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Author Alexander Kintner (SVP of Enterprise Sales)
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Anyone who’s ever created a marketing campaign with in-store displays knows that designing and placing branded units can be costly, and it’s imperative that every step of the process goes as smoothly as possible. But according to some estimates, between 40 and 80 percent of in-store displays are never activated, resulting in a huge potential loss of revenue.

One of the big reasons many displays are never set up is the old school method used to verify that they’re in place. After delivery, in-market salespeople are required to prove that the store displays have arrived in good shape at the right place and have been properly set up. Most companies ask a rep to take a picture and email it to an admin in the chain, who will then check off a box in a spreadsheet. To put it nicely, this antiquated process is ready for disruption.

The enabler for reinventing in-store displays is smart product and packaging technology. By printing displays with digital triggers (e.g. QR codes), and then connecting each code to a unique digital identity in a cloud-based platform, it’s now possible to track the entire process in real-time, from shipment from the manufacturer to in-store setup and consumer engagement. Not only does this streamline the monitoring process, but it also enables an in-store marketing program that can better increase consumer engagement, generate data and drive sales.

As consumer engagement with QR codes grows—driven by social networks and mobile operating systems—shopper marketing will forever change. The rise in usage brings many potential benefits for brands using connected in-store branded displays, while new technology makes it possible for QR codes in an in-store display campaign—and the associated data—to be viewable in a single real-time dashboard that reports when a display is set up and taken down.

The benefits extend to consumer engagement, as well. When installation on the retail floor is complete, consumers can scan a QR code on the front of a display to unlock special offers, coupons, video, augmented reality experiences and more. Take a look at those marketers who have used QR codes to make a strong impression, and you’ll see how your company can inspire interactions. During the holidays, JC Penney used a QR code to send gift receivers a personalized message from the givers, and Verizon organized giveaways with in-store displays that encouraged shoppers to scan a QR code and share a company ad on Facebook in hopes of winning a new phone, resulting in a $35,000 increase in sales from a $1,000 investment.

Of course, those interactions do more than just connect a consumer with more information or give away new phones. They can also provide a marketing team with important customer data like email, location and buying history. Consumer engagement with QR codes can also help gauge the effectiveness of in-store displays and whether they needs to be repositioned.

Furthermore, with our partners Screenly and Ubuntu we are also able to offer a turn-key solution including the management and deployment of in-store display. As shown at MWC this even allows customers to drive interactive experiences (e.g., checking the stock availability of an apparel item, offering advice on the product, etc.) on in-store displays by scanning QR or NFC codes on products, directly from the Web, without the need to install any app!

As McKinsey notes in a recently launched study, “Winning in consumer packaged goods through data and analytics,” the companies that are connecting better with customers are doing two important things: “analyzing shopper attributes” and “generating more granular shopper insights.” The right in-store marketing program can help do both.

In particular, consumer packaged goods companies taking the lead are getting and analyzing information not only at a national level, but also regional, city, customer and store level. A QR code connected to a digital identity can easily be programmed to align with a specific store, and as a result, a lot of other relevant data can also be tracked for customers who interact with it. Companies that want to be assured a good amount of data can also put trackable QR codes on individual products that, once activated, will yield more in-depth consumer knowledge.

Organizing an in-store display campaign might have once seemed like throwing a penny into a fountain, hoping for a sale increase. Today’s technology makes it possible to track the effectiveness of in-store displays with a turn-key solution that can drive interactive consumer experiences, follow the timing of the campaign, measure interactions with the display and calculate resulting sales increases.

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