In-Store Smart Digital Signage: A Walkthrough

Smart digital signage is exploding in retail, and for good reason! 

Smart digital signage is overtaking traditional media in-store. This is due to its dynamic, data-centric nature and the return on investment that it provides for retailers. Smart signage is a product that is made up of various technologies, of which audience analytics technology is a major component. It far surpasses the capabilities of traditional digital signage as it not only enables retailers to receive audience analytics data about their customers in the real-world but it also allows them to sell ad space to third party advertisers programmatically using the audience data collected. This creates a new window of opportunity for retailers to increase their revenue and monetize their retail media network.

What you can measure with smart AI digital signage:  

  • Audience composition (age, gender)

  • Viewing behaviors per customer persona group

  • Campaign performance (no.of viewers, impressions, attention time etc)

  • Customer mood  

What you can do with smart AI digital signage

  • Deploy hyper-personalized content to every viewer 

  • Sell ad space to suppliers and third-party advertisers

  • Increase ROI and sales as a result

 In order to get a better sense of how this type of technology works in a real-world scenario we thought we would walk you through a customer’s path to purchase journey in a supermarket. Demonstrating how our audience analytics product, DeepSight, works in conjunction with signage to drive customer engagement, build brand awareness and prompt customer action.   

The Customer Journey Begins


Scenario: A female customer in her 30’s enters the store. At the entrance she sees a digital signage screen that is displaying a welcome message. As she gets closer to the screen the content switches to ad content. The ad she sees is about the supermarket’s own deli and fresh cut ham and it triggers a thought that she needs to get ingredients to make her children’s lunches. The customer views the ad for a number of seconds and continues in-store. Later she purchases the advertised ham.

How does the AI work?

Prior to the customer coming to the store, retail owners will have a planned weekly or monthly marketing strategy, with specific content that they wish to run on their digital displays. The retail owner will create content for multiple screens at the store and will set different rules in the cms such as (play ads x amount of times a day in afternoon). Each of the in-store displays will be equipped with cameras, embedded, or attached to them that can anonymously tell when someone is coming within close proximity to the screen while also determining their demographics. That’s when the welcome message switches to personalized ad content.  

Value for the customer: The customer starts their experience not only with a welcome message but with relevant in-store promotions that can help them during their shopping journey. Showing products to consumers at the beginning of their shop is a great way to influence purchase decisions and reaches them at the right time when they are in the shopping mindset. 

Value for retailer:  When content is shown and customers walk past and view it, various audience analytics metrics are analyzed and aggregated in-real time for the retail owner to view on their data visualization dashboard. The metrics include the number of views per content, the demographic breakdown of audiences per content, attention time per age group and much more. This allows retail owners to see what content is grabbing the most attention and helps them to improve future marketing strategies.

Browsing The Aisles & End-Caps


Scenario: The customer continues through the supermarket selecting groceries. While browsing for beer she notices a promotional ad on a digital screen placed at eye-level. The ad is positioned on the beer cabinet and it is for a new light beer with a new product offer of two for the price of one. She puts down the beer she is holding and grabs two of the beers that are on offer instead.

How does the AI work?

The beer supplier logs into the CMS owned by the store and creates several ad variations of their beers to run, setting rules in the supermarkets CMS such as; show light beers to women and show lagers to men etc. Once the campaigns have been created and rules set, the content is pushed out to the store’s screens. When a person is detected in front of the screen, the technology will determine if they are a man or a woman and play content that is targeted to their demographic group. Additional insights such as age, attention time, mood etc are also obtained. 

Value for the customer: The customer is shown products that are relevant to them and this helps them to find product offers and deals that suit their needs. This type of personal touch makes them feel appreciated and increases their willingness to spend more time in-store.

Value for retailer: Happy customers are returning customers and this increases loyalty to the store and boosts sales. Additionally, retail owners can prove to their suppliers that their network is a valuable advertising medium and can increase sales of their products. Campaign data can be matched with purchase data to measure true sales uplift and success. 

Value for the Advertiser: The data reports highlight metrics like the number of impressions, number of viewers, attention time, demographics for each of their ads. The advertiser sees that by targeting each ad to a specific audience type it has increased the viewing rate and generated 5K more impressions overall compared to non targeted ads. The advertiser is very happy and sees more money coming in.  

Paying For Goods at The Checkout


Scenario: The female customer has now finished shopping and is ready to pay for her groceries. She starts to place her groceries onto the conveyor belt. As she is doing this she sees a digital display above the confectionery rack showing an advertisement for family summer getaways in the Caribbean. She views the ad with interest looking at it for 8 seconds (which is at the longer attention range for most ads) and then exits the supermarket. 

How does the AI work?

A third party advertiser, who is looking to advertise holidays, logs into their ad exchange and sees real-time impression and demographic data about the store’s audience. They see that their target audience (in this case women in their 30-40’s) is present in-store at that time and they seize the opportunity to reach them. They then purchase the ad space in the supermarkets media network and their ad is then played in-store.

Value for the customer: Showing customers third party advertisements when they are about to exit the store is the opportune time as they are no longer in the grocery buying mindset and more likely to pay attention to other products, goods or services. As the ad is targeted it should be engaging and even entertaining for the customer leaving them in a positive mood as they exit the store. 

Value for retailer: Retailers have an extra opportunity to boost revenue on top of selling ad space to their suppliers. Using the proof of play (POP) data that is aggregated by audience analytics technology and supplied to advertisers after campaigns have run, retailers can prove to their advertisers that their network is a valuable advertising medium and this will increase the likelihood of them buying ad space in the future.

Value for the Advertiser: Advertisers can reach their target audience and receive POP data that validates the supermarkets network worth. They can match advertised audiences (displayed when purchasing ad space programmatically) with the true audiences that they reached in-store and this builds trust and transparency with the retail media owners.   

Our audience analytics product, DeepSight is the perfect smart technology to incorporate in your in-store signage. A scalable and privacy compliant software that can offer google analytics type metrics about your in-store advertising that bridge the gap between online technology and on-premise consumers.

Book a Demo