In-Store TV Tries to Build an Audience
Based on a RetailWire poll back in January, digital
signage in stores had three key measures it needed to address to prove its
worth. Number one was "quantifying
the customer experience" (42 percent) followed by "advertising sales" (27
percent) and "labor cost savings" (15 percent).
Digital signage, including
sophisticated in-store television networks, have an image problem today because
the past hype has failed to deliver the types of results promised by those
pushing the technology.
Bob Wolinksky, CEO of Automated Media Services (AMS),
said the past is an issue his company and others have to deal with when it
comes to selling in-store television.
"The taint is so devastating that it makes it very difficult to engage
someone in an open conversation," Mr. Wolinsky told Advertising Age.
The most ambitious in-store television program in the last few years has been
the Walmart Smart Network. As Ad Age points out, the retailer brought
in a number of partners, including PRN, DS-IQ and Starcom Mediavest Group,
to address some of the problems of the past.
Initially, the retailer was looking
to have the network operational in all its stores by early 2010, but the rollout
has slowed. Today it continues to be rolled out with installations in roughly
A Wal-Mart Stores spokesperson told Ad Age that the retailer
by increasing advertiser interest" and is looking to refine the content
to make it more effective. Among the changes were creating shorter messages,
shifting the focus to new products, using Spanish language in some locations,
adapting content based on weather conditions and integrating with mobile technology.
Discussion Questions: What do you see as the pros and cons of in-store
television networks? What has the industry learned from early implementations?
Do you think retailers will make more extensive use of the technology once
business picks up?