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Walmart Proves Product Lift with Digital Signage

Digital signage is really starting to have significant impact for retailers. Walmart has recently announced the results of their upgraded SMART digital signage network monitors. The new network is very different in purpose and results.

Old Walmart TV network New SMART Network
1. Audience aggregation 1. Helping shoppers shop smarter
2. 30 second ads 2. Formats designed for retail
3. Single-channel CRTs 3. Zone specific screens
4. CPM-based pricing 4. Lift-based pricing

64% of the Walmart shoppers reported a “positive experience” with the network and 32% “recalled an ad.” Given that the SMART network reports 140 million impressions/week the numbers are very significant. By comparison the SuperBowl reported 100 million viewers. In short, people are taking note of digital signage and it is impacting their behavior.

Digital Signage Comes of Age

Retailers today are using digital signage to increase sales and push targeted inventory. But this is no longer just guess work in terms of monitor placement, ad duration and ad development. This is quickly becoming more of a science.

Andy Johnson, creative director at Walmart for this project points out that it takes 21 seconds for a shopper to move from the door of the store to the greeting area where the welcome screen is placed.  “The welcome screen messages run about five seconds,” Johnson said. “Of those 21 seconds, we’re hoping to get at least five seconds of attention.”

Johnson goes on to describe their “triple play” offering that promotes a product on three screens culminating with a digital endcap display. Contrasting with the welcome screen ad, the end cap ad duration can be 90 seconds or longer, selling features and value. This has been carefully evaluated and calculated base on expected dwell times and traffic patterns within the store.

The Results: Consistent Sales Lift

“We know what content is played on what screens at what stores at what times,” Johnson said. “And simultaneously we know what was sold at those times.”

Based on that data, Walmart was able to calculate the following percentage increases in store departments which feature the SMART Network over the last 18 months.

Sales lift by departments Sales lift by product type
Electronics – 7% Mature item boost – 7%
Over the counter TC – 23% Item launch – 9%
Food – 13% Seasonal push – 18%
Health/beauty – 28% Price leadership (items on rollback) – 6%

You don’t need to be among the world’s largest retailers to get sales lift from a digital signage network. Today smaller chains are launching their own networks and getting similar results. Digital signage, properly deployed, influences buying decisions and moves product.

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