Digital signage offers an exciting future for retailers, and that future carries with it the promise of visual retail. What is visual retail? In its most basic form, visual retail consists of displays that have computing power behind them. While that may sound simple, the potential this technology offers to retailers, educators, and smart cities can completely redefine the customer experience. That is where visual retail sets itself apart from digital signage solutions: a focus on the customer and making each retail experience unique.
State of the Retail Industry
Retailers find themselves needing to meet a specific series of benchmarks that include:
- Cultivating brand awareness and presence.
- Calibrating and synchronizing online and in-store experiences.
- Adding value to the customer experience by heightening interactivity with products and the brand itself.
Part of what visual retail promises is a comprehensive in-store experience. This experience can connect customers in a single retail location to the larger world of the brand, its employees, and other consumers through responsive signage and interactive solutions. Existing signage solutions can help facilitate this experience. And, there is potential beyond the retail space, with visual retail offering powerful, responsive whiteboard solutions for classrooms, or kiosks, vending, and digital signage for smart cities.
Looking to The Future of Retail
The retail industry is rapidly beginning to accept and acknowledge the enormous potential for digital signage and visual retail. Digital signage technology is expected to hit 70 million screens and 24 million media players* in the next few years. Visual retail promises a comprehensive management experience for retailers, where digital signage, interactive whiteboards in control rooms, video walls, virtual banking, interactive kiosks, mall and public space signage, and vending are all controllable through a central hub. Each of these pieces of technology will be responsive to customers as well, bringing personalized and customized experiences to each user.
Right now, we’re seeing deployment with smart mirror technology in clothing stores and smart lockers for delivering goods to customers. Part of the visual retail promise is enhanced manageability for brands and better experiences for customers.
Intel’s Role in Visual Retail
Naturally, any part of a digital transformation effort requires serious computational power for the heavy workload demanded by users. As media display technology moves from 4K to 8K, Intel processors are there to fill in the gaps and provide next-generation performance.
When it comes to remote management, Intel can help provide end-to-end visual retail solutions from the ecosystem in partnership with companies like AOpen, JWIPC, Vestel, and Civiq to create remote solutions based on vPro technology. Digital signage and visual retail solutions don’t require costly maintenance and can be kept up 24/7 thanks to the ability to control resources remotely.
For scaling these solutions, Intel technology is driving standards and specifications across the ecosystem. For example, recently Intel announced OPS+ (Open Pluggable Specification Plus), which allows on-site troubleshooting and interfacing with any display technology using an external computing device, making upgrading or repair easier.
The promise of visual retail is on the horizon, and Intel is investing in making it a reality. If you’d like to find out more or see more thought leadership Intel is producing on this topic, head to our retail solutions portal or explore Intel solutions at the Digital Signage Expo 2017.
* Source: IDC Q1’17