Digital signs in fast-food restaurants and retail stores got a whole lot more predictive this week, with the news that digital signage software provider Scala teamed up with broadband and satellite provider Hughes Network Systems. The partnership will support Scala's Retail Signage and Digital Menu Board Services, which target ads to consumers based on a variety of data, from weather to past purchases.
When consumers opt in to the service and download an app on their smartphone, Scala's platform can deliver targeted messages on their mobile device or a nearby screen at a participating merchant by tying in data triggered by a loyalty or credit card run through point-of-sale (PoS) systems, as well as social networks, local weather, and more, explain Stefan Menger, VP of advanced analytics at Scala.
The consumer doesn't need to download the app, per Menger, because predictive analysis becomes the dominant factor at the PoS. A grocery store chain with digital displays could implement digital signage technology. For example, when passing by the digital display next to the butcher on a Thursday or Friday afternoon before a sunny weekend, a shopper would see a digital ad promoting ketchup, mustard or pickles. The market would serve this ad based on predictive analytics technology from Alpine Data Labs that might combine local weather data, social media data, and data from the store's point-of-sale system showing that, just prior to a sunny weekend, shoppers frequenting the store were much more likely to purchase condiments.
If rain were forecast for the coming weekend, the same shopper might be served an ad for soup stock based on the weather and social media activity about winter soups. Retailers could integrate their digital signage program with their loyalty programs, serving shoppers digital coupons to their smartphones.
The service works with other types of companies, too. A restaurant working with Scala could advertise family dinner specials based on the time of day, the deals their take-home customers order online, and the products generating the greatest interest around dinner time through the restaurant's social media pages. Alpine Data Labs' predictive analytics technology would integrate the data from the various sources and recommend the best products to offer during various dayparts.