Digital Domain Equipment & Design
images and say, “I didn’t know you had this.” His customers are also enticed with videos, such as a chef lifting
the lid of a smoker to display di;erent cuts of meat.
“It’s things like this that attract attention, as well as
attracting business, and that’s what we’re here for,”
he says. “Anything that will help me increase my sales
always helps me out.”
In addition to showcasing food, digital capabilities allow
grocers to “really start to think outside of the box when it
comes to customer engagement,” such as highlighting a
customer of the month, says Nizia Murshed, marketing
associate for digital signage company Mvix, Sterling, Va.
In the short time he’s been using digital menu boards,
Bergeron has experimented with their capabilities,
including a welcoming digital banner message he created
for a Tebo associate during her recent visit to his store.
Displaying di;erent products based on dayparts is
another perk of the technology, such as promoting certain beverages at a certain time of day, Koehler says.
However, Koehler warns retailers not to get carried
away: “Don’t lose sight of the purpose of a menu: ordering.” Despite digitized functions, he says, menus should
be simple, clean and easy to read, because one of the
most stressful parts of placing an order in a grocery foodservice setting is the thought of holding up the line while
trying to communicate with the associate.
This stress can be reduced, Koehler of Coca-Cola
North America says, by having a large, evenly spaced
menu font and layout that limits points of distraction such as animations, slideshows and full-screen
Streamlining Price Changes
While electronic menu boards are enjoyable for shoppers,
they also make grocers’ lives easier by reducing labor as
well as streamlining price changes and other processes.
Historically, innovation has been centered around the
customer experience, which, says Koehler, has recently
seen a shift toward technology that focuses on business
owners and managers.
As such, Coca-Cola’s digital signage, Neko, is designed
to “put menu management in the hands of retail manag-
ers,” Koehler says. For example, it lets managers know
on Neko’s Control mobile app when an item has run out,
allowing for quick removal of all items containing the
item from the menu while also dynamically resorting its
layout to maintain its look and feel.
Tebo’s technology has a similar function. As soon as the
technology was implemented, Bergeron of Reeves Market, who at the time had a red beans and rice special that
ran out quicker than expected, was able to remove it from
the menu at the touch of a button on his smartphone.
Delving Into Push Notifications
An up-and-coming technology for electronic menu boards
is built-in beacon technology, Michaels says. It allows
retailers to send push noti;cations indicating things such as
“Chicken just came out of the oven” or “We have hot pizza
ready now” to their smartphones if they have the store app.
With electronic menu boards providing so many
proven bene;ts to shoppers and retail managers alike,
Michaels believes it’s a “no-brainer” solution for grocers.
He advises them not to wait any longer for more evidence
about their validity before diving in and showcasing their
retail foodservice o;erings in a whole new light.
Retailers should avoid promoting loss leaders
or low-margin items on digital menu boards.
Instead, highlight high-margin items that can
increase a grocer’s quality proposition as well as
the bottom line.
Anything that will help me
increase my sales always
helps me out.”
—Michael Bergeron, Reeves Market
With retailers such as Kroger
and Walgreens testing facial
recognition technology that
helps determine an individual’s
basic demographics, as
opposed to precise identity,
Tebo VP Joe Michaels says
it may soon be an accessible
technology that can be
incorporated into electronic
Michaels hesitates to use
the words “facial recognition”
because it incites privacy
concerns. He prefers the term
“facial analytics” because it is
“completely noninvasive and no
information is saved,” he says.
The technology is useful,
however, in measuring factors
such as how long customers are
looking at the screen or certain
items, plus gender, age and
mood while standing in line.
“So you could say, ‘OK, when
they walk up to the deli counter,
are they looking down at the
coleslaw? Are they looking over
at the roast beef before they
are looking at your ribs?’” he
says. “All of these analytics are
numbers that make it easy to
know they’re not looking at my
egg salad. What am I going to
do about that?”
is a great
place for an
;; JUNE ;;;; WINSIGHT GROCERY BUSINESS