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Retail bank newcomer turns to digital signage to build customer base

WARSAW, Poland — DDS Poland, a Scala Certified Partner, has created an innovative interactive multi-touchpoint digital media network for Alior Bank, Poland’s newest bank.

In the world of retail banking, Alior Bank S.A. is a newcomer. Launched across Poland in November 2008, it opened 80 financial service centers and eight business centers across 10 regions in Poland’s largest cities. Alior hopes to gain market share of between two to four percent of the retail banking sector in Poland and win the confidence and business of more than one million new customers.

Alior faced early challenges. As a new banking brand, it had to develop a customer base from scratch. Alior turned to its stores as its main communications channel. In its banks, customers were invited to experience its brand and investigate products and services. Especially important for Alior was giving its customers an eco-friendly environment. Alior committed to reducing its carbon footprint and aimed to decrease its printed leaflets, brochures, statements and other paper-based products by 50 percent compared to traditional retail banking businesses.

Alior realized that digital retail media would enable them to demonstrate efficiency, modernity and technical competence while also supporting its “green” values.

“The application of the Scala platform across Alior’s customer touchpoints gives customers a more holistic and visually stimulating experience. Considering that Alior is planning more Scala-driven innovations, I look forward to working with DDS for continued success in the future,” said Alain Bodenstedt, director, Partner Sales, EMEA, Scala.

If digital was Alior’s medium of choice, presentation would be key in engaging and informing customers.

A process of research and evaluation led Alior and DDS Poland to develop a multiple touchpoint approach that took advantage of the way customers move through and engage in retail environments, known as the “customer journey.” Alior and DDS Poland recognized that several key touchpoints existed within a typical customer journey and designed a solution to fit:

Front of store: High-impact, brief, product- and brand-building content is displayed on the storefront window enabling messages to reach passersby on the street. This content is designed to quickly engage, build brand recall and present a call to action, either to visit the bank or Alior’s Web site for more information. A powerful projection system broadcasts content onto a thin transparent film attached to the inside of the window, producing clear and impactful messaging.

Welcome area: As a customer enters Alior Bank, he or she is greeted with a network of large-format (40-inch) plasma and LCD screens designed to help inform and guide them to the appropriate place. These screens also show localized news and weather content from selected Web/RSS feeds presented within an Alior-branded template designed with Scala software. Authorized staff can update key information in advance or in real time.

Counters: Screens at service counters provide part of the queue management system. While Alior promotes its products and services, having something to watch while they queue gives customers the impression that their wait time is shorter. Once a customer does reach a counter they are likely to feel more positive and better informed than they would be without the network.

Banking consultants and rest of store: Further “broadcast screens” (“one-way” communication channels) are located in key areas throughout the bank, including consulting areas and other areas where queuing is likely.

Self-service interactive touch screens: In addition to the broadcast screens, Alior and DDS Poland designed and implemented separate interactive 17-inch screens complete with touch-sensitive capability enabling customers to select, store and even email key information to their personal accounts. Not only do they provide customers with instant access to information quickly, these kiosks also considerably reduce the amount of paper and other collateral traditionally produced by banks.

DDS Poland chose the Scala platform to power the generation, scheduling and reporting of all Alior and third-party content across these multiple digital channels to ensure it was integrated, seamless and of a consistently high quality. DDS Poland also required software that could scale up to 1,000 sites, and Scala’s ability to scale up to tens of thousands of screens without redesign or alignment costs made it the right choice.

“This is a great example of the medium (a digital network) acting as significant contributor to the message. The fit between Alior’s goals to reduce their carbon footprint, to offer customers a range of interactive digital experiences and to support their modern approach to retail banking was perfect. I am very pleased that Scala was chosen to power this network and we look forward to working with DDS Poland and Alior Bank as they develop this unique and exciting proposition,” commented Oscar Elizaga, VP EMEA, Scala.

Alior has built the existing multichannel approach into their store concepts for 2009, and customer research conducted in 2009 will indicate how the service is used by customers and which parts are of most value to clarify areas for further development in 2010.

“The Alior Bank digital retail project is undoubtedly the most advanced implementation of its type in Poland and a leading example of how converged media can work seamlessly to contribute to business growth, improved customer experience and reinforcement of core brand values. I am proud to say that the network has reduced the bank’s carbon footprint and made a visible positive difference in the way they do business. Alior’s network has been a great success, as confirmed by the interest it has generated in the rest of the financial market in Poland,” said Leszek Golonka, managing director, DDS Poland. 

digital signage to build customer base