Newsletter no.2 May / 2022
Contemporary technology that makes products come alive
Baden-Baden, 25th of May, 2022
For a decade, Permaplay Media Solutions GmbH in Baden-Baden has been one of the leading developers and providers of sales-motivational POS media. Their formula for success: Recognizing trends at the POS, finding technically mature solutions and providing partners with as much added value as possible. What does Permaplay offer its customers in its anniversary year?
"It’s a truism that commerce is changing, and this is becoming more and more obvious these days," notes Werner Vogt, Managing Director of Permaplay Media Solutions. "Today, the customer journey begins primarily online on the smartphone and increasingly leads to ordering the goods online – unless there are good reasons to enter a POS. These reasons must include added values and benefits that are then definitely redeemed at the POS. Modern, networked media are of crucial importance, as they present the real product in a digital-media-supported environment."
However, the images for product presentation only really "learned to walk" when the Super 8 film format was introduced. Werner Vogt, Managing Director of Permaplay Media Solutions, who was already working in the POS media industry in those days, remembers: "Super 8 films were inexpensive and handy. But it wasn't until a special endless reel was developed that the format became suitable for use at the POS and offered real moving color images with sound in salesrooms and shop windows. Products advertised audio-visually in this way sold magnificently – as did the Super 8 systems themselves, many thousands of which have been in use for years for sales promotion."
After trials with a 30 centimeter diameter video disk that was too large for POS use, the 15-year triumph of the Video Home System, or VHS for short, began at the end of the 1970s. Developed in the entertainment electronics industry for time-independent playback of video films, the advantages of the video system soon became apparent in POS applications as well: complete video combinations of player and screen in attractive housings. At that time, Werner Vogt, as managing director of Videotronic International, had himself strongly influenced the triumphant advance of this POS medium through in-house developments such as the VHS 360 POS device: "With automatic start-up when power is supplied, front speakers for addressing customers directly, infrared sensors for switching on the sound only when the customer is present, coding for the exclusive playback of authorized VHS cassettes, and operating hours counters for usage reporting, these media had for the first time been specially developed and configured for proactive use at the POS." No wonder that more than 150,000 units of this model alone were in use throughout Europe.
The CD-i system developed in the early 1990s showed the first interactive potential for customer-specific sales promotion. The system was used, for a short time, in so-called scent terminals, which provided a scent specific to a film scene for the viewer's nose – now the POS media were able to sell by smell, in addition to sound and image. Nevertheless, the success of the semi-professional CD-i system was short-lived, it was simply too expensive – and the much cheaper DVD was already in the starting blocks. Compared to VHS, the mechanical system of the DVD was much less susceptible to failure; however, in continuous POS use in dusty retail environments, it occasionally had to contend with particles that interfered with the laser scanning unit, causing the system to shut down spontaneously.
The successor system did not have these problems: With flat screens and MPEG players, mechanical components disappeared almost completely from POS media. This had a positive effect on operational reliability and maintenance. Moreover, the integration of electronic assemblies and the increasing production numbers ensured lower and lower prices. Werner Vogt: "Even today, there are robust and yet very inexpensive playback units that are perfectly suited for continuous use at the POS. They are usually configured for linear operation with an update option via USB and can include additional functions such as a touchscreen or barcode reader, right through to target-group-specific updates via the Internet."
Over 60 years of experience is reflected in countless product details of the current POS media from Permaplay Digital Solutions. This ensures a great shopping experience for customers and excellent sales results for the retail and brand partners of the Baden-Baden-based company. The Permaplay portfolio includes linear LCD monitors from the Professional and Standard lines, interactive POS media and networked Android POS media systems in sizes from 7" to 55", each with or without touch function. In addition, there are special models for display and store builders (Open Frame 10" and 15"), space-saving cardboard displays (7" and 10"), attention-grabbing customer stoppers (32" and 43"), bar displays as well as video brochures and video boxes. Also, digitally networkable Permaplay mini display bars, based on Android technology: this digital bar creates a high level of attention and promotes the customer's purchase decision directly at eye level. Changing color information or videos provide additional buying impulses directly at the product in best quality. The Permaplay L-type screens in 16" and 21.5" sizes in 16:9 format ensure special attention at selective POS points such as shelves and offer state-of-the-art technology for multifunctional use.
Based on his decades-long history, his involvement in the development and analysis of POS media, Werner Vogt has become a truly intimate industry expert in this field. This is what he thinks about the future of POS sales promotion: "In the past, systems from the consumer sector were often modified for the POS and special functions were added. This logic is likely to continue in the future. The mega-topic of augmented reality will change the POS media world, but so will the redesign of retail areas away from pure sales areas to primary experience temples, pop-up or flagship stores. One law of POS media has always applied and always will: An old system is replaced by a new one when it convinces consumers in terms of technology, cost and convenience." The future of sales promotion through POS media will continue.