Another set of companies has entered the competition to win the eyeballs, hearts and budgets of grocers, convenience store operators and consumer brands with connected, transparent LCD displays embedded in cooler and freezer doors.
Sarasota, Florida-based signage software firm Real Digital Media and Anthony, which makes display equipment for refrigeration systems, are launching a new product called iDOOR – described as “a merchandising solution that incorporates a media player and transparent LCD embedded within cooler or freezer doors to play full motion video at the point of purchase.”
The iDOOR runs on RDM’s NEOCAST. Anthony, based in California, suggests in a press release that its patented iDoor is “the only digital solution for cooler and freezer door lineups that connects the shopper, message and product at the same time, allowing retailers to understand and engage with their customers on a more relevant and personal level.”
“The solution artfully pairs digital signage with how shoppers navigate through a store and optimizes messaging along the path to purchase,” suggests Carre’ Bistline, Anthony’s Director, Business Development, Digital Signage Solutions. “We think the iDOOR is the best solution for reaching the shopper at the point of decision with relevant messages, and will positively impact in-store conversions.”
If you have been in this business and wondered what industry vet Carre’ Dawson is up to, she’s now Carre’ Bistline, living in Colorado and working for Anthony, which is owned by the big Chicago-area company Dover.
The tag team is going to market with some evidence for retailers and brands that the chiller doors offer more than wow factor. They also drive product. A national convenience store chain tested the Anthony iDOOR for a 3-month pilot program, and found cooler door traffic increased by 13%, and it increased sales of items and overall dollar sales.
Cooler, freezer and stand-alone glass door applications are now available in various transparent screen sizes and finishes. Certain existing Anthony doors products may also be retrofitted with an iDOOR.
There are several companies in this space – some overseas ones you wonder about, but others that are serious and doing real trade. Aerva tells me there are commitments for some 2,000 Bud chiller units in the U.S., running its software and using LG-MRI’s transparent LCD door technology.
STRATACACHE also has product for chiller doors and architectural applications, called PrimaSee.
I don’t know if these units light up the LCD with LEDs from the door edges or in some other way. What I do know is that the whole screen in glass doors thing has come a long way since it first started showing up on trade floors four or five years ago. Improvements in lighting have made the difference from pale, washed-out displays to ones that visually pop. Which is probably why you see brands making the investment, and research showing real results.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.