Highlighting the renaissance in in-store screens is the move by Wal-Mart to roll out 27,000 units to 2,700 stores throughout the US between now and 2010. Using internet protocol TV the retailer is planning to use response measurement to determine what messages are working in each store and to swiftly tailor the content accordingly.
This is its second-generation network and is the result of two years of research that cost $10 million, which suggests the company is backing screen technology with serious intent this time around. This must be good news for everybody involved in digital media as it could prompt further activity in a media that has its place in the retail sector but has been largely mishandled in the past.
Walmart is but the latest example of a big corporation getting back on the digital signage bandwagon. Every major retail bank in the US is either testing a network or going forward with a full roll out (and in some cases, even upgrading legacy networks that have been out there for a while), big box and discount stores all feature at least a video wall running custom programming, and more grocers are getting onboard with the medium every day.
As RetailBulletin explains, 'digital signage' has now been transformed into 'retail media' for many, and this is a good change. The medium is the message, as they say, and in this case the message is being heard loud and clear: the retail sector is bullish on digital signs as a new means for communicating with customers and improving the shopping experience all at once.