It’s time we promoted interactive displays
How many people actually look at screens? Well, research shows that digital signage (in form of basic screens, video walls, digital posters etc.) increases the probability of a sale by 30% and eyeballs by 10%. Now there are no actual quantitative research reports which I’ve come across, but it’ll be great if you could share links.
The question is: how to increase the consumer engagement using digital signage? One of the best answers to this is: Interaction. We have to, for a moment remove our marketing and technology hats and put on ‘consumer psychology headgear’. Wisconsin School of Business has published a whole chapter on Sensory Factors and Consumer Behavior. Let me highlight some parts of the book which correlate with interactive display technologies.
Authors Joann Peck of University of Wisconsin and Terry L. Childers University of Kentucky write that,
Our judgments about a store, its products, and even its personnel, are driven in part by the smells we encounter (our olfactory system), the things we hear (our auditory system), the objects we come into physical contact with (our tactile system), our taste experiences (the gustatory system), and what we see (the visual system).
So if screens are interactive, we not only capture the visual system but also the tactile system.
The sense of touch, or haptics (touch with the hands) has historically been the least studied sense in marketing. Perhaps the rise of online and catalog shopping, and an inability to physically examine products prior to purchase has spurred this area of research. The primary categories of touch and haptic research include the differences in product attributes that encourage touch, individual differences in the motivation to touch, and situational influences that encourage touch. Finally, one research study examined the interaction between vision and touch and the elongation bias.
What we can possibly deduce from this is that when a display is just put up in a retail environment, it acts as an aid to the overall marketing goals. But to actually utilize a display , it may be made interactive. With a touch glass interface or gesture recognition and tailored content like interactive catalogs, consumers are likely to interact more and actually buy products since it is at the last instance of their purchase decision.
Another major area in need of future research is the need to move from a more “sense by sense”
perspective to investigations of the multi-sensory integration of sensory inputs. As Calvert, Spence,
and Stein (2004, p. xi) note, “here can be no doubt that our senses are designed to function in concert and that our brains are organized to use the information they derive from their various sensory channels cooperatively in order to enhance the probability that objects and event will be detected rapidly, identiifed correctly, and responded to appropriately” (emphasis added). Ernst, Bulthof , and Newell (2003; cited in Newell 2004) found that bimodal recognition was enhanced by 10% versus learning that occurred either visually or haptically.
Digital signage companies and integrators should convince their clients to incorporate touch overlays and gesture control. We are providing prospects and enthusiastic clients with innovative solutions in touch, gesture and all forms of interactive media. Many more companies are trying to promote such projects in the GCC.
Coming back to senses, I loved the conclusion of the chapter from the book:
IN CONCLUSION, TO MAKE A FULL TURN; IF IT TASTES, SMELLS, SOUNDS, AND FEELS LIKE
A Duck, then it Must Be A …. (Duck)”. “Perhaps,” would seem to be the best answer. Sensory stimuli can aid in our processing of information and sometimes can bias and mislead us in forming our impressions. This fascinating contradiction, however, makes the study of sensory factors in consumer behavior challenging and all the more rewarding as we further our investigations of how consumers make sense of their world.
Wisconsin School of Business: http://research3.bus.wisc.edu/