Intel, YCD Show Off Digital Merchandising Concept At NRF

January 16, 2012 by Dave Haynes

I frankly couldn’t make heads or tails out of a press release involving YCD and Intel, and a thing they were showing off this week at the NRF show in New York, but I was sent a case study that has since cleared the fog.

What the release said:

Using  second generation Intel® CoreTM i5 processors, the solution enables placement flexibility, minimizes deployment effort and lowers support costs. The unique wireless digital signage stand was designed to display advertisements and promotional content related to Coca Cola’s products in stores and supermarkets, increasing sales while minimizing cabling and location-change costs.

The mobile digital signage device plays specific clips promoting the product on the stand. Since it is a wireless display, it can be located anywhere around the store, without concern about physical LAN connections. The systems can be managed and fixed remotely using Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT). The wireless system can download new content, upload information to headquarters, and interact with customers.  

Yeah, but, what solution … what is it … huh???

What it is: A digital end-cap for Coke that builds in a digital screen at the top, right above the merchandise. The unit can connect via WiFi or mobile data network, and its health and up-time tracked and managed using Intel’s AMT technology.

This is sorta clever-ish (resounding endorsement), though not even vaguely new. I know from personal experience a few years ago that coming up with a very slick digital end cap sounds great in theory, but is a lot harder to actually sell into retail or consumer brands. Costs have come down, which definitely helps, but brands are almost certainly the ones who’d have to pay for these units.

You can see with this image that standardization is a big problem in retail and this unit is parked in front on an existing end-cap, instead of replacing it.

So far, there’s not a lot of evidence (apart from the WalMart smart network screens) of digital at the ends of aisles in grocer and mass merchandise stores.

That said, the ability to move the thing around a store – by forklift or whatever – is good. And maybe one of these days this concept will catch on.

There is evidence stuff like this can move the needle. The best reference case I know is Labatt’s beer – in my beer-guzzling homeland. Putting screens right above product in independent stores out west delivered consistently big sales jumps.

You can see the unit at the Intel booth at the show.

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