How A Little Retail Guy Did Digital

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Here’s a case that shows that even small individual retailers are getting into digital signage, and not always to sell packaged goods or fashion.

That Photo Shoppe, a small retailer located in picturesque Anacortes, Washington, recently used advancedMethod’s ‘express’ digital signage system during a recent town event in an effort to stand out from the competition.

That Photo Shoppe specializes in digital photography, fine art printing, print restoration, and custom photo gifts. It offers photographic training classes, editing classes, and photo production services; as well as offering samples of some of the best photography from local artists for sale in their store.

The Anacortes community sponsors monthly Art Walks to promote local artists and photographers, events in which Photo Shoppe participates. For the March 6/09 Anacortes Art Walk, That Photo Shoppe decided that it needed an innovative, eye-catching way to showcase its photographers so they would stand out to art enthusiasts. To accomplish that, it chose to use digital signage, selecting Seattle-based advancedMethod and its express digital signage system.

advancedMethod, founded in 2002 and acquired by EIKI Digital Systems in 2008, offers express, as well as Engage, a video marketing service, and .am.os – described as a digital signage operating system for displays.

express is an easy-to-use, easy-to-update and easy-to-buy digital solution. It includes the basic player and software necessary to create a client’s own content right out of the box, plus industry-related templates, and even ‘live’ news feeds. It is designed to dramatically simplify the deployment of digital signage, whether that means to a single sign or a gigantic network.

“In addition, it is constantly updated so that the client can receive new templates, news and other material through the Internet,” says Kasie Dawkins, public relations spokesperson for advancedMethod.

That Photo Shoppe received its express unit the afternoon of the Art Walk and created professional-looking content on the program’s Slide Maker, showcasing the desired work within hours. The staff then projected its newly created slides on a 50″ rear projection screen placed in their storefront window where art walkers would be able to see a changing show of photography and be drawn into the store itself.

Photo Shoppe became the star attraction of the Art Walk with the help of express. That Photo Shoppe was able to receive express, get it up and running, create its own content, and steal the Art Walk spotlight all in the course of an afternoon.

Karla Locke, owner of That Photo Shoppe, says, “It lit up the whole front of the store catching people’s attention for blocks. It drew many customers, both new and old, into our store. express made Art Walk a huge success for That Photo Shoppe.”

That Photo Shoppe is holding onto its express, with plans to use it for many other occasions in the future. (Ironically, there were no good photos taken of That Photo Shoppe’s digital window.)

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