Boots picks Advantech for health and beauty signage

  • July 20, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Taiwanese firm Advantech’s DS-082 slim digital signage player was put to the test in a recent wide-scale, in-store implementation for the Boots health and beauty retailer and pharmacy chain.

The UK-based chain serves Europe and parts of Asia with more than 2300 locations. The retailer maintains a strong presence on the high streets and in shopping centres where every square centimetre of available space must be optimised with effective and eye-pleasing promotional content.

The health and beauty retailers and pharmacies lining high streets and shopping malls compete fiercely for customer foot traffic. Particularly in neighbourhoods where available real estate is in short supply and expensive to occupy, these retailers look for every opportunity to grow their thin profit margins while simultaneously growing a loyal base of satisfied customers.

In metro environments where competing retailers are often closely situated – sometimes directly across the street from each other – the competition is greater.

The visual aesthetic of the retailer can make a huge difference in enticing foot traffic, and the quality of the shopping experience inside hinges in large part on optimising available space with eye grabbing promotional content that drives sales and efficiently guides shoppers on their way through the store aisles.

Digital signage is playing an increasingly vital role in helping these health and beauty retailers sharpen their competitive edge, enabling rich, dynamic multimedia content displays that enhance the overall shopping experience. But the advantages of digital signage compared with static, print marketing displays don’t stop there.

For any business, printed sales collateral can be an expensive proposition. For retailers cycling their signage on an almost daily basis to advertise special product offers, the cumulative print costs can be a significant concern, as can the environmental waste.

The digital signage platforms optimised for health and beauty retailers and pharmacies require a careful balance of graphics processing power, energy efficiency and display configurability, among other key attributes. For more upscale retailers promoting premium beauty and wellness products, high quality graphics is an especially important consideration.

When selling glamour, dazzling digital displays can help capture brand and product essence in ways that low-resolution, slow performing graphics cannot.

These design ambitions were top of mind for Advantech. Its expertise in digital signage has been cultivated over decades of experience catering to retailers’ business and technology needs. Performance and scalability are key attributes when it comes to digital signage implementations, and they’re every bit as important at the hardware level, particularly the processing layer.

For the DS-082 player, Advantech chose AMD’s Ryzen embedded V1000 and R1000 processors to achieve its design goals for a seamlessly scalable digital signage product targeted for retail environments of all sizes and budgets.

Measuring 19mms thick, the DS-082 digital signage players are among the slimmest in the industry but have packed inside features that distinguish them for space-constrained retail environments.

The players deliver AMD Radeon HD graphics quality to enable a visual experience.

For the deployment at Boots, the DS-082 entices shoppers with rich, dynamic graphics at 4K resolution. And it lets Boots phase out some of its costly and shelf-life-limited print advertising content, replacing it with high-definition digital content that can be updated and administered via push button in a low power footprint.

The players support multi-display configurations spanning up to four independent HDMI 2.0 displays with up to 4K UHD resolution (3840 x 2160 at 60Hz). This capability lets retailers flexibly deploy digital signage in a wide range of configurations – from aisle-way signage to point of sale (PoS) displays to full video walls, if desired. All this can be powered with an elegantly designed and compact signage player that tucks behind shelving, endcaps and the display monitors themselves.

The processors enable power profiles as low as 15W CPU TDP. This helps enable efficient power usage and lowered energy bills, and allows for fanless system designs that stop the ingress of dust and debris common to high-traffic retail environments, thereby improving reliability by reducing maintenance and downtime.

At the facility level, low power digital signage can also help reduce heat dissipation and air conditioning expenses, a valuable attribute in hot weather and warm climates. Fanless designs further enhance the shopping environment with silent operations that don’t distract from in-store audio programming.

Users can select from performance, power and multi-display configurability options based on their needs and use cases. This is made possible by the breadth and scalability of the AMD Ryzen processors

And Boots outfitted with Advantech’s DS-082 digital signage players now has a new way to compete for shoppers’ attention and sales amid the hustle and bustle – and glamour – of the high street.