Are you looking for a digital cooler that could work as an all-in-one solution to your business needs? Anheuser-Busch developed an award-winning digital cooler named Aerva. Founded by Achterberg Development Company in 1996, Aperture is a beverage experience and brand development company focused on creating innovative digital beverage experiences. The company is one of the biggest manufacturers of refrigerators and food service equipment in North America. As part of the “Compact for Success” initiative from Kleeneze Kbraueff, Aperture became a part of the Aperture Brands Group.
SOLUTION. The company’s innovation has evolved into a comprehensive system offering a digital cooler and refrigerator/freezer combo package for restaurants, hospitality companies, canteen facilities, cafeterias, and retail facilities. Anheuser-Busch developed its Aer Wave software platform to manage content from hundreds of Aperture digital coolers in retail locations across the company’s distribution network. It uses both front and rear-end interface hardware based on the principle of front-side drive-through and rear-side direct drive-through which enables it to read any type of standard SD card for display purposes. A flexible media player facilitates display of video, audio, and background data stored on a standard SD card.
CRYSTALLIC CUSTER. Customers can access the full capabilities of Aperture digital coolers through its touch screen interface, a self-contained glass display, digital menu options, and high-end control features. Customers can make reservations and enter product information. Other notable features include high-resolution, dual display and auto-return times, paperless display, and automatic order completion.
WHY IT REMOVED: In mid 2021, after Aperture’s successful launch in warehouse conditions, digital cooler doors were removed from warehouse inventory. This marked the first major change in the company’s product strategy. The digital cooler was viewed as a competitive threat to the leading refrigeration brands such as Hormann, Frigidