Tokyo’s Largest Retail Consumer Electronic Store Enhances Customer Experience with YodbiTV Network
While many companies may consider themselves forward-looking, Tokyo-based Yodobashi Camera Co. Ltd. brings a whole new meaning to the concept. Yodobashi’s strategy is to continuously upgrade its store marketing in preparation for future business, even when times are good. In other words, the company has turned the well-known saying “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” on its head. Yodobashi’s approach is: “if it ain’t broken, fix it anyway”. And that is why the company decided to reconsider the customer experience throughout their stores.
Since its founding in 1960, Yodobashi Camera has expanded from a specialist camera store into a large consumer electronics enterprise with an ever-widening product range that includes PCs, office automation equipment, digital and film cameras, audio and video equipment, electric appliances for the home, watches, communications equipment and computer games and software. With over $6.7 billion in sales revenues from 20 locations around the country, about one-third of the revenue is generated from their flagship stores, Akihabara in Tokyo and Umeda in Osaka. While Akihabara gets more attention because it is in Tokyo, the Umeda store has slightly higher revenues; the two stores are the top retail stores in Japan in customer traffic and number of visitors.
To present a better customer experience, Yodobashi Camera, with the help of Vanten – a Scala Certified Partner, conceived YodobiTV, a digital information network that would: provide a medium for advertisers to target customers at the point of sale; provide a solution to enhance the display of timely promotions throughout the store; be visually in sync with printed POP materials and respond to changes in the marketing strategy that could change in as little as 24 hours. To represent Yodobashi Camera’s high tech, quality image, content on YodobiTV must be high-definition and high production quality.
The solution to Yodobashi’s requirement for a YodobiTV was the deployment of Vanten’s EngageMedia digital signage solution based on Scala InfoChannel. Positioned at strategic locations in the store, 46” LCD screens, in portrait mode, are deployed encompassing high traffic areas of the store. Content, managed and provided by Vanten, is coordinated with the existing EngageMedia system running the outdoor 10m x 3m LED Yodobashi-vision screen. This coordination ensures the message is consistent throughout the store. Coordination between the in-store network and the outdoor screen allows Yodobashi to make real-time changes to accommodate in-store promotions.
The pilot in Akihabara has proven to be a great success and plans are already underway to expand YodobiTV to Umeda in Osaka. The goal of enhancing the customer experience has been attained with such benefits as:
- Promotions can be instantly announced from the push of a cell phone button
- Database content such as top ranking sales items by category, new PCs, new products, store features are sync’d with outdoor LED and require no extra overhead operations
- Commercial creative content run variations based on weather – more air conditioner ads on hot days, more dehumidifier ads on rainy days
- YodobiTV can leverage the rich pool of content that was created for Yodobashi-vision operations over the past two years.
“Yodobashi and Vanten are setting a new standard for in-store media with YodobiTV,” says Neil van Wouw, CEO of Vanten K.K. “The power of Scala InfoChannel together with EngageMedia is an unbeatable combination.”