DFS uses digital signage to maximise store space

PAI has assisted DFS in rolling out digital signage to its portfolio of 110 stores in the UK to improve conversion.

The combination of digital signage and accompanying tablets for store staff allows the retailer to maximise store space. Customers interested in sofa colours, which may not be on display in-store, can be presented with a life-size image to help them make their decision.

Prior to installing the screens, DFS staff would show their extended range on tablet devices, but it was difficult to show the scale of the product. Now DFS employees can find the sofa on their tablet devices and “flick” the image onto the nearest digital screen. DFS have nicknamed the technology ‘Swoosh’. The platform has been tailored to DFS’ exact needs, and its flexibility enables PAI to deliver similar bespoke solutions to other retailers across the UK and Europe.

Russell Harte, Group Technical Director at DFS, said: “A customer holding a fabric book with an image of a sofa on the screen bought a sofa without ever sitting on it – this creates legends and myths within our organisation.”

The digital signage technology – designed by Videro and Salmon and integrated by PAI – was first trialed at a small-format store in Stratford and then rolled out to the entire store estate.

“It was faster than we wanted, but it just had such an impact on sales – on customers who were trying to make a decision between colours – it extended the range and was so easy to use,” explained Harte.

Speaking at the Salmon 2020 conference in London, he explained DFS staff have sometimes struggled with online sales, seeing eCommerce as a competitor, due to their commission-based earnings structure. Now DFS has given its store staff the correct online tools, thus significantly improving conversion.