Regional Mall Upgrades Store Directory to ViewSonic ePosters, with Profitable Results
The local property managers at this mid-size mall knew they were behind the times. Their static store listing and map was beyond outdated, and they were missing out on a host of business opportunities provided by digital signage. Grateful to be thriving in a time when many malls were floundering, it was time to implement a digital signage strategy.
The many objectives included:
- Gain wayfinding parity with local competitors, while using the signage content to distinguish their brand
- Deliver a digital directory that would enable shoppers to browse stores interactively and locate them on a three-dimensional map
- Attract and maintain visitors with the modern interface and varied content
- Provide advertising opportunities for tenants – a win-win in revenue generation for them both
- The ability to broadcast important updates of interest to shoppers, like road closures, store openings, special events, and weather or urgent alerts
- Customization of content based on display location and time of day
- Data capture for use in fine-tuning content and developing a robust advertising platform
Customers entering the property routinely use the interactive directory. Randomized feedback from shoppers indicates that they notice and appreciate the informational backside of the kiosks. Food court items advertised on the adjacent digital kiosk have seen upticks in sales.
They were familiar with the types of available displays from looking at other similar properties and knew they wanted sleek, two-sided, free-standing kiosks. The interactive store directory would face the mall entryways; the other side would be used to display ads and content to inform and entertain shoppers. Any kiosk with this type of physical design could display content, however, to meet their objectives the solution would need to provide robust management capabilities as well. The hardware would need to be highly reliable, offering a long lifespan and vibrant display. A final criteria would be pricing that enabled a reasonable break-even ROI based on their projections for advertising revenue.
Working with a local AV integrator that specialized in commercial digital signage, the IT team looked at kiosks from several well-known brands. They decisively chose the ViewSonic® EP5542T 55-inch ePoster kiosk based on price, design, and hardware features, purchasing three for the mall’s main entrances and one for placement near the food court.
A beautiful piece of hardware, the IT team appreciated the premium specs provided by the sleek black kiosk. The interactive IPS panel offered 10 touch points, 178°/178° wide-angle viewing with 4K Ultra HD resolution, 450-nit brightness, and a 1,300:1 contrast ratio, which would ensure that images were vivid and clear. The anti-scratch, anti-glare glass faceplate would enhance the vibrant imagery, while also protecting the display. The powerful system provided an embedded quad-core media player and 16GB of internal memory that could handle a good deal of photo and video content playback, but if needed the kiosk also enabled the addition of another media player using a purposed-designed cradle inside the lockable security door.
Importantly, the ePoster included an integrated RJ45 connection that would allow the property managers to remotely set up and manage display content from a PC or laptop via the included vController software, which provided an intuitive interface for remote management, OSD-related settings, and scheduling on deployed displays through RS232C and IP LAN control. Through this easy to learn and use interface, administrators can control individual devices or create groups of devices, then schedule specific commands to specific devices or group of devices within a local network.
This would end up being an important feature that enabled the property managers to differentiate advertising based on the location’s proximity to a tenant. ViewSonic also offered several cloud-based content management systems, from which they chose a Revel Digital solution that provided detailed analytics, which further supported their tenant advertising program.
At about six months since deployment, the property managers are pleased with the results of the deployment so far. Customers entering the property routinely use the interactive directory. Randomized feedback from shoppers indicates that they notice and appreciate the informational backside of the kiosks. Specific comments have included noticing and responding to advertisements, appreciating an exhibition of a local photographer’s work, and finding the weather and traffic notices helpful. Food court items advertised on the adjacent digital kiosk have seen upticks in sales.