Should you incorporate a digital media player into your POP display? It is a good question, but the answer is not always straight-forward. POP displays with digital media players have been part of the retail landscape for a long time. There are a lot of good reasons to consider digital point-of-purchase (POP) displays. Chief among them is the role that digital media can play in capturing shopper attention and creating shopper engagement, educating customers about your products, delivering consistent on-brand messaging, and setting your company apart from all the other companies that lack a digital media presence at the point of sale. You don’t have to look further than YouTube or TikTok to know that people like to be entertained, and they no longer like to read. Despite the compelling rationale for building a digital media player into your next display, there a number of important considerations and execution approaches that should be weighed before investing the incremental $100-$500 or more that some digital media solutions require. Those considerations are the subject of today’s blog and Part II of this series on these digital point-of-purchase (POP) displays.
Likelihood of Use
The first and most fundamental consideration is the likelihood of use. Will shoppers take the initiative and the time to watch your video content? There are many factors that can affect this outcome, including type and size of store, the location of your display within the store, type of product you are selling, industry, and consumer familiarity with your product. For example, a shopper would be more likely to engage with a digital media player introducing a new consumer electronics product than watching a video player mounted to a shelf in the aisle of a grocery store playing a Coca-Cola video.
It is not hard to do some simple primary research to assess the likelihood of use. For example, we worked with a new pet food company that asked us to incorporate a digital media player into a floor display. It made sense since it was a new brand, and there was a lot they wanted to say about what made their product different. We visited 3 or 4 Petco stores and noticed a push-button activated digital media player on an end cap in a dog food aisle. We asked the store manager and some store associates how many times in the last year they had witnessed a shopper watching the video. The answer came back consistently “zero.” We talked our customer out of going with the digital media player.
It is also worth considering store personnel. There are lots of stories of store associates unplugging a digital media player after a couple of weeks claiming the repetition became annoying. Turning off the sound of the video is one way to minimize this risk.
The Right Applications
There are some applications that simply make good sense:
New High-Tech Products. As mentioned above digital media players that can help sell high-tech products in consumer electronics stores have a high likelihood of use and have excellent return on investment prospects. Let’s look at a few examples of displays we have created for that market.
The digital media player in the FrontRow display we made for Ubiquiti Networks was critically important because the product was a wearable camera. What better way to show Best Buy customers the quality of the Front Row product than to replay videos taken by the camera.
Much like the FrontRow display we made for Best Buy stores, the Mota display shown below included a digital media player that played actual footage taken from its drones. Seeing the quality of the video in conjunction with seeing the drone products beneath the glass case was an effective way to covert shoppers into customers.
In addition, there was an important story to tell in the introduction of the world’s first smartphone connected safe so we included a digital media player in the iKeyp counter display shown below.
Another world’s first was the display we made for Hush, the world’s first smart earplugs. Not only was “Hush” the perfect name for smart earplugs that help you sleep, but digital media proved to be an excellent choice to help introduce this new product to market.
While we are on the subject of sleep and the benefits of using digital media players to introduce new products, we made the display below to introduce Dreampad’s revolutionary pillows which play soothing music using specialized speaker technology to help you fall asleep. This display was featured on Season 9 of Shark Tank when entrepreneur Randall Redfield asked for $800,000 in exchange for a 10% equity stake in his company. He got no bites from the sharks.
Live Camera Feeds. Another excellent application for digital media players is to execute live camera feeds. Let’s look at three examples. The first is for home security cameras. We made the display below for EZVIZ. It included a large digital media player that played high density video from a live camera feed. It was a great way to demonstrate the quality of the product.
The second example is a camera kiosk for Shoe Dog that we made for Road Runner Sports. The kiosk included a live camera and a large digital media player. It was placed next to treadmills so sales associates could assess a customer’s movement while walking or running and then recommend the right shoe.
The third live camera application is one we made for TRX. The displays were placed in gyms and fitness clubs. The kiosk was designed to take a user through a series of squats and other movements, which were recorded by the camera and then analyzed and played back on the screen. It was a great way to assess movement mechanics and introduce customers to the TRX system.
Audio Products. Pairing digital media with audio products is another natural application since the video and audio products can be operated through a single controller. The Bluesound display we made below enabled shoppers to play different sound tracks on high resolution wireless speakers while watching a video.
While far less sophisticated, the Stelle display we designed below simply played a continuous looping video that helped to introduce the company’s new wireless speakers.
Tradeshow/Event Kiosks. Our second to last example of smart applications for digital media players is using larger screens to play continuous looping videos at tradeshows or events. Not only does this help to get the attention of people passing by the booth or the kiosk, but it enables the company to tell its story and helps keep visitors occupied and interested if the company’s staff is tied up talking to other customers. Two examples below are event kiosks we created for Woodinville Whiskey and Wild Turkey.
WiFi-Enabled Touchscreens. Our final example is using WiFi-enabled touchscreen digital media technology in a mall kiosk we designed and fabricated for Club Nirvana. The kiosk featured two large digital media players that enabled customers to navigate and learn about the company’s full range of products. The kiosk also included a set of tablets that enabled customers to place their orders online.
In Part 2 of this series, we’ll review some of the other practical considerations of utilizing digital media players in POP displays, including power alternatives, activation options, size and types of players, content management, and digital media alternatives.
Jim Hollen is the owner and President of RICH LTD. (www.richltd.com), a 35+ year-old California-based point-of-purchase display, retail store fixture, and merchandising solutions firm which has been named among the Top 50 U.S. POP display companies for 9 consecutive years. A former management consultant with McKinsey & Co. and graduate of Stanford Business School, Jim Hollen has served more than 3000 brands and retailers over more than 20 years and has authored nearly 500 blogs and e-Books on a wide range of topics related to POP displays, store fixtures, and retail merchandising.
Jim has been to China more than 50 times and has worked directly with more than 30 factories in Asia across a broad range of material categories, including metal, wood, acrylic, injection molded and vacuum formed plastic, corrugated, glass, LED lighting, digital media player, and more. Jim Hollen also oversees RICH LTD.’s domestic manufacturing operation and has experience manufacturing, sourcing, and importing from numerous Asian countries as well as Vietnam and Mexico.
His experience working with brands and retailers spans more than 25 industries such as food and beverage, apparel, consumer electronics, cosmetics/beauty, sporting goods, automotive, pet, gifts and souvenirs, toys, wine and spirits, home improvement, jewelry, eyewear, footwear, consumer products, mass market retail, specialty retail, convenience stores, and numerous other product/retailer categories.