Multi-tenant retail locations have long been an intrinsic part of the retail landscape. With increasing competition from online retailers, many worry about the longevity of brick and mortar stores. Recent industry studies, however, point to a strong continuation of in-store shopping, and further validates the importance of responsive, flexible and high-impact signage for bringing brick and mortar stores in line with digital advertising.
Some multi-tenant retail locations hesitate when they consider the initial cost of a digital sign for their locations. A number of factors make digital the least expensive option out there, primarily the responsiveness in filling occupancies. Empty square footage costs time and limits revenue, so having an on-site advertising tool bolsters tenancy in two ways. First, details on available units can be promoted to prospective tenants. More importantly, tenants will see that the promotional impact of an LED sign is available to them as a part of their tenancy.
Savvy businesses know that on premise advertising is effective. The National Signage Research and Education Conference reports that 59% of small business owners report increased sales after installing an on premise sign. Multi-tenant retail locations have seen how a sign becomes a draw for tenants. Given the choice between two properties in close proximity, smart retail businesses know the importance of a location served by digital signage, and the positive effect it can have on their store traffic.
Once a digital sign has attracted tenants, multi-tenant retail properties can include the use of on premise digital signage into their lease agreements, or set a rate schedule for tenants to purchase desire messages on the sign. Drawing in new tenants with free initial sign exposure can show them the possibilities available. Encouraging tenants to use a trackable promotion that is only promoted on the property’s sign will demonstrate the proficiency of digital.
Traditional tenant panels are important, but a digital sign can complement simple identification with promotions, location information, seasonal specials and inventory-adjusting sales. The digital medium itself attracts a tech-savvy and highly desirable consumer group – millennial buyers. According to Accenture research, over 77% of consumers born after the mid-1990s say that brick and mortar stores are their preferred shopping channel. But these consumers require a “personal” shopping experience that they achieve through the use of social media and other technologies.
Maher Masri, an associate principal with management consultants McKinsey & Company, said it this way, “I don’t think we’ll ever see stores go away, but retailers understand that they need to be multichannel or they’re not going to be around for long.” A recent publication on the three biggest challenges facing brick and mortar store by digital brand marketers, Migo IQ, affirms this. Their report states that when technology serves as a catalyst for a customized, real-world experience, the future is hopeful for brick and mortar businesses.
For multi-tenant retail properties who wisely choose digital signage, some practical matters need to be addressed. Who will manage content? This is a fundamental question and one that carries the loudest objections from property managers who worry about staffing. Many administrative people see the addition of digital signage as an extra task for them. Certainly, easy to use software is essential to building quality content that isn’t complicated or takes a lot of time. But as a potential source of revenue, property managers can think outside the box on content creation and management.
Today there are several firms specializing in content creation and management for digital signage. It’s even possible that the sign dealer who designed and installed your sign may have the means to assist with content. Estimated cost for these services can vary from $500 - $1000 a month depending on the size of your property, content requirements and tenant coordination. The dividends this can pay to your property in stable tenant occupancy and thriving retailers makes it worth considering.
The addition of 4G wireless sign management has been a big plus for remote sign management. With different levels of access, you can approve tenants to update their own schedules and make changes that are responsive to the market they serve.
Traditional forms of advertising show little results, and can become more costly overtime. Digital signage, on the other hand, has the ability to attract customers easily and effectively. Multi-tenant retail locations can use this powerful advertising tool by creating a premier destination for their tenants and customers.