As retailers and public-facing businesses reopen amid ever-changing health guidance and local restrictions, the need to clearly communicate the latest health and safety information becomes absolutely vital for smooth operations and public support.
During the best of times, display technology — in the form of digital signage, video display kiosks and interactive wayfinding systems — is critical to informing and engaging people as they navigate retail spaces. It can take on new importance as customer service as re-opening retailers across the country grapple with safety measures during the pandemic.
For any type of business — from department stores to boutiques — one of the easiest and most non-invasive ways to provide customers with up-to-date policies, special store hours, general store information and occupancy protocols is through strategically placed digital signage solutions that can be easily updated and automated.
Visually Communicate Health Protocols
From employee morale and safety to handling socially distanced customers, beginning each day and each visit with consistent, helpful messaging helps make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Specifically, mobile, reconfigurable signage solutions allow retailers to position their messages in high-traffic locations and then move them as necessary. A built-in operating system and digital signage software enable staff to tailor messages from day-to-day and place digital signs at spaces that don’t currently include digital signage.
With uncertainty lingering over how many customers businesses should allow inside, how many they should expect, and how those customers will behave, it’s crucial to have clear, accurate information at every business entrance to avoid confusion over store policies and manage expected behavior of customers.
While establishments that already use digital signage can repurpose some displays to share social distancing guidelines or mask requirements, even they may benefit from additional displays at entrances, bottlenecks and areas with high foot traffic.
Automate the Information Process
Technology providers have started to develop a new category of turnkey digital health safety protocol solutions that combine video displays with software, sensors and more. These advanced signage solutions provide critical information that help retailers ensure that social distancing and general safe practices are being enforced — without the need for staffers to manage it.
Particularly, new technology solutions such as occupancy management systems, which help automate the people counting process as visitors enter the store, and wellness kiosks, which take temperatures and dispense PPE, add an element of real-time information that helps enforce health protocols.
What’s more, “contact-less” displays avoid touch but still manage to achieve interactivity through the use of QR scanners. For example, a shopper wants to find the shoe section, but doesn’t want to touch an interactive display. By scanning a QR code with her smartphone, an interactive map is replicated on her device and she can safely navigate routes and other information on her smartphone screen. Or she can speak to the interactive display and using artificial intelligence and voice recognition, the display can show her information the way today’s smart speakers do.
By deploying these new technologies, retailers can assure peace-of-mind for their customers, while automating the information process.
Show That You Care
Communicating clearly about policies and procedures — about everything from requiring face masks and sanitization to limiting occupancy and close contact — shows that the business cares about the health and safety of the public. This in turn builds their reputation as responsible members of the community.
With consumer confidence at the lowest it has been in decades, retailers that create and enforce safe shopping experiences will gain respect and business from hesitant yet eager shoppers who may have mixed feelings about public exposure and the behavior of others. With the right technology solutions, retailers can show their customers that they care about each individual’s health as well as their ability to purchase products, and that we are all truly in this together.
Dan Smith is VP of business development at LG Business Solutions USA.