8 Predictions for Retail Engagement in 2019

We look at the upcoming trends for digital screens and great content

25 January 2019

Oliver Brindley

Marketing Manager

It’s January and traditionally a time for resolutions and predictions, so we thought we’d provide a few of our own.  Undoubtedly 2019 is set to be a challenging year, but also one that provides plenty of opportunity to redefine and build closer relationships with customers.

Below are our thoughts on how giant screens and great content can help to play a big part in this experience:

1. Focus on Experience

Experience-led retail is the hot trend for 2019 and digital screens can play a vital role in helping to unlock that experience.  Whether it’s giant screens in centre atriums or smaller screens at point of sale, their ability to deliver dynamic, high-impact content makes them ideal for delivering genuinely engaging experiences.

Goyang Centre in Shinsegae, South Korea boasts an incredible atrium experience (photo courtesy of Moment Factory)

2. Showpiece Content

Move over anchor tenants, 2019 is all about the anchor experience!  As leisure and experience play an ever-increasing role in attracting customers, creative immersive experiences will be a reason to visit themselves.

This will mean an increased focus on great content – after all, the screens are merely a giant canvas on which to paint – so the more successful suppliers will be those that take a more holistic approach and can offer centres a complete solution rather than simply hardware.

Look to Lakeside’s new leisure expansion to lead the way with showpiece content, featuring a brace of ADI installed “dancing” screens which will form as central part of a regular light and sound spectacular show, delivered in partnership with Projection Artworks.

ADI’s content on the Cinema Screen at Revo Manchester 2018 showcased some incredible showpiece “eye candy”


3. Think Local

2019 will see a shift away from utilising big screens purely as advertising billboards and a move towards delivering programming more personalised towards the customers and retailers within shopping centres.

Instead of loops of irrelevant 10 second DOOH ads, content will focus on promoting the latest in-centre offers and deals as well as delivering news, social media and promotional content for the centre.


4. More screens in more places

The latest LED technologies allow for evermore creative applications and executions, allowing centres to think outside of the traditional 16:9 box.  Expect to see LED technology used as a building material within the very fabric of centres.  Whether that’s a façade covering the outside of the building or encased in glass balustrades throughout the centre, these give the opportunity to create dynamic, ever-evolving canvases out of practically any surface.

This is already happening in centres across the world!  See the video below for an absolutely stunning example in Jakarta Indonesia.

And of course, as with any technology lifecycle, as LED has matured it has lowered in price, making it viable for far more locations than ever.


5. Making promotional content genuinely engaging

Obviously commercial content has a place in many screen playlists, but wouldn’t it be nice if it could be a little bit better than just relentless playout of standard DOOH ads?  Larger more creative canvases allow for more imaginative executions that pique interest rather than simply washing over customers.  Likewise, instead of generic advertising, centre digital screens can be used to prompt activity within the centre to drive far more targeted, centre-level campaigns.


6. Creating a conversation

Centre LED screens shouldn’t exist as an island – they should be an integral part of a wider communication strategy.  Expect to see more integration between the screen on the wall and the screen in your customers’ pockets as social media activation stretches across the two platforms.

Some centres are dong this well already – the team at Princes Quay Hull are great at keeping their twitterati up to date with what’s going on at the centre – including events happening in their event space – and their screen also includes their twitter feed and promotes specific hashtags to encourage their customers to contribute.

7. Go Viral with User Generated Content

Looking beyond social media interactions and integration, UGC is all about getting your customers to create the content themselves.  Call To Action prompts can come through promotions, competitions or even by setting up specific in-centre events, as we did with our #MovieMug green screen booth at Revo 2018 (see below).  The beauty of UGC is that the messaging is then shared and amplified beyond the centre, making it perfect for partnership activation.

8. Fun Fun Fun!

Building on the conversation theme – interaction and inclusion will play a bigger part as brands seek greater connections with customers.  The likes of Piing have already demonstrated that mass-scale gaming brings people of all walks of life together (those of you at Revo 2018 may remember the 2 hour session during Wednesday’s drinks reception) and are a great non-threatening way for brands to connect with fans in a more traditional way.

Importantly in this post Cambridge Analytica age, there’s no social media ransom barrier to entry, but a far more organic and transparent relationship whereby anyone can play, and value isn’t measured by Facebook Likes but by genuine old-school actual engagement.  There’s something really refreshing seeing customers compete for actual physical prizes promoting items that can be bought in the centre they’re stood in.

I think the video of it in action at intu Merry Hill – not to mention the 2 hours of playtime at this year’s Revo 2018 drinks reception – tells its own story.


9. ADI’s Vision

Yes, I know I said there were 7, but here’s a peek at our vision for the very near future of shopping centre engagement on a big, big scale…

Article author

Oliver Brindley

Marketing Manager

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