japantoday– With 16,600 store locations in Japan serving approximately 450 million customers per month, FamilyMart is Japan’s second biggest convenience store chain after 7-Eleven. It’s hard to walk more than a few blocks in any major Japanese city without seeing its distinctive blue and green stripes, hearing its characteristic door chime, or smelling its recently upsized Famichiki fried chicken wafting out the door.
This month Family Mart announced a new digital media and advertising plan in which FamilyMart branches around Japan will be equipped with several large-screen digital displays that transmit not only advertisements but also entertainment, art, and news. Specific media content can also be tweaked depending on regional customer preferences and even the time of the day.
The idea for the digital signage push came about as a response to trends regarding the diversity of ways in which consumers digest media, with FamilyMart citing the expansion of digital marketing techniques used by some major retailers in the U.S., as well as the increased prevalence of digital advertisements in Japan on public transportation and in train stations as well as outdoor spaces.
To test out the effectiveness of such strategies, digital signage was installed in a number of FamilyMart locations in September 2020, and the results were positive enough that the new joint venture was greenlit for development. For the new project, FamilyMart is partnering with Data One, a Japanese advertising firm established in October 2020 to develop advanced digital advertising services.
In addition to making it easier to track advertising effectiveness based on in-store purchases, the organizers hope Family Mart’s new digital signage project will help prevent potential fraud victims by displaying warnings about bank-transfer and gift card scams.
FamilyMart’s first goal for the new initiative is to introduce digital signage to 3,000 store locations by spring of 2022, which would reach approximately 82 million people per month, with an ultimate aim to equip all locations within the next three years. Until then, we’ll wait in eager anticipation while munching on a few hundred of the chain’s new onigiri with eco-friendly packaging.