Retail Display Overload - Why "Product Aware" Displays Are The Future of Retail Marketing

Retail Display Overload - Why "Product Aware" Displays Are The Future of Retail Marketing

Retail environments are extraordinarily dense.  Brands are obsessed with facings and competitive placement and retailers with getting as many products per square foot as possible.  Unfortunately, that means pushing out everything else.   What signage you find tends to be more brand focused than product focused.   There are just too many products for each product to have dedicated signage that extols its virtues. 

As a result, a lot of marketing is focused on the brand rather than the product.   However, increasingly consumers are willing to switch brands.  89% of consumers are willing to make a brand switch at the point of sale.   And they make that switch based on the strength of the products.  As Mickey Drexler recently lamented, retail is witnessing the death of the supply-driven world and moving towards an environment of shopper choice that's demand driven.   It's about creating demand and differentiating your products.  Hasn't the Apple Store shown us that success can be had with less products and better product messaging?

Until that future, if you are a product marketer, those dynamics present an interesting challenge. How do you give consumers what they want to make purchasing decisions across a broad range of products while adhering to retailer constraints?  Which product do you choose to feature and which products do you abandon?   How do you cross-sell and up-sell with a continuous experience?

Just look at how dense product packaging and messaging is!   How much 6pt type do you think the customer is going to read and absorb?  It's especially difficult in categories that require a lot of education or explanation like cosmetics.   


The problem is also exacerbated in categories like home goods and electronics, where the product itself can solve many problems that aren't easily evoked with simple product packaging and text.   More packaging information overload. 



Are you really going to allow your product marketing at Best Buy be relegated to a 3x5 index card with 4 bullets?  How would you even show that your product is superior?  Are you going to depend on an independent sales associate that you have never trained?


Digital signage gets you more bang per square inch of display space.  You can have multiple messages on loop and capture greater attention, but it’s not enough.  There’s only so much to fit in and you max out at 4-5 messages. 

That’s why we think the future is “retail-aware” interactive digital displays.   Each PERCH display knows which product a customer is touching, picking up or putting down.   As a result, you can message any product in the aisle with highly targeted media.    Explainer videos, reviews, cross-sell and upsell within product families and more are all possible.    Take a look at what cosmetics and electronics could look like:

And that ultimately is what unlocks the world of product marketing in-store.  Because of eCommerce, social media and online advertising, there is more digital content than ever for each and every product on the market.   That wealth of information should and can be unlocked to influence consumer buying decisions in-store.  We believe "Product-Aware" displays will redefine the retail experience with a new in-store creative canvas.  

It's just a matter of time before all of our retail displays are "Product Aware" and can personalize messaging to what the consumer is exploring in-store - and that will be a boon to both brands and retailers.   It's no wonder that interactive retail displays are the #1 investment for driving consumer engagement in-store.

The future will be about less products and better product messaging. 

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