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Illuminate Your Truckstop with Digital Media

Posted in: Great Ideas, Truckstop Business, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators


Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators

Illuminate Your Truckstop with Digital Media

I have written about digital signage before (and before) — I keep writing about it because it is one marketing tool that I am very passionate about. Retailers and food service providers and many other businesses around the world are committing to digital signage and you should too.

While we have seen some truckstop operators move into this space, many have chosen not to or have entered into it only half willingly. They often put the digital media or some other form of TV based marketing equipment in, but don’t really implement a full program to help drive sales and profitability. During a recent weeklong trip to visit with members and nonmembers between Houston and New Orleans, I unfortunately saw many out-of-order display TVs. 

All is not lost in this space, however, as I have also seen a couple of great examples of digital media in locations like St. Rose Travel Center in New Orleans, La. and NOCO Express in Buffalo, N.Y. They are getting behind the medium and learning ways that it can help drive sales, profitability, reduce marketing costs in labor and in collateral costs, and really improve brand awareness.

According to the Aberdeen Research Group, a group that produces some fantastic research on retail, 64% of all best in class retailers are using digital signage to enhance the customer experience and improve customer service.

Additionally according to Nielson, the awareness rate of digital signage is 23% higher than the average benchmark of signage awareness

And finally, according to Info Trends, digital signs have a 47.7% effectiveness on brand awareness, increase the average purchase amount by 29.5% and create a 31.8% upswing in overall sales. They also show a 32.8% growth in repeat buyers and generate 30%+ more in store traffic counts.

If you have not considered getting into this space, it may be time to begin considering. It is all around us and growing. Statistics are piling up that this medium is having an impact on sales and profitability.

If you do jump in, here are some quick tips for maximum success:

If it is a digital menu:

  • It should be positioned over the food service area or any other area where a menu type product listing and/or visual display of products can be utilized; and
  • It should be angled so that customers can see it appropriately from straight on and from the side while waiting in line.

If it is digital media in general, such as displays illuminating brand awareness, promotional opportunities or product features and benefits, they should be strategically placed in these three areas:

  1. Place the media in customer departure lanes. For example, if you have lanes of customer traffic flowing to your restrooms, these potential customers should be targeted before entering and when exiting the restroom, and certainly before they reach the exit door from the store;
  2. Place the media angled above fuel and gasoline transaction counters; and
  3. Display the signage over feature areas that you are highlighting, such as cold vault beverage door, a beer cave, wine and alcohol sets, fresh produce, fruits and grab n go coolers, etc.


/// Read more Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators posts here


Join the conversation! Do you have digital media? If not, what is holding you back?

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About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.