video file format it wished to use. In addition, it was important that everything be centrally managed so Rutter’s could monitor any display’s content to see what is running in real time. There were also bandwidth issues to contend with, as bandwidth varied throughout the stores due to the prioritization of financial transaction data.

A Strong Partnership
To meet its unique needs, the company turned to Vistacom Inc., one of the northeast’s premier A/V system integration firms.

“We worked closely with the Rutter’s creative and technical team to understand the company’s requirements,” said Rodger Wagner, applications engineer for Vistacom. “We demonstrated and discussed several digital signage solutions with them, highlighting the various strengths of each platform. In the end, the best fit to meet Rutter’s needs was X2O Media’s Xpresenter.”

Xpresenter takes dynamic communications on digital displays to the next level, combining unprecedented ease of use with broadcast-quality video graphics. An end-to-end platform, Xpresenter is a complete suite of applications that allows users to create dynamic content for their digital displays quickly and easily, distribute the content and monitor activity on the displays using powerful remote management tools.

“Besides the extraordinarily high video and graphics quality Xpresenter provides through its rendering engine, the solution also supplies a highly customizable platform that allows us to address Rutter’s requirements,” Wagner said. “Through the Web-based X2O Portal, Rutter’s can easily monitor content in real time for each display, and it was the only solution that was compatible with the company’s special video file format.”

Content That Compells
While companies have offered to supply content for Rutter’s digital signage, the company has chosen to create its own, with a dedicated technical team that is in charge of content creation. With Xpresenter Template Maker 3.0, the team can create compelling content and schedule it straight from the familiar PowerPoint® interface. In addition, a “smart” object library allows for the quick and simple creation of content featuring videos, images, PowerPoint slides, RSS feeds, live information sources and much more. Xpresenter also includes support for 3-D effects, enabling the creation of innovative elements such as rotating graphics.

“We sit down with marketing each month and decide which products we want to focus on in our signage,” Yohn said. “From there, we design the templates and Xpresenter makes it simple to roll out the content to the screens. It’s a very easy and efficient process. And while the deployment is still in its infancy, we have been able to track its success. There is a direct correlation between products advertised on our signs and an increase in sales for those products.”

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.