NRF: Lexmark’s Shrug-Inducing Digital Signage Play
January 13, 2015 by Dave Haynes
The big printing hardware firm Lexmark debuted a digital signage product this week at the National Retail Federation show in New York – a digital endcap solution I’d best describe as shrug-inducing.
It’s a template program that will generate a jpeg and push it to an LG monitor … and that’s about it. It’s not a clever piece of kit tuned to end of aisle shelving and merchandising. It’s an add-on to a software platform that already outputs print signs and labels for retail that now also outputs a jpeg.
There’s also a scan a product and show it on a screen thing which I just can’t imagine will get much traction. Here’s a video about it (warning: first 2 mins is this guy going on and on)
Says a press release:
Lexmark’s Digital Endcap solution helps retailers increase the speed and accuracy of in-store signage execution, enabling them to move inventory, ensure proper brand representation and increase revenue. Lexmark’s Digital Endcap solution streamlines store operations for promotions, eliminates the need for ladders or lifts, eliminates delays and expenses related to large-format paper signage, and provides headquarters with store-level data on promotion activity.
So it can do the lowest level of work that a bazillion digital sign content management systems can do, but with no video support. The endcap piece is part of Lexmark’s more general retail publishing platform, but the the digital piece, I was told, uses signage software from a company Lexmark acquired, AccessVia.
To be fair, a screen fit above the shelves on a grocery or mass merchandise endcap may be all a lot of retailers ever do, and a jpeg with 2 for $4 is going to be the height of creative in-store marketing in many cases. About 95% of what a big-time CMS could do wouldn’t get used anyway. There’s not a lot of sophistication, but I suspect the “ask” on digital from a lot of grocers and big boxes isn’t all that sophisticated.
I did like that the software dynamically calculated and added things in templates like percentage or dollars savings when a price was changed, and I think a mobile app that allows store managers to make changes in aisle instead of at their desk is useful.
It’s also worth noting the platform, as it stands, is used to outputs signs and shelf labels for more than 75 retailers, including Best Buy, Office Depot, Safeway and Family Dollar.