There is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel the world has been careening through for the last three months. With the number of new coronavirus cases steadily declining across the nation, public health officials and state government are now beginning to cautiously lift restrictions on businesses. The economy is starting to reopen, and if you’re reading this article, then you’re probably taking strategic measures to smartly, safely, and successfully reopen your tobacco store.
While business owners across industries are likely celebrating their upcoming openings, it’s also understood that every store’s operations probably won’t return to how they were functioning before the outbreak. Tobacco retailers will need an innovative reopening strategy that retains the essence of the old way of doing business, but also incorporates all that we’ve learned in terms of upholding health and safety protocols.
How will you retain as many restrictions as possible while also promoting customer traffic and sales to increase store revenue? This article will examine the role that digital signage can play within your store to ensure safe operational practices for your customers and staff, and also drive sales as efficiently as possible.
Even before COVID-19 emerged and began to affect nearly every aspect of our day-to-day lives, in-store digital signage was known as a proven tool to increase customer engagement, influence buying decisions, and maximize sales opportunities with every customer that entered a given store. But now that the coronavirus is here and we’ve all learned to adjust accordingly to help slow the spread, tobacco retailers are discovering a second, vitally important reason to use digital signage in their stores…
Digital signage offers a “touchless” form of communication, and because digital signs relay product information, promotions, and store operational information, it means that your employees don’t have to, which saves them from accidentally violating social distancing rules and regulations.
As you begin to take measures to open your tobacco shop, using digital signage as a communication tool will greatly assure both your customers and employees that your new operational systems are safe and healthy. How specifically should you use digital signage in your smoke shop to restart your tobacco sales and encourage customer traffic and buying? Here are 5 ways digital signage can help you reopen your tobacco store in a post-COVID-19 world.
INFLUENCE BUYING BEHAVIOR AND BOOST SALES
There is a single question on the minds of tobacco retailers who are preparing to reopen. How can you increase visitors, increase buying, increase the speed of customer service, and increase, well, revenue! This objective to increase just about every aspect of your business isn’t unique to COVID-19. It’s actually a business goal that is as old as retail itself. But unlike the strategies of yesteryear that used to work for increasing traffic, sales, and customer retention, in a post-COVID-19 world, the wheel actually does need to be reinvented.
Sales staff has always been the lifeblood of retail. When customers have questions, your passionate sales personnel are the voice of your brand. With smiling faces and professional demeanors, they steer customers towards purchases that will enhance the smoker’s lifestyle, satisfy their questions, and have them leaving your tobacco store happy. You don’t want to do away with this aspect of your sales effort, but you will want to digitize it for the health and safety of all involved. That’s where digital signage comes in. The digital signs in your store offer a touchless, visually-rich form of communication that can address customer questions, offer product recommendations, and alleviate your sales staff of too much person-to-person interaction. These signs can tactfully and tastefully convey your unique brand while influencing buying behavior in ways that your customers will ultimately appreciate, because it will help expedite the time that they spend in your tobacco store.
KEEP CUSTOMERS INFORMED OF YOUR BUSINESS CHANGES AS CHANGES ARISE
It’s hard to think of a time in history when business changes were this rapid. Basically overnight, retailers were restricted, shutdown, permitted to operate, and restricted all over again with whiplash speed. From facemasks, social distancing, and limited in-store capacities to plexiglass barriers, one-way shopping aisles, and hypervigilant disinfectant wipe-downs, it really does seem like with each dawning there a brand-new protocol has arisen and businesses everywhere are obligated to keep up, comply, adapt, and adjust to the new realities of our suddenly safety-conscious world.
Digital signage is an excellent, effective, and low-maintenance way to properly orient your customers to your new operational protocols and also help them to comply with the new regulations without too much confusion. Displaying engaging, touchless, visual forms of communication throughout your store can greatly assist you in the effort to keep your customers informed.
IMPROVE CUSTOMER RELATIONS WHILE AVOIDING PRINTING COSTS
If we’ve learned anything over the course of the past three months as health officials have discovered and relayed more and more information about the nature and contagion of COVID-19, it’s that the more items we all touch, the faster we’ll inadvertently spread this astronomically contagious virus.
Printed materials such as coupons, business cards, flyers, pamphlets, brochures, and event posters are all now considered categorically unhygienic. Not only that, but from their inception, printed materials of all kinds have always been costly. As a tobacco retailer, you’re constantly juggling a wealth of promotions, both as in-store discounts and manufacturer-issued deals. If you’ve been in business for a while, then you know exactly how expensive these printed materials can become as new promotions constantly crop up. And if you run a chain of smoke shops across your region, then that cost is easily doubled, tripled, and even quadrupled.
