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The Currency of Retail? Engagement with Digital Displays

AI technology, digital display, retail analytics, computer vision

The consumer shopping experience has been on the cusp of change. Retailers have had to compete with the rise of one-click online purchasing, same-day delivery, and in many cases, free shipping. The COVID pandemic accelerated that change seemingly overnight.

Still, the full sensory experience of in-store shopping has many advantages. While 2020 was a challenging year for retailers, many have realized there is no better time than now to embrace technology.

Quividi, a pioneer in digital audience and campaign intelligence platforms dedicated to digital displays, is perfectly poised to help with that transition. Its solution, implemented across 80 countries, serves two major markets—digital out-of-home (DooH) and retail digital signage.

While digital displays have long been a staple for advertising and in-store marketing, innovations in AI, deep learning, computer vision (CV), and powerful edge compute are opening new opportunities.

“Our platform and data science provide marketers with the unique ability to test, measure, optimize, and deliver data-driven contextualized content,” says Laetitia Lim, CEO of Quividi. “In other words, they can use Quividi to turn DOOH and retail digital signage into a powerful medium boosting engagement, traffic, and sales—all while respecting privacy.” Video 1 shows how a Westfield shopping center in Australia is achieving these results.

Video 1. Smart displays and experiential content react and adapt to their audience to increase engagement. (Source: Quividi)

Measuring Engagement with Computer Vision and AI

From the beginning, the company’s philosophy has been “privacy by design.” Its solution uses Anonymous Video Analytics (AVA) versus biometrics. It can tell a viewer’s gender, age, mood, position, and attention with good accuracy.

As it turns out, you can optimize your communication on AI-enabled displays and gather consumer insights by merely keying in on basic demographics.

“Understanding which content works best for every audience based on one-to-many or one-to-one retailers can do two things,” says Lim. “One, you can analyze the data afterward to adjust your communication and marketing strategy moving forward. Second, you can even use that to adjust in real time. So on the fly, you can optimize for each viewer the content based on what you know has worked best, on which screens, where, and for who.”

But with the rise of online ordering and curbside pickup, today’s shoppers have a strong intent once they get to the store, and it’s more of a challenge to engage them. While online retailers can feature additional products based on what customers have viewed, it is more difficult to upsell the unknown consumer. Smart screens allow retailers to suggest products based on gender and age.

Marketers can use @quividi to turn DOOH and retail digital signage into a powerful medium—boosting engagement, traffic, and sales—all while respecting privacy.

Reducing the Friction of Digital Display Adoption

Despite the benefits, these robust systems can be a difficult sell for retail systems integrators (SIs). They may be experts in hardware, software, and sensors, but not in AI and data science. The first run of digital advertising screens hasn’t required that knowledge. But budgets are tight, and getting retailers to invest requires that SIs convey a strong vision and value proposition. They need to show retailers and advertisers that the latest AI-enabled smart screens are not simply another expense, but that they are a business driver.

It’s a problem Quividi understands and validates.

To help SIs, the company is launching its Data Academy for SIs and Kickstarter Kits for retailers. Through a dedicated website, the Data Academy uses text, video, illustrations, and webinars to provide SIs with valuable knowledge, expertise, and convincing selling points.

And to reduce friction for retailers, the Kickstarter Kit allows SIs to offer zero-cost, no-obligation, Quividi-powered proof-of-concept (POC) systems. “In parallel with the Data Academy, the Kickstarter kit is enabling us to embark the end users onto the data journey,” says Lim.

Right off the bat, retailers can see the operational benefits of the screens. For example, they no longer need staff to stand outside and count the number of people entering a store or be responsible for enforcing social-distancing guidelines. The screens can do that for them. In this time of COVID, the technology helps protect the health and safety of shoppers and staff.

And over time, they will have data to show the long-term benefits of the Quividi solution, and that allows them to make informed decisions and increase engagement, which drives more sales. The insights that retailers and brands gain can also show where they need to adjust their marketing and communication overall.

Retail Analytics Enabled Through a Larger Ecosystem

To deliver these types of benefits, you need an extensive ecosystem. Quividi is deeply integrated with many different hardware manufacturers, software vendors, and advertising agencies. Its technology currently supports some 30 different CMS systems. That compatibility goes a long way to increase the rate of implementation because its retail and advertising customers can use the tools they already have in place.

Intel® has played a major role in educating the ecosystem and is an essential partner for Quividi, on both technology and marketing fronts. For example, the Intel® OpenVINO Toolkit is core to its computer vision and AI development, enabling the company to scale the solution in a cost-effective way. And Intel processors provide the powerful edge computing essential to generating real-time data.

“Intel is deeply embedded in our solution,” says Lim. “The technology allows us to deliver the right content, to the right audience, at the right time. And in the end, AI-enabled intelligent screens offer a stronger value proposition for SIs and clear business benefits for retailers.”

About the Author

Traci Browne is a freelance writer with a focus on emerging technology, engineering, robotics, and IIoT. The stories she writes may be about technology, but her end goal is to inspire engineers to change the world.

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