How to Stand Up a Fully Functioning Retail Media Network in 60 Days

When considering a fully integrated merchandising strategy, there are a few reasons why you might need to quickly set up a network of digital display screens. Maybe you’ve acquired a number of stores with an existing retail media network. Maybe you’ve grown and waited to bring your new locations on board. Or maybe you’re just adding retail media into your merchandising strategy for the first time.

Whatever the reason, if you’re looking to cohesively manage a lot of screens, the operational team and resources needed to get it up and running can be challenging. Here’s what you need to know.

Choose your resource.

If you’re going to roll out a new network, you’re going to need a “scrum team” to manage the onboarding process. Your first step should be to identify that team, whether it is an internal resource or a third-party specialist like Shep Digital. This team will spend 30 days or so deploying the hardware and software needed so that you can either manage the network yourself or work with that third party to manage it along with your shopper marketing strategy.

Either way, be ready for issues that might arise in the rollout process. With variations in hardware, software and networking requirements, it will likely take some development work to homogenize a disparate network.

Identify the players.

In this case, the players are endpoints—or display screens—instead of people. To be effective, you will need a planogram or a snapshot of the store that identifies where every player will be positioned and a CAD drawing of the store to provide a marketing or merchandising perspective. Then, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the software running all of the players. Once you know all of the different types and locations of your various screens, you’ll be able to better manage them with a fully integrated, cohesive shopper marketing strategy.

It must be cohesive.

You may currently utilize different digital signage vendors—like Convergent, Stratacash and Broadsign—in different locations, and to top it off, you may also have multiple pump-based media systems, depending on your pump manufacturer. As you can imagine, managing all of these networks quickly becomes untenable, and you will find yourself consistently duplicating your efforts.

To execute on a cohesive shopper marketing strategy, you will need to develop or use a third-party software system that can easily manage content across your different networks and vendors to create a centralized, cohesive network. One user interface that interacts with all content management systems being utilized to manage your interior and exterior screens simplifies the process greatly.

This is where Shep Digital can step in and manage all of your distribution channels, saving you time and money, whether it be hardware costs, human resources or the capital required to replace all of the screens.

So, if you’re going to make digital display screens a part of your marketing strategy—and you should—you have to dedicate the necessary resources to make managing your display screen network easier. And once you get your technical operations house in order, you can figure out what to air on the network in support of your shopper marketing strategy.

3 Ways to Tell Your Story with Screens at the Pump

In part three of our series, we offer a final recommendation on how to get the best return on investment for the digital display screens on your property. We’ve already covered what kind of content C-stores should put on their screens and the different options for monetizing their screens, so now it’s time to take it internal and look at how you can use screens to best tell your story.

Continue reading “3 Ways to Tell Your Story with Screens at the Pump”

3 Tips for Managing Multiple Technology Platforms

Operating a convenience store may not seem like it requires a lot of technology, but if you take inventory on the various retail sales platforms and transaction tools utilized by a typical C-store, you’ll find that it adds up quickly. You must be aware of your POS system, forecourt controller, dispenser manufacturer, CRIND manufacturer, managed network service provider, loyalty app provider, web developer, mobile payment platform, petroleum service companies and any other custom software solutions that you may use.

So, how can you ensure they all run smoothly and cohesively?

Continue reading “3 Tips for Managing Multiple Technology Platforms”

PSA on Gas Prices

Turn on a TV or open a newspaper these days, and you’ll likely see a story about the record high price of gas in the U.S. As a convenience store owner, you’re probably all too aware of the increasing prices, but it’s important to make sure your customers understand where the increase is coming from. Continue reading “PSA on Gas Prices”

How to Analyze and Use Sales Data

Customer feedback is heavily sought after in all industries, and retail is in a unique position in that every transaction is an important data point. In fact, the customer is already telling you what they want to buy. You just have to respond by looking at the data points and implementing the right actions as if they filled out a survey.

Your sales data is a treasure trove of information that you can use to improve your business. If you leverage it to inform your media at the dispenser and other shopper marketing strategies, the historical sales data you already have can help you promote the right products at the right times, increasing sales and overall profitability.

Continue reading “How to Analyze and Use Sales Data”

How to Improve the Customer Journey

It’s easy for retailers to get caught up in their own interests and sometimes lose focus on what’s important. How can I get the customer to buy more? How do I increase customer footfalls and retention? How do I make the most out of each customer? All valid questions, but if your focus is on issues like these, you’re losing sight of the fact that your customer is your biggest advocate.

Think about the customer journey in terms of what you can give the customer and what you can take away from the customer to make their experience better. Focusing on this improves the customer experience, which should have a direct effect on answering the questions we already spelled out.

Continue reading “How to Improve the Customer Journey”

3 Tips for Choosing a Tech Partner

As a technology company, we know it can be difficult for people—especially those who aren’t technologically savvy—to choose a tech partner. In an industry like convenience retail, technology has been a little slower moving, so it was easier to avoid. But now, it’s time to embrace new, innovative technologies that can improve your business if you haven’t already.

So, if your knowledge of computers and other devices stops at “Did you restart it?,” here’s what you need to know to vet potential technology companies for your business.

Continue reading “3 Tips for Choosing a Tech Partner”