The Benefits of Video Conferencing and Audio Visual in Retail

The video conferencing and audio visual world has seen a lot of improvement in the last decade. This has translated to massive changes to the way many businesses operate.

One of the biggest advantages of video conferencing to the retail sector is the ability to meet with personnel that are in remote locations without having to face the travel expenses associated with face to face communication, or having to deal with time lost to travelling.

In this piece we will take a look at the benefits of meeting room technology, and how several notable companies are using it in their daily processes.

Video conferencing makes it easier for retail businesses to also organise training for some or all of their staff. They can organise product launches without encroaching on the busy schedule of the business, and without the wasted time of meeting sessions being postponed when people can’t make it. All staff members also get first-hand information from meetings instead of relying on the summarised version of meeting details from a representative, as is often the case where the business is looking to save money on travel costs. The waterfall effect of communications down an organisation is much more reliable.

Video Collaboration for Business Continuity

So why is video conferencing beneficial to the retail sector?

  • Faster crisis management and product time to market
  • Improvements in employee morale
  • Improved communication, which is important for inventory management and so much more
  • Better engagement of human capital resources
  • Improved decision making and communication between company experts and leaders
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduction in travel expenses

AV systems used in retail include presentation and collaboration systems, like the Barco Clickshare, as well as background music systems for the halls of retail outlets. Some of the bigger businesses also use AV systems that integrate sound, video, system automation and control in their large meeting and demonstration rooms.

digital signage retail

Why are AV systems important to the retail sector?

  • They improve efficiency of video conferencing systems installed
  • They reduce the need for printed materials
  • They take care of all presentation needs – offering more engagement and interactivity
  • Digital signage promotes an easier flow of information to employees and customers alike

Let’s now take a look below at some retail businesses that have deployed these technologies to good effect over the last few years.

With 326 supermarkets in the country, ASDA is undoubtedly one of the biggest retail outlets in the UK. To enhance their quality of service, whilst continuing to hit business targets, the company deployed a range of AV solutions across their supermarkets.

On the AV front, the company has high definition screens set up that beam entertainment to customers. Parts of the TV bay have dedicated screens that display BBC TV through high definition signals. This has made it possible for customers to enjoy and appreciate high quality sound and pictures while shopping. The sound and lighting in the stores are also fully integrated allowing one touch control.

There is also a unique ASDA chart show which is displayed on 32” NEC screens. The screens fit in perfectly in the header panels.

It has been well publicised that ASDA has been doing good business over recent years. Their AV and video conferencing technology has been a major facilitator of their success.

With over 2,500 stores in the UK, SPAR is another big player in the retail sector. To help improve communication and save travel costs to and from meetings, the company deployed the Avaya Scopia video conferencing solution. This solution is now used for meetings between executives, communication between the thousands of stores and head office, and collaboration amongst workers in each store.

There are also a host of AV solutions intertwined with digital signage to deliver a more engaging shopping experience. Chief among these are the product display screens connected to one hub that allow easy presentation and advertisement of newly launched products. In part due to the massive benefits achieved with the AV and video conferencing solutions deployed, the company has continued to achieve its targets set, across the board.

John Lewis, UK
John Lewis is one of the most respected retailers in Britain. It has a reputation for quality and value. To further improve the customer experience in their stores, the company embraced AV solutions. Some of the technologies deployed include televisions with a range of ‘always-on’ signal connections, HDTV from a variety of Sky HD receivers, a direct connection that enables FreeSat for each TV receiver and terrestrial Freeview signals for the TV tuners. All of these have helped improve the quality of entertainment on the shop floors.

In the meeting rooms, video conferencing has helped the company enhance communications efficiency and bring in more stakeholders to meetings.

The retail world is highly competitive. Businesses in the sector are always looking for ways to be more competitive, whilst reducing overhead costs. Video conferencing and AV solutions are now driving the processes and efficiency of retail outlets around the country. The solutions are now so good that they can pay for themselves in months, or weeks. Looking forward it is hard to see how companies will be able to be competitive without deploying suitable installations across their network of stores and locations.