Digital signage takes many forms and you only have to look down the high street to see what is happening. The quality of displays is terrific. The frontage of a new store in my local shopping mall is one massive display screen. Now while they are only promoting the store brand at present, how long before they are displaying full brand and product advertising? The image quality is superb.

In-store display and electronic shelf-edge labelling have been tried several times in our market. So what makes the difference now? Simple technology. The technologies now employed make for smaller, faster, thinner displays. Imagine having an LCD screen on the back of your epos displaying broadcast-quality graphics doubling up as a sales/information screen and customer display. Couple this with your suppliers’ promotions and/or local customisation. I saw a store recently that had displays on the rear of the till, eight 40" plasma screens around the store and displays on the rear of weigh scales, all synchronised to a central theme and message. Even the sound was synced to the video. Stores fitted with these screens are reporting promotional sell-out as a direct result of this flexible marketing tool.

Another ’new’ technology, one that has actually been around for many years is electronic shelf-edge labelling. There are two main technologies at present LCD and the newer E-Ink labels. Both types of label are flexible in their ability to display a perfectly acceptable graphic image if needed. These labels come in a variety of sizes and colours. Some even have the capability to display several products on the same label. Labels start at around £7 each and considering that you may have 3,000-plus lines in your store, it is a decision that needs to be carefully considered. Benefits of the system include: synchronisation of all pricing and an interface to epos/back office. Some can attract customers with specific displays and even track the number of times a button is pressed demonstrating product interest. With such a system installed, imagine changing price from your head office or remote PC with the confidence that all labels will change at the same time. A Nisa store has installed the technology but I believe it will take a major retailer to adopt the technology so that costs become more relevant to our market.