The only store to be named the best department store in the world three times, Selfridges provides extraordinary shopping experiences that promise to surprise, amaze and amuse its millions of customers from around the world.
Behind the scenes sits Selfridges’ Internal Communications (IC) team who are responsible for ensuring that 5,000+ team members are well informed and engaged in the brand.
Before AVMI came on-board, the IC team were updating and manually uploading content to a series of television screens via USB sticks, which was incredibly time consuming, inefficient and meant
that team members were not always viewing the very latest information.
What’s more, the Selfridges’ campus was growing, which meant that team members would be operating from several buildings as well as new offices, adding a further challenge to managing the effective distribution of content.
Selfridges approached AVMI with a brief to help them evolve their internal communications strategy through the use of networked ‘digital noticeboard’ displays.
AVMI worked closely with Selfridges’ Internal Communications (IC) and IT teams to carry out a thorough review of the available signage platforms and hardware solutions that would allow them to manage and distribute their digital content.
The first part of the project involved choosing a suitable digital signage software platform that would scale in line with their changing and expanding business requirements.
Selfridges opted for Embed Signage, a cloud-based Content Management System with the capability to publish rich digital content to an unlimited number of devices. The platform also supports a wide range of device types and operating systems giving staff the flexibility to consumer content via fixed LED screens, but also potentially from mobile devices such as iOS and Android phones and tablets.
Most importantly, the system allows IC to manage and update content across their entire estate from any location with an available Internet connection.
To assist IC during the system adoption phase, AVMI created a suite of screen templates into which they could easily drop copy, videos and images. These are then scheduled and published in line with IC’s annual campaign and events calendar.
The screen templates covered a variety of content applications such as company news, celebrations and recognitions as well as specially designed internal campaigns such as its new service proposition ‘Story Makers’.
To ensure proper use, AVMI is providing an on-going programme of user training to empower the IC team with the necessary skills to manage the digital signage network in-house.
With the signage software platform in place, the second part of the project required AVMI to look at the display hardware options.
AVMI installed over thirty Samsung professional LCD screens featuring its SMART Signage Platform (SSP) in various locations around Selfridges' offices. These were placed in kitchens and communal areas where they would be clearly visible and create common talking points for staff during breaks.
During the same period, Selfridges was preparing to open a brand new team member entrance that connects its head office building with the store via a new tunnel.
Selfridges identified at an early stage a desire to include an attention-grabbing display feature that would create a positive impression on arrival.
AVMI were asked to examine various large format display technology options in order to determine what would be the optimal solution for the space.
Selfridges selected a 3m wide by 1.75m high, 2.6mm pixel pitch LED wall from digiLED. Deciding factors included the solution’s superior brightness, contrast levels and colour reproduction capabilities.
The LED technology also allowed the creation of a bezel-less canvas resulting in content that is displayed ‘edge-to-edge’ without visual disruption. A further benefit associated with LED is its 10 year rated life-span. As such, it was the most future-proof solution available.
Following the deployment of the system, Selfridges is already realising significant time and cost gains in managing and distributing their messaging. This includes savings of approximately £23,000 every year in printing costs alone.
Consistent, personalised content is now much quicker to create and deploy, all at the touch of a button. The screens also eliminate the need to manage and restock noticeboards and newsletters racks manually across a growing campus.
Productivity gains have therefore been realised in a number of teams, including Internal Communications and Graphics teams who used to spend approximately two days a week producing a printed weekly newsletter for the business. As a result of the screens, the newsletter is now produced fortnightly and is in a digital format.
With its new digital screens now launched, Selfridges is looking forward to further evolving how it communicates and engages with its team members across the business.