Digital in-store marketing was the ‘hot topic’ at a recent conference at the Sydney Hilton, drawing speakers from the likes of Microsoft, Point of Purchase Advertising International (POPAI), Telstra and Retravision.

Regional director of the home entertainment division at Microsoft, David McLean, spoke about the new Windows Vista as a platform for digital marketing, as well as its imminent launch as a reason for Microsoft to use in-store digital marketing.

“The key to communicating with the Microsoft customer in-store is an interactive display where they can drill down to find what interests them. The kiosk displays planned for Vista’s launch can even include product offers from the individual retailer where the customer is viewing the information,” he said.

McLean emphasised that this method of communication can showcase complex information, encourages self-service within the store environment, creates a ‘sales rep’ who is available at all times, and supports fragmented customer touch points.

POPAI Australia & New Zealand chair and director of Sydney based SPOS, Michael Farley, discussed the keys to creating, displaying and managing in-store technologies.

He recommends a mix of kiosks, digital signage and digital merchandising: “The technological sophistication of the customer will change with the demographic, and this is different for different products. Also different is what the customer wants to get out of using the technology.”

Farley recommended that the extensive planning which should go into implementation include a pilot program to look at traffic management, location of the different elements, sight and sound, content management and servicing. He said that in the US, transaction kiosks for items such as music and lotto are expected to show the greatest growth.

National chief executive officer for Retravision, Keith Perkin, presented attendees with a case study of the implementation of RetravisionTV.

RetravisionTV was initially envisaged as fulfilling a training need for staff across the more than 500 stores in Australia and New Zealand, presenting information on news products across various categories in order to achieve consistency of the message over the network.

A major finding of the trial was that multiple feeds into a store created too much noise, so all screens were switched to a single feed. It was also found that screen location was very important¯particularly at the front door, near the front of the store, and at the rear of the store. All content must be high definition and seamless.

Customers surveyed during the pilot reported that 80 per cent had noticed the marketing, more than 50 per cent received information from it and it influenced their buying decision, and 60 per cent said they would rather shop at a store that had RetravisionTV than one that didn’t.