As many consumers hit the stores these days, they have come to expect nothing less than a state-of-the-art shopping experience. As every store is striving for the almighty dollar, partnering digital signage and retail makes perfect sense. Today digital signage is the wave of the future for most retailers replacing the old mail out flyers and billboards with a new interactive medium of marketing. According to a survey done in 2010 by GfK MRI; “nearly 61% of all U.S. adults have viewed advertising on video screens in public venues in the last 30 days, and more than 64% of them have expressed interest in this form of marketing communication.” Digital signage has many advantages; it offers the retailer the opportunity to grab a customer’s attention and influence their purchasing decision right at the time of purchase, it drives out the cost of print advertising and distribution ultimately keeping costs under control, and sometimes creates profits for the retailer who can sell advertising space to their suppliers.

One example of how a company is using digital signage to revamp its image is Swiss Farms; a drive thru grocery store based out of Pennsylvania. Advanced AV recently took the prize (DIGI Award) for Best “Digital Signage in a Retail Store, and Local Rollout” for this installation. With eight 46-inch LCD screens and a large LED pylon, Swiss Farms is able to promote new products, special offers, and sales using in-store screens. They are able to draw in customers by placing their displays in store windows providing the perfect viewing angle from their cars. For Swiss Farms, digital signage is immediate and offers the company the ability to change sales and promotions instantly.

With numerous cutting edge monitors now available, many retailers are implementing the use of touch screens for digital signage. Thanks to manufactures like Tightrope Media and Scala digital signage allows the retailers to put the consumers into a position where they can shop through the medium. Since most touch screens have LCD screens, a potential customer can browse through products or menus the retailer is supplying. Instead of browsing through a paper catalogue of inventory, the customer will be able to stand at a fully interactive touch screen glass table, counter, or kiosk where the catalogue is at their fingertips. With just a click, drag, and a swipe of your finger the customer can make a purchase in no time at all.

One of the biggest retailers to implement touch screens into their business is McDonald’s. According to an article by msnbc.com, McDonald’s in Europe recently “hired” 7,000 touch screen kiosks to handle cashier duties. This move is designed to make ordering more efficient and convenient for the consumer. The new “cashiers” will no longer accept cash as an accepted method of payment as the machines will only accept credit and debit cards. This new system for Mc Donald’s is similar to what most Americans experience in supermarkets, gasoline stations and retailers that have chosen self-checkout to save on labor costs. One example of the biggest retailer to rely on this technology is Wal-Mart.

With the majority of American’s using the self –checkout option at Wal-Mart, it is probably safe to say that this technology is the growing and just expected as their state-of-the-art shopping experience for most consumers.

So next time you go shopping you may just meet a new “cashier” at your local checkout!