Carousel Digital Signage has both simplified and centralised corporate and customer communications for Acme Tools, a premier retailer of tools and equipment. The retailer’s Carousel Cloud digital signage network currently spans across six of its ten brick-and-mortar stores and the company’s headquarters, with additional store rollouts expected.
Founded in 1948, the Midwest retailer had long relied on DVDs to share information with staff and shoppers inside their Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota retail stores. The tide shifted two years ago when the management team at Acme Tools discovered the benefits that digital signage brings as a communications platform.
“We had a very outdated approach to information sharing and we wanted to streamline our delivery,” said Autumn Graber, Acme Tools Marketing Manager. “We also wanted to collaborate with each store individually, and use a system that was scalable to our needs and quick to update. The workflow within our marketing department is far more efficient and improved with Carousel Cloud, and we can now share product information, store events and other important information to our customers without spending hours editing graphics, formatting and burning content to DVDs, and shipping them to stores. Most importantly, we have the flexibility to add content that is unique to each store.”
The ability to target content has been especially well-timed given that the network launched in early December – just in time for snow season. This allowed the marketing team to heavily promote sales and rentals for snow removal equipment in North Dakota and Minnesota earlier than in Iowa, where the winters are milder and start later. “We can flexibly schedule video demonstrations and information on snow blowers and other products that we want our customers to see, down to the store,” said Autumn. “When that hyper-local targeting is no longer needed, we can revert to sharing the same content and playlists across the entire retail network.”
The success of the retail rollout inspired the company to extend the network’s reach into its North Dakota corporate office, where they use Carousel Cloud to communicate company information with employees and visitors in the main lobby. While Carousel Cloud is the first digital signage to be used in Acme Tools stores, the Carousel solution replaced a very basic digital signage system at their headquarters.
“Once we learned how easy it was to learn and use Carousel and how slick the content looked, we added a Carousel Cloud license for our corporate office,” said Autumn. “We were up and running quickly with a genuine corporate channel, and it’s a great tool for our HRdepartment to communicate news and events from inside the company.”
While most content for the network is created by partners, Autumn added that she and her colleagues can build and schedule new playlists “within minutes”. All network operations are managed from Acme Tools corporate office, including the management and scheduling of sponsor advertisements that will help Acme Tools monetize the network.
Along with an expected ROI through advertising, Acme Tools is saving considerable time and effort by leaving the DVD era behind. In addition to the time- and labor-intensive processes that are often further amplified by equipment failures, they are no longer reliant on local staff to receive and play DVDs. With dynamic and up-to-date digital signage content playing out on large displays behind customer service counters, workers can exclusively focus on sales and service.
“Carousel Cloud gives us a very strong marketing tool inside our stores that has made a difference when it comes to the customer experience,” she said. “With the first screens outperforming expectations, we’re planning to expand the network to our remaining four stores, as well as the showroom at our separate heavy equipment location.