Earlier this year, there was considerable interest generated around supermarket giant Tesco’s deployment of large screen billboards in a South Korean subway station. These featured displays designed to look like supermarket shelves, allowing consumers to purchase products online with their smartphones by scanning corresponding QR codes. This further exemplified how the balance-of-power has been shifting from the retailer to the consumer, as businesses increasingly look to take the shopping experience to wherever the consumer may be, as opposed to drawing them toward distinct ‘choke points’ – both online and in the traditional ‘brick-and-mortar’ stores.
What has prompted us to write about this technology deployment in December then? Well, Toys'R'Us is in the news this week for having enabled a virtual QR code store, quite like Tesco in S. Korea, in subway transit stations and airports in the New York metro area – in time for the holiday season. We think it is highly refreshing to see early adoption of this nascent solution here in the US. And it definitely makes more sense to have successful online retailers choose to go this route. The primary question with such a deployment, however, is how organizations expect to continually use and update the content on such displays. Do these warrant ‘permanent’ as opposed to seasonal installations?
VDC has been extensively covering the global markets for Interactive Displays and Digital Signage, and we have consistently emphasized the need for converging mobile device solutions with digital signage displays in order to extend the reach and value offered by these installations. Interactivity, such as that afforded by these Toys’R’Us displays, is expected to elevate the levels of customer engagement & experience, leading to a favorable ROI. As end-users experience returns that justify investment in this next-generation solution, leading vendors expect to derive significant revenues from sales of digital signage solutions into the Retail vertical – growing at a robust CAGR of 17.6% from 2010-2015, as evidenced in VDC’s recently published report on the Digital Signage space.