Digital Signage Opportunity for Retailers: Large Chain, Local Presence

3 min read
Published October 29, 2021   |  Last Updated April 17, 2024


In the aftermath of the worst pandemic in recent memory, retail stores are alive and well. Even in the midst of the crisis, the 3Q 2020 number of retail establishments rose to over 1,045,000 in the US, up almost 5,000 from the previous quarter. That's a good thing since 80% of all shopping still happens in stores. Retail, of course, includes everything from sub-shops and supermarkets and pharmacies to department stores and boutique specialty shops and everything in between.

While many of these establishments have only a handful of stores, Walmart has over 5,300 stores, CVS and Walgreens have 19,000 stores between them, and Subway has a staggering 23,500 locations. Whether a retailer has dozens, hundreds, even thousands of locations, chains can leverage digital signage and digital signage content to boost customer engagement, employee satisfaction, and sales across wide geographic areas. The same is true for restaurants, financial services, and other enterprises with branches or corporate campuses scattered far and wide.

To deliver consistent brand messaging, promotions, corporate communications, training, and other content to their far-flung customers (and employees), it makes sense to centralize content creation in a corporate office. The content team can then push out content to the myriad digital screens at locations spanning the company's digital signage network. But there's a catch when your corporate empire grows to span so much territory. Despite the old saying that people are the same everywhere—and your need for consistency in messaging and specials of the week—customers love it when it’s obvious their chosen store or campus is part of a local community.

With the right digital signage CMS and tools, you can both manage content for your entire chain from corporate and delegate some of the content creation to the "locals"—giving your customers a genuinely local presence no matter how many locations you've got.

The power of local presence on customer engagement

Why delegate control or "democratize" content creation when you can publish it all from a central location with a scalable digital signate CMS like ReflectView™?

A centralized content team doesn't (and needn’t) know everything about each individual store. For example, local or regional store managers are much more attuned to the tastes and preferences of their stores’ shoppers than someone at the corporate level. Why not let them present a “manager's special for this store only" to get slow-moving items moving again? Or, by combining local weather data and the store’s inventory data, the local store use their screens to promote jackets or raincoats or even swimsuits—content that appeals specifically to their local shoppers. Such local, customized content could be easily and efficiently done using preapproved content templates, images, and video—which means the centralized content team doesn’t sacrifice control over the brand’s overall image.

But creating a truly local presence takes more than a weather report or manager's special on the screen. It requires content that makes the store or branch a visible part of its local community which means allowing local employees to contribute local news, happenings, and community events. It means giving local employees the means and permission to create digital signage content that gets displayed right alongside the messages from corporate. After all, the centralized content team would not know who was named employee-of-the-week in store #1127 in time to gather info and build timely content about them. Similarly, they wouldn't (and probably shouldn't) need to know anything about the local high school football scores, the trophy the marching band took in regionals, or how the local community rallied around the family of an injured fireman. But believe me, the customers and employees in the individual locations pay attention and engage with such content because it directly affects them.

Delegation provides local presence, but also adds flexibility, ensures timeliness, and builds loyalty

Delegating select content creation to local employees, not to mention making it fast and easy to upload and schedule, does more than boost the customer experience (and eventually sales revenue). It also eliminates extra steps, information gathering, and overall burden on the corporate content team. And, at the local level, delegation does more than build customer engagement and loyalty. It can give local employees a new sense of purpose and pride in their contributions, leading to higher employee engagement which better ensures the organization's overall success.

Of course, the delegation of local content for local presence requires developing some policies and oversight. And it requires content creation tools that enable functionality at the local level while also facilitating enforcement of said policies. That's why we developed Reflect Xperience, to provide access to the most frequently used ReflectView™ content management and scheduling features from any web browser, anywhere and anytime. Reflect Xperience provides content templates, user roles, and other features that allow local users—even novices—to create and schedule custom messages and content while maintaining centralized control and consistency.

We invite you to connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest about our ReflectView digital signage content management platform, Reflect Xperience, Reflect Spark, and all our solutions. Better yet, contact us to find out how we can get you started building digital signage experiences that make you, your customers, and your employees more productive.

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