Merchant Mechanics became the first to define the dynamics of consumer attention and message responsiveness with respect to time of day, pioneering the understanding and application of in-store “dayparting” in dynamic digital signage.
Non-traditional retail spaces such as banks, utilities and other service-based industries typically have more responsibility for the entire customer experience beyond the lease-line because they have fewer partners available to contribute to consumer-facing marketing, merchandising and product offerings. Sometimes the only interaction of interest to the consumer is with a human representative. The remainder of the experience provides little in the way of the typical retail shopping activities that help define the consumer experience in traditional selling environments. Thus, the owner and primary vendor bears more responsibility for effectively and efficiently managing the consumer’s experience from the time they cross the threshold to the time they interact with a customer service representative.
The United States Postal Service is a prototypical non-traditional vendor. USPS turned to Merchant Mechanics to better understand their customers’ experience and learn how to improve it. Our task: reduce and prevent queue abandonment and increase customer satisfaction. In the process of accomplishing these primary goals, Merchant Mechanics became the first to define the dynamics of consumer attention and message responsiveness with respect to time of day, pioneering the understanding and application of in-store “dayparting” in dynamic digital signage. In addition, Merchant Mechanics discovered and defined the link between engaging cash-wraps and perceived wait times, demonstrating clear linkages with customer satisfaction.
The United States Postal Service
Reduce queue abandonment and increase customer satisfaction in branches with high traffic and limited staff, through optimization of digital signage.
Merchant Mechanics conducted a controlled test of the effects of digital signage placement and content on key behaviors and attitudes regarding consumers’ USPS experience.
Through our combination of quantitative analysis and expert interpretation, digital signage placement and message content were optimized, exceeding the desired positive change in customer satisfaction and reduction in queue abandonment. As behaviors and attitudes improved, incremental purchases for digitally advertised products increased significantly. Importantly, Merchant Mechanics discovered that with no digital signage, customers tended to significantly overestimate their wait times. The installation of digital signage effectively brought perceived wait times in-line with actual wait times, as a result of increased positive engagement with signage content and a reduction in attention to the inconvenience of waiting.
We recorded significant improvements in both objective and subjective aspects of the customer experience including:
- Reductions in queue abandonment
- Improvements in customer satisfaction
- Improvements in comparative ratings versus competitive shipping options
- Marked decline in perceived wait times
- Matching typical wait times with message lengths led directly to increases in number of full-length messages viewed by customers
- Improved recall of message content
- More attention directed to in-queue product displays increased incremental sales of cards, collectibles and packing materials