By Daniel Hunter

In the UK, 100% of retailers polled say that they need to adapt and broaden their market focus to drive growth, finds a survey by Epson. As a result, and despite current economic pressures, over half of UK retailers are optimistic that their budgets for in-store point of sale (POS) advertising will increase substantially by 2020.

The Epson 20|20 Vision Survey interviewed 500 retail brand and marketing managers across the five largest European economies — the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain — to evaluate the retail industry’s use of in-store print and electronic POS signage today, and how it will change by 2020 to support their business goals.

In-store retail advertising across Europe, and especially in the UK, is set for major change as companies operate in an increasingly competitive market. The need to change business direction to expand into mass, specialist or regional markets and to target new socio-economic groups is the key challenge facing UK retailers today.

As a result, the Epson survey shows that retailers plan to implement highly focussed in-store promotional campaigns that use a mix of print and electronic signage to accurately target customers by age, gender and product value.

While there is an expected major increase in POS budgets, in the future retailers are looking for increased efficiency and control, reduced costs, better evaluation of campaign results and a greater return on investment.

“The research findings are interesting and certainly echo the trends we are already experiencing in the sector,” says James Henry, Head of Retail, Intermarketing Agency.

“As a retail marketing agency our focus has always been on providing the best possible POS solutions based on our clients’ needs, brands and budgets and having a view on return on investment. We’ve already started to see significant growth in digital POS. This is enabling us to deliver highly targeted and tactical campaigns that we can tailor based on targets, sales and seasonality.

"Face recognition, proximity sensors, footfall tracking and many other advances make digital POS increasingly well targeted and effective. Plus with its fast turnaround and low cost, it allows us to deploy campaigns quickly and cost effectively. Our in-store campaigns are always supported by printed POS that enhances the experience and provides an ‘always on’ brand message regardless of the digital element.

"POS can help enhance the retail experience and drive an emotional brand connection, whilst also delivering a more rational product offer message, which is key at that zero moment of truth — the point where a purchase decision is made.”

Nick White, Business Manager, Professional graphics, Epson, said: “The Epson 20|20 Vision survey shows how UK retailers are planning to diversify to protect their business and expand over the next few years

“While there is an expected increase in POS budgets, business leaders will demand higher ROI and increased efficiencies, demanding careful selection and deployment of promotional medium. Both print-based and electronic POS media will play important roles in retailers’ on-going efforts to develop customer relationships and drive increased sales.”

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