As Dell's Jerry Gregoire once stated, "The customer experience is the next competitive battleground." Now, his vision is becoming reality, with more organizations competing on the basis of customer experience and looking for ways to differentiate themselves in this regard. As research from Oracle pointed out, 97 percent of executives view customer experience as a key part of gaining a business advantage and improved results.   

And while much of the modern customer journey takes place in the digital realm, in-store activity is still a central part of brand success. Luckily, tools such as digital signage can be used to bring a more engaging and dynamic customer experience to brick-and-mortar shoppers. Here are a few examples of how brands are utilizing signage to this end. 

Interactive kiosks and screens
Perhaps the most widespread method of customer experience innovation through signage takes advantage of touchscreen technology, namely in the form of kiosks and interactive stations. A blog article from Digital Signage Today revealed the power of these solutions in the context of a retail experience, explaining how it speeds up the research process and even provides customers with a form of entertainment. 

"Kiosks can speed up the in-store research process."

"The technology also will be of assistance to your staff in the sales process, providing extensive product details and handy hints – leaving your staff to focus on providing the human side of the consumer experience," noted contributor Emily Carroll, marketing manager at Prendi. 

Connections with ecommerce
Although they are hugely valuable, in-store kiosks and touchscreens have been around for while, forcing signage adopters to discover new avenues of engagement for an evolved customer experience. That's why many organizations are striving to connect their video walls, standalone displays and touchscreen kiosks to their ecommerce environments. 

This means that customers are linking their online accounts to in-store technologies that draw on their purchase and browsing preferences, making recommendations about products and promotions. When coordinated correctly, these techniques can dramatically boost engagement and sales, bridging the gap between in-home and in-store shopping in a seamless manner. Strong foundations of digital signage software are necessary to streamline the experience, but the payoff is well worth the upfront work.

Coordination with social media
Every marketer and advertiser is aware of social media's power online, but is it possible that this platform can deliver an impact for a more traditional, in-store customer experience? With the right digital signage program in place, the answer is yes, as today's retail displays can show a wide range of video and image content from a wide range of sources. 

Also, due to the dynamic nature of outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, brand managers will never have to worry about keeping content fresh when their systems are connected to social media streams. With plenty of opportunities for user-generated material and promotional campaigns, social media is the perfect complement to digital signage when looking to improve the customer experience across the board. 

Customer experience will only grow in importance as the years pass, so the time is now to generate value using digital signage systems.