Digital signage: the secret to impulse buy success

by 20 August 2019

Impulse buys are by no means a recent retail phenomenon. For as long as consumers have been waiting in queues or walking past shop windows, they’ve been tempted to make that extra purchase or two they didn’t expect and perhaps didn’t even need. As such, retailers have forever been looking at ways to capitalise on this common compulsion with innovative shelf displays and eye-catching special offers.

In the new world of online shopping and smart phones, you’d be forgiven for thinking that today’s modern consumers are less easily led astray, numbed by a world with advertisements hidden around every corner. The truth is however, that the impulse buy is still as prevalent today as ever, and perhaps all that has changed is exactly how consumers are targeted, with advancing technologies creating new opportunities for retailers to stimulate purchases.

What is impulse buying?

In short, impulse buying is exactly what the name suggests, the purchase of goods or services on a sudden whim, without making any prior plans to do so. Although impulse buys could be absolutely anything, the most common examples are typically confectionery, clothes, takeaways and drinks.

These purchases form an important revenue stream for almost every retail business but none more so than forecourts, where tight margins on fuel place a huge importance on additional purchases such as newspapers, consumables and groceries.

According to research conducted last year, impulse buys are still commonplace amongst UK consumers, who are estimated to spend approximately £144,000 throughout their lifetime on everything from clothes and chocolate, to technology and furniture.

What’s more, despite the emergence of online shopping, UK consumers are still more likely to make a physical impulse purchase, with just under 85% of Brits admitting to having made an in-store decision to buy.

The power of visual displays

Convincing someone to purchase an item that they have no prior intention of buying is not as easy as it might seem, which is why the art of visual displays has always played a major role within the history of impulse buying. From traditional window displays, to the science behind shelf stacking and product placement, retailers are always looking for ways to catch the eye of consumers.

Producing signs and displays is one thing, but the use of images and illustrations is the secret to successful advertisement. Humans process visuals up to 60,000 times more quickly than text alone, with our eyes registering up to 36,000 visual messages every hour. In fact, over 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is based on what we see, which is why the use of attractive visual displays is a powerful tool for retailers.

Digital signage in particular, is becoming increasingly popular across a range of industries including retail, where multiple studies suggest that consumer buying habits are positively influenced by the use of digital visual displays. Digital signage is exactly what you’d expect, signs and screens installed throughout your site displaying images and video ads promoting special offers or specific products.

Although meeting a similar need, Digital Signage offers a lot more than traditional printed displays. Digital signs can be easily changed to display new messages, programmed to play several unique messages on a loop, perhaps targeted at customers shopping at a certain time of day (lunch time, after work, etc) or a particular season, and in some instances, can even provide an interactive element via a touch screen. Furthermore, the brands stocked by convenience and fuel retailers are increasingly producing exciting digital content purpose-built for these screens to help retailers promote their products.

Eye-catching visuals made easy with evoPOS

evoPOS was designed specifically with the needs of modern retailers in mind. As such, you can easily capitalise on impulse purchases with digital signage programmed to display popular products, new items or special offers and promotions via your POS terminal, all powered by evoPOS on the latest Oxhoo retail technology.

To learn more about evoPOS, our partnership with Oxhoo and the possibility of incorporating digital displays alongside your POS terminals, get in touch with a member of the team.

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