Digital signage offers you an easy, expense-less method to constantly change and rotate your messaging across any number of store locations through a single cloud-based digital dashboard channel. Once you accrue the expense of the physical displays in your store, you can swap out your promotions at no additional cost. In the long run, digital signage can only save you money—significant amounts, too—once your in-store systems are set up.
REINFORCE HEALTH CONSCIOUS REGULATIONS SO THAT YOUR EMPLOYEES DON’T HAVE TO
Let’s face it, not everyone is the biggest fan of facemasks and social distancing. Enforcing your tobacco store’s policies regarding the state mandated guidelines, which you as a retailer must stay in compliance with, might not always be comfortable. While you, as a business owner, have a right to refuse service to a walk-in customer who isn’t willing to wear a facemask, for example, the last thing you want to be is the “bad guy” with someone who might otherwise become a loyal customer. And neither does your staff.
Displaying your store’s COVID-19 rules and regulations on digital signs at the entrance of your smoke shop can greatly assist your efforts to remain in legal compliance while alleviating you and your employees from having to police every individual who walks through the door. Polite, tactful reminders that are delivered on visually-rich displays can get the message across clearly so that you don’t have to personally. And if you strategically place additional digital signs throughout your tobacco store, you can gently reinforce social distancing guidelines and promote proper hygiene. Your responsible, socially-conscious customers will thank you and even the customers who might like to roll their eyes will appreciate that your signs, and not your staff, laid down the law.
CONVEY YOUR BRAND MESSAGE AND DEMONSTRATE CORPORATE INTEGRITY
Right now, every store owner across the globe has an opinion and strategy for how their particular business is actively combatting the devastation of COVID-19 within their community. We are all trying our best to do our part. Despite a particular retailer suffering as a result of these lockdowns, they are also lending a helping hand where and when they can. As a tobacco retailer, you have probably been doing all that you can to accommodate customers, extend your resources to the community at large, and otherwise do everything within your power to uplift those who need it most.
Every effort you have made and continue to make will be forever woven into the fabric of your brand. Your actions speak volumes and even if you haven’t put it into words, everything you’ve done conveys a message to your customers, employees, and to the community around you. Digital signage is a perfect medium to solidify your brand message and tastefully demonstrate all that you have been doing. The messaging you display can have a profound impact on the way your customers, and also potential customers, regard your business, which can directly contribute to customer loyalty, growth, and the overall success of your smoke shop.
If you’ve made it this far in reading our article, then you’re probably convinced that implementing digital signage at your tobacco store is a must. You’re also probably wondering which digital sign provider to go with and how to get started in practical terms. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
FasTrax Digital Signage is the industry leader when it comes to supplying easy-to-use digital signs for vape and tobacco retailers at the lowest prices on the market. FasTrax Digital Signage includes a full suite of tools that will simplify your in-store marketing. Tobacco retailers prefer FasTrax for their digital signage needs because our system and software was built specifically for them. Promote your slow-moving products, create buzz about soon-to-be-released items, and implement every recommendation that we covered in this article by enrolling in FasTrax Digital Signage today.
FasTrax Digital Signage
- Automatically update signage pricing directly from your smoke shop POS system
- Manage displays from your home or office PC, or anywhere on a tablet or smartphone
- No more expensive and time-consuming printing of promotional materials
- FDA health warnings for tobacco products built right into the design software to keep you in full compliance with state and federal law no matter how often you change your digital signage promotions
With FasTrax Digital Signage, we offer design training, or you could select a pre-made campaign from our template database of over 1,000 designs! Our proprietary design software, AdPro, makes it easy for the user to edit templates, design original displays, and make changes. You can even schedule promotions and advertisements weeks, months, or even years in advance. Simply design, save, schedule, and forget about it!
There’s even more good news from FasTrax when it comes to reopening your tobacco store. Throughout the remainder of 2020, we are offering our proprietary, cloud-based design software, AdPro, for free! Now is the perfect time to implement digital signage at your tobacco store, because you will be able to create 100% of the digital content that will be displayed on your in-store signs at no charge! FasTrax understands that as a business owner, you’ve taken a financial hit over the past three months, which is why we’re offering this easy-to-use, state-of-the-art software for free until December 31, 2020.