Blog Post from August 03, 2017
Solving The 7 Deadly Sins of Digital Signage in SMB Retail

A bit of a melodramatic title... but fundamentally true! Digital signage has seen tremendous uptake in large retail but not so much at smaller & independent outlets.

There are some fundamental issues that have kept it from becoming as commonplace there, and it’s not only cost. As a result, smaller and independent retailers are left at a disadvantage in terms of customer engagement and analytics. Well here at Sophatar, we aim to address that...

At RSPA RetailNow!, the tradeshow focused on point-of-sale (POS) based retail solutions, Aug 6-9 2017 at the Paris-Las Vegas hotel in Las Vegas, we will be showing a brand-new retail digital signage solution for small and medium business (SMB) retailers together with our partner Star Micronics. Star is the leading supplier of POS receipt printers for independent retailers in the US with approximately 1.5 million active printers at retailers worldwide.

Read on to find out how we solve “the 7 Deadly Sins of Digital Signage in SMB Retail”...

1 “Digital signage hardware is expensive”

This is the top issue we wanted to address.We offer 2 solutions: either for a customer-facing (touch)screen at the POS register, or for a standalone screen you can place anywhere in the store. At the POS, the signage shows inside a web browser window that you can show full-screen on any computer, even the same one that runs your POS software. Windows 10 can now work with 2 independent touchscreens: one facing your cashier, one facing the customer to scroll through product recommendations and tap coupons during checkout. They can both interact at the same time with no issue. You just connect a small external screen to your POS PC. Or you can use a standalone (iPad) as a standalone touchscreen for POS based signage.
For a larger standalone digital signage screen anywhere in the store, use any TV or monitor and connect an Apple TV. Besides a browser version, Sophatar POS signage also runs as a native app on an Apple TV. Sophatar’s business model for this service is just a month-to-month subscription so no large upfront expense. Pay as you go since we’re confident you’ll like the solution.

2 “You need a creative department or agency to create the content”

Our integration with Star Micronics provides us the sales data from your POS receipts printed on your networked Star printer, once you sign up for our service. We analyze those receipts with machine learning to classify your product sales into different categories: top sellers, products frequently bought together etc. You set the categories that show on your digital signage screens and we automatically provide the on-screen content from our cloud-based product recommender engine.

3 “Where do I get the images from for the products or services I want to recommend on my in-store screens?”

Well, our system adds them automatically. We have a database of product image content. No product images, no problem...

4 “Static signage is not relevant - my sales change”

Your POS signage can update every day or every week. It all works automatically. There are no signage presentations to update, there is no content to create. Yet your screens continue to show fresh content. For instance, if you’re a sports store and it’s football season we will promote football products. If NBA playoffs are going on, we’ll promote basketball gear. Sophatar continuously receives the data on products that actually sell, and we update your digital signage to your networked media players accordingly. Set and forget.

5 “How do I integrate with my specific point of sale system?”

Well we don’t need to: as long as you print receipts on a Star Micronics printer we can do this. Star is supported by hundreds of POS systems. You can easily change your receipt printer (Star’s printers are even sold on Sophatar interconnects with Star; we drive your screens. Use it with the POS software you use today.

6 “I have no way to measure sales impact of any of this”

Our POS signage solution comes with built-in sales conversion metrics. We can monitor if products you promote on-screen lead to higher sales. We can drive customers to more profitable products via coupons that customers can select from a touchscreen at your POS, then we print these from the cloud on your Star printer (no 2nd coupon printer needed!), or the customer can choose to install a digital coupon as a mobile wallet pass. We have a solution for pass redemptions and offer a web-based dashboard to track coupon-install-to-redeem conversions.

7 “I have no mobile app to engage with customers for anything I show on an in-store screen”

For any of this, no mobile app is needed. Many digital coupons require you to use an app but mobile wallet passes work natively on both iPhones and Android phones. But if you use the Star AllReceipts mobile app, our mobile wallet pass shows in that as well, together with a digital copy of your receipt.

Are you a retailer looking for a cost-effective, modern digital signage solution that increases sales per transaction, and that can drive customers to your store? Let’s talk...

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