How To Increase Dwell Time With Digital Signage

Aug 12, 2021 | Retail

Helena Hamina

Helena Hamina

Dwell time is one of the most important metrics to determine the success of your digital screens, as well as your store. An increase in dwell time could potentially generate more brand awareness, more customer engagement, and eventually – more sales. Learning how to increase dwell time with digital signage can be a great catalyst for increasing average basket value, repeat customers, and more.

In this blog, discover what makes dwell time so important for retail and learn how to increase it with the help of digital signage.

What is Dwell Time and Why Does it Matter?

Dwell time is, essentially, the amount of time someone spends looking at your content or staying in your store.

Try to remember the last time you went to a shop and really took your time to look at all the products. You were likely drawn in by something interesting, or enjoyed the store’s environment, causing you to stay and shop for longer. The longer a customer spends in your store the more likely they are to make a purchase. They have more time to see what’s on offer, browse all your products, think about what it would be like to own certain products, absorb your marketing material, and so on. These are all signals of increased purchasing intentions.

If someone doesn’t spend long in your store (low dwell time) they are likely to not see all your products, won’t think and imagine owning your products, won’t absorb your marketing materials, and so on. These are signals of decreased purchasing intentions.

These examples illustrate the importance of dwell time and shows why you should aim to optimise it. The more time customers spend in your store, the more likely they are to browse your products, imagine themselves owning the product, absorb marketing materials, take action and make a purchase.

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Biggest Challenges of Increasing Dwell Time with Digital Signage

Grabbing Attention and Competing with Smartphones

One of the main challenges, when trying to maximise dwell time is actually capturing attention in the first place. Nowadays, when nearly everyone has a smartphone, there is a lot of competition for a customers attention.

This becomes more true when we dive into the statistics of customer attention and digital screens. Some report that customers give an average of 4.6 seconds of full attention to a screen. Other statistics show it’s only 0.7 or 0.9 seconds, depending on the content featured on the screen. Whichever one is correct, the bottom line is – there’s not much time. Therefore, just having a big, bright screen in the window is not always enough to lure customers into your store. The digital content, shown on the screen has to be well designed and relevant. It’s even better to include animations or a video to really punch through and capture their attention. To guarantee the success of your screens, you have to make sure the content looks stunning.

Finding the Right Place

Before launching amazing, beautiful content on your screens, think about who it’s meant for and who will see it. Make sure your screens are placed where customers will see them. Additionally, think about whether the customer can easily stop in front of the screen to absorb your content. For example, if you’re using a digital product catalogue that requires a few minutes for each customer to use it, you don’t want to place this in the middle of your entrance.

A top tip for optimal screen placement is keeping foot traffic top of mind. Think about what areas drive the highest levels of customers and where customers may be waiting the most. If they are already waiting they are more likely to engage with your screen content. Key areas include the checkouts for point of sale, cafes and outside changing rooms.

Ensuring Messages Reach Your Audience at the Right Time.

Another significant challenge is playing the right content at the right time. It is critical to ensure that content is relevant for various times of the day. The more relevant and targeted you can make your content, the more likely it’s going to engage your audience. For example, if it’s 6pm on a Friday and your clothing outlet knows it’s the most popular night of the week for their customers to go out. They could schedule content such as “going out tonight? Check out our going out dresses” etc. It’s small, however, this additional level of personalisation can go a long way.

Digital signage has a great feature, which allows you to schedule content in advance, so you can ensure you reach your customers with relevant messages at key times and dates. Promote special offers when they’re relevant. E.g. schedule valentines day content in advance to play just before valentines day.

Dwell Time and Retail

As mentioned previously, the more time someone spends in a store, the better it is for the retailer. The longer the customer is inside your store the more likely they are to move through the buying process and make a purchase. Here’s how it happens.

After being attracted by a compelling digital poster, customers enter the store and browse the products. As the customer moves around the store they enjoy the experience. The music might be pleasant, everything smells fresh, and the staff are polite. They get familiar with the shop and probably see something they like. The customer takes it off the shelf or rack and continues browsing. The customer heads to the till and a digital display catches their eye. They see that the product they picked up comes with a matching product at 50% off. The customer won’t want to miss out on the offer and locates the matching product. On their way to the matching product, they spot another product they didn’t spot before. They pick this up to buy too. This shows how dwell time can lead to increased sales.

Increasing dwell time is also a great way to increase your brand awareness. The longer the customer spends in your store the more marketing and brand material they absorb. This helps them become more familiar with your brand and keeps it top of their mind. This can help increase word-of-mouth sales as if a friend asks them about a particular product they might think of your store first.

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How to Maximise Dwell Time with Digital Signage

Attractive, Relevant, Engaging Content

ARE (Attractive, Relevant, Engaging) content should be top of your list. Ensuring that your content looks great, is relevant to your audience, and engages them is a recipe for dwell time success.

First and foremost, invest in creating beautiful, meaningful content. Whether you use professional templates or employ a designer, make sure your digital content is up to standard. Nowadays, it’s easy to find inspiration and there are many free tools out there to help you. For example, Canva has a myriad of great design templates for any occasion. Avoid large paragraphs of text or cluttering the screen with too many elements. Sometimes less is more.

Moreover, make sure the content you create is meaningful and actually has value in customers eyes. I.e. if you own a sports shop your customers aren’t going to engage with promotions relating to travel as it’s not relevant to them. They’ll think “why should I care?”.

Utilise Video

Statistics show that video content is extremely useful when trying to attract and engage customers. In fact, it’s heavily quoted that video content can be over 10 times more engaging than image. There are many reasons for this. On the surface, videos are moving pictures that are more likely to stand out and capture the attention of your audience. Furthermore, video content can be easier to absorb. Videos can break content or explanations into small chunks that are served out every few seconds. Whereas for an image all the content may have to be squeezed into a single frame causing things to get jumbled. It’s important to note that images are also extremely effective, however, it’s important to use them properly.

In terms of increasing dwell time with digital signage, videos that are engaging can stop a customer in their tracks. A product explanation or new products video can be great for this.

Integrate Touch

If you have a digital touchscreen kiosk or any other screen with an integrated touch function, employ the tech to generate more customer engagement. The customer will no doubt spend more time in the store if they’re busy applying for a loyalty scheme or redeeming a discount code from a kiosk.

Additionally, you might give them the opportunity to leave some feedback about their experience or simply rate it with a smiley face. This would have multiple benefits – maximising store dwell time, making the customer feel valued, and also gaining valuable information about what they think about the store.

Call To Action

Calls to action are useful, as they instruct the user on what to do next and urge them to take immediate action. They take the guessing and wondering out of the equation and clearly state the next step. But how does this increase dwell time? A CTA could direct users around your store meaning they spend more time within there. For example, your screen could say “for a free taste of our freshly-baked cookies visit our bakery at the back of our store”. The customer will want the free cookies and will travel through the store to the bakery. On their way, they may see other products they want or need.

Furthermore, this makes the process easier for interested customers, as it takes less effort from them to engage. For example, if you’re promoting an e-mail signup discount, include a QR code people can scan to immediately be taken to the sign-up page.

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If you have any questions about dwell time and digital signage, speak to an expert today. Call our friendly team on 02380 981110 or Email for a no-obligation consultation. Alternatively, click the button below.

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