Krispy Kreme made a big splash recently with its digitally-rich flagship store in Times Square in New York, so it is interesting to see what the donut chain is doing with digital displays in the UK, in more modest locations, with much more modest budgets.
Krispy Kreme UK currently operates over 115 locations and has a presence in over 1,100 in-store cabinets with retail partners including Tesco, Morrisons, Welcome Break and Center Parcs outlets across the country.
The UK operation started working with the CMS software firm embed signage in 2018, starting with straight-forward 3 by 1 menu boards, drive thru totems and internal promo screens.
The trial was deemed to be a great success. Since then, Krispy Kreme UK have been pushing digital further and further across their estate expanding from digital menu boards to enhanced in-store customer experiences.
“The main reason for choosing embed is the user experience. Based on the others I have seen on the market this is by far the best. Not only visually but intuitively too. On top of that, the features are extensive and the support from the team is second to none,” says Mike Tinnion, Senior Creative & Content Manager, Krispy Kreme UK.
embed sent along a series of site photos that show some nice approaches to small locations and merchandising pieces, including stretch LCD headers. Among the interesting wrinkles are digital display cabinets that use presence detection sensors for content triggering.
In January 2020, Krispy Kreme UK started a trial of their new digital cabinets being touted as a fundamental step-change to how doughnuts are presented and sold in-store. The trial at 15 Tesco and 5 Welcome Break locations was measured not only by revenue but also included consumer research to analyze shopper behaviour, look at the drivers and barriers to purchase and gain wider feedback. The trial was deemed “incredibly positive” and as such 140 more digital cabinets were rolled out to Tesco stores by October 2020.
“The initial trial has gone very well and we are now pleased to continue the rollout into many more.
We are only at the start of this journey and there are huge opportunities moving forwards to further develop the on-screen content to surprise and delight our customers at the point of purchase,” says Suk Nichols, Sales Director, Krispy Kreme UK.
Dubbed the GEN8 cabinets, they are a first for the Krispy Kreme brand globally. The GEN8 cabinets use digital technology with purpose. All elements have been meticulously considered to present an exciting customer experience and generate sales.
The cabinets include stretched header screens and shelf edge labels (SELs) which are designed to grab the attention of customers. Brand reinforcement content such as ‘Made Fresh Daily’ is displayed on the headers paired with a waterfall of doughnuts covering all of the SELs, giving the entire cabinet an undeniable presence.
Curious (and hungry) consumers approach the cabinet and once close enough, their presence is detected and the SEL content changes to present the product name, description, pricing and allergens.
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.