Posters and other printed displays are the traditional method of attracting attention for special promotions and new products at your campus bookstore. But, they aren’t very dynamic or all that interesting to the typical college student. How can you provide important information about the goings-on at your store in a way that will boost sales and excitement?
Electronic displays provide an easily customizable, portable, and captivating method of advertising in your store. The University of Hawaii at Hilo launched electronic displays as part of their new bookstore location to eliminate the need for ongoing printing of displays and posters.
Here are some steps to take to get and use electronic displays in your store.
Look for a vendor who can provide a system that allows easy updates by more than one staff member. InLighten, Cisco, ViewSonic, and a host of other companies offer displays and management consoles. You can purchase your own displays and use their management systems, if you want to cut costs. Any of the big vendors will be happy to help you understand their product, walk you through the capabilities of their system, and support you on an ongoing basis if you select their service.
There are up-front costs associated with deploying screens throughout your bookstore, and you will need to either budget for them or find money from another source. One angle is to look for grants to support sustainability on college campuses. Digital displays are a replacement for printed materials, and there may be grant funding available to help cut down on paper usage at institutions of higher education. Depending on your school’s situation, you might find funding through other grant sources or local businesses, too.
You will want to focus on placement of the screens and what types of materials you will show on them.
Your vendor can help you decide where your screens can go, but make sure your staff is involved, too. You may also want to consider keeping some of them portable so you can locate them next to the materials being promoted.
Then think about what you will show on your screen. Your vendor likely has options for local news and weather as well as pre-prepared marketing tools. You may also want to include student and staff videos to provide more visual interest and your own designed materials for the ultimate flexibility.
The deployment of a new technology is a great time to get coverage from the local press, both on and off campus. Let the media know about your screens and invite them to preview them or to see student and reaction when they are first turned on.
Electronic displays are a big initial investment, but the long-term savings, easy flexibility, and potential to boost sales can make them totally worth it.