In today’s fiercely competitive retail marketplace, omni channel and big data strategies continue to dominate the retail agenda.  Unlocking these projects through effective in store signage management enables retailers to achieve competitive advantage, creating sales uplift through the delivery of dynamic promotions and streamlined operations.

chazIn a changing retail landscape, the need to adopt omni channel strategies is key, facilitating agility and the capability to respond to customer needs.  Essentially, it is about consistently fulfilling customer requirements across all devices and channels globally, whenever the customer wants that interaction to take place. Operating across isolated channels is no longer an option, as the customer journey is spread across multiple mobile devices and intertwined with visits to physical stores: customers expect a consistent and seamless navigation from click through to bricks & mortar stores.

Whilst the digital shelf has opened up the retail marketplace, consumers still feel the need to go into stores to touch and interact with products. According to POPAI 76% of purchase decisions are still made in-store. Therefore, it is imperative that once customers enter the store, retailers offer personalised and compelling propositions to call people to action and make sales. Physical stores are evolving into destination venues allowing customers multi touch shopping to create an entertaining and digital experience.

Research by A.T. Kearney indicates the shelf edge decision point can influence up to 40% of impulse purchases, compared to just 25% from online.  A report from eBay and Deloitte entitled “The Omnichannel Opportunity”, found that online currently takes away just £5 of every £100 from the high street, but only for retailers that have an omni channel capability.  In fact, 2014 has shown a continuation of the trend for online powerhouses to cross the digital divide and establish a high street presence, with Amazon announcing plans in the last few weeks. So whilst it is clear that digital will not replace the high street, achieving integration and consistency is critical to the success of the omni channel approach.

By leveraging big data, operations can be streamlined, customer interactions personalised and staff armed with greater knowledge to grab a bigger share of the customer wallet. Omni channel then becomes a true reality with a consistency of message across any channel the customer chooses to engage with.

Innovation at the shelf edge has continued during 2014 with QR codes, iBeacons, electronic shelf edge labels and augmented reality being more widely adopted by retailers to enable dynamic promotions and agility in the marketplace.

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