Parkers Convenience Stores is a popular multi-purpose store group with branches across Georgia and South Carolina. Its aim is to offer a smart alternative to traditional convenience stores and it uses displays within its premises to provide customers with digital menus and advertising. Content for these displays was being uploaded manually within each store and advertising was being delivered by DVD players and updated once a month via new DVDs.
The Tech Decision
The cost for Parkers of having its employees travel around its 44 stores to update and upload content for the in-store displays was very high in terms of both time and money. The organization wanted to find a way to manage content across its IP network from one server at its central HQ, and was particularly interested in a solution that would enable them to make rapid changes to menu choices, or quickly deliver customer offers.
Parkers Convenience Stores decided on Cabletime’s MediaStar IPTV system. This could utilize the existing IP network at the store to deliver content to an unlimited number of displays and TVs. Also installed was MediaStar Media Manager software. This operates at the core of the system and allows one central administrator to control the scheduling, acquisition and delivery of content to the MediaStar players installed in each store, as needed. Updates and changes can be pushed out on demand, and Parkers now have the flexibility to run a variety of advertising and marketing campaigns throughout the day.
The success of the installation is such that Parkers has now started to install two displays in stores where a food service is offered and the plans are to expand the IPTV network further with the installation of more MediaStar units.
“Using our staff to travel to different stores to provide content on a USB stick was time consuming and expensive,” says Stephen Hines, C.T.O. at Parkers Convenience Stores. “If we wanted to change even one item on a menu, or provide a two-for-one offer for a short period, we had to get this delivered specially. Even once we started emailing content files, they still needed to be uploaded on a USB drive.
“Now updates are almost instantaneous and we can schedule them to keep customers interested without distracting them too much from their shopping. Installation of the MediaStar system was quick and it’s easy to use, we’ve had no problems with any of the hardware so it’s been pretty bulletproof. But the main benefit has been the savings in time, which of course always equates to a saving in money.”
The displays are proving so popular with customers that Parkers is now considering MediaStar video walls which will utilize more MediaStar signage solutions, and create more impact.