Casinos are usually pretty good at knowing how to generate money, but a recent research project may help point the way to increased revenue with digital signage rather than making wagers or bluffing at the card time.
In Understanding the Effect of Digital Signage on Sales and Promotions, four Ontario casinos were rigged with displays to see how they could be used to encourage more spending on restaurant items and increase participation in loyalty programs. The project was a collaboration between Markham, Ont.-based Capital Networks, Ontario Lottery & Gaming, EdCom, Research Strategy Group and Intel.
Casinos in Brantford, Thousand Islands and Sault Ste. Marie all used digital signs equipped with sensors to collect information on how often they were viewed, and for how long. A fourth casino in Thunder Bay was left without digital signage to serve as a control group. The digital signs featured various promotions, and while three served up the content dynamically, one casino featured only static digital signage. The group followed up with qualitative interviews of patrons following the initial research, which was conducted in three phases over a number of weeks.
- When the signs were used to promote specific food items, sales increased. Crab and lobster dip sales, for example, shot up 40 percent and 32 percent at the casinos with dynamic digital signage, while staying more or less flat for the casinos with a static sign or no sign at all. The effect was even better when the signs were used to advertise pot roasts, where sales shot up 127 percent at one of the casinos.
- The digital signs were also effective in promoting giveaways like a free tot bag. Though qualitative interviews showed that the information needed to be clearer, some tweaking along the way saw tote bag giveaways spike dramatically, representing six percent of the entire casino audience.
- The effect on loyalty program signups was far more muted, leading the researchers to conclude that digital signage may not be as effective for actions which require more complex explanations.
“The average exposure time per visitor tended to be in the range of 2-3 seconds. This has implications for content design,” the report says. “Like billboard advertising, digital ads are a glance medium. Content should be designed so that it allows the message to be absorbed at any point during viewing.”
Anyone interested in learning more can download the complete 23-page report for free here. And why not? If you’re going to invest in interactive displays, there’s no reason to gamble with your success.