Retail-focused technology integration firm Abierto recently conducted a blind study of convenience store shoppers and found that LG’s 14mm pixel pitch Transparent LED Film (model LAT140) encourages spontaneous purchases, deeply enforces messaging recall and improves brand perception. The new LG technology, which Abierto has rebranded OPEN.LED as part of its OPEN platform of digital signage products and services, was tested at a Café Nouria convenience store in Maine and garnered immediate unanimous approval from shoppers who weren’t told which part of their visit was being studied.
A convenience store’s bottom line depends on in-store foot traffic, but according the NACS’ Consumer Insights 2019 report on Consumer Behavior at the Pump, 56 percent of fuel customers don’t go inside the store. Donovan Woods of the Fuels Institute said, “In fact, the average person spends a total of 3 hours per year at the pump fueling their vehicles. These recurring 3 to 5 minute fueling visits provide excellent opportunities for retailers to market to them.”
“For obvious reasons, even fewer consumers entered stores during the pandemic, and retailers are now looking for ways to entice them to return and shop the store” added Rick Sales, President of Abierto. “To date, the most common exterior-facing signage solutions have been traditional flat panel displays and low-resolution LED window signage, both of which have significant drawbacks. We found that an OPEN.LED display promoting quality foods and displaying animated graphics directly encourages spontaneous purchases and improves the brand’s perception as a more modern, upscale convenience store.”
The LG Transparent LED film is especially beneficial for fueling station convenience stores, as the 73-percent transparent technology enables dynamic digital advertising while retaining employees’ ability to monitor individual fueling pumps and parking lots. The transparency also gives customers an unhindered view of the store interior and provides tinting against glare. This is a major change from window-facing flat panel displays, which can completely block large sections of windows and may negatively affect in-store aesthetics due to unsightly wires and rear panel visibility.
According to Abierto, the advantages of LG’s LED film go well beyond visual quality and transparency, providing the option to build digital canvases in custom sizes and presenting a much simpler installation process than alternative technologies.
“LG’s 14mm transparent LED film is self-adhesive and consists of tiles that piece together, so any window can become home to a vibrant, attractive digital signage solution that requires no specialized mounts or infrastructure,” Sales added. “As part of our OPEN family of digital signage solutions that includes cloud-based content management, an entire chain’s OPEN.LED displays and other existing signage can be centrally managed, enabling near-instant company-wide messaging and promotion updates or to direct targeted messaging to specific sites testing new products.”
Because it is an extremely light weight self-adhesive film, the installation process is worlds away from window-facing flat panels, which require significant mounting infrastructure and can weigh hundreds of pounds for a video wall. Abierto was also impressed with the brightness and clarity of the 2,100 nit, 14mm pixel pitch solution, which has an ideal viewing distance of 25-75 feet, down from the 150-foot optimal distance typical of existing 24mm LED film solutions. According to LG, this installation is precisely what the LAT140 LED film was designed for.
“Collaborating with Abierto has demonstrated the benefits of our Transparent LED film technology, with its OPEN.LED solution offering convenience store owners a content canvas to increase consumer actions,” said Karl Jackson, senior manager, LG Business Solutions USA. “Any window can now become a prime platform for advertising convenience purchases and attracting more customers than easy-to-ignore paper signage.”
Carolyn Schnare, host of the NACS Convenience Matters Podcast put it best in her podcast about the importance of using solutions like OPEN.LED to communicate with consumers at convenience stores. “C-Stores have remained open during the pandemic providing many new and essential services. Communicating that, and what’s inside the store right now is imperative to retailer success.”
On top of the 14mm LED film’s ease of installation, customizable size, curvability and stunning visual characteristics, LG has also ensured that its content management is easier than ever through native compatibility with LG webOS-based digital media players and LG’s Control Manager software, which is available on any internet-connected device. Through Control Manager, users can update and set timed schedules for content and automatic brightness adjustment throughout the day, in addition to monitoring real-time activity.
“LG webOS is important to these projects and to the product, offering simple content management tools and is baked into our OPEN.CMS solution to provide effortless content management across LG digital displays at any number of locations,” Sales said. “Combined with LG’s LED film technology that can be customized to fit virtually any size window and deliver virtually any desired aspect ratio, the content possibilities are almost limitless.”
Abierto’s OPEN platform is designed to distribute content to all types of displays a convenience store may deploy, including OPEN.LED signage, existing flat panels, menu boards, and even screens on fountain soda machines. This enables brands to develop a comprehensive “customer journey” experience, where a customer may be enticed to go inside by an OPEN.LED display, then given more information about new sales items, promotions or local information on smaller displays. With Abierto’s Content Creator software, content can be automatically formatted for each display’s parameters, further simplifying the process and enabling rapid updates.
“Many brands under-utilize digital signage because it’s difficult to update, or they are still relying on costly, inefficient paper signage that is impossible to update and also difficult to deploy,” Sales said, “the OPEN platform offers a better, easier solution that can increase foot traffic, improve message retention and raise brand perception all at once. While our initial study didn’t measure repeat visits or long-term branding effects, it’s clear that stores that use LG Transparent LED Film effectively have the opportunity to truly differentiate themselves from local competitors.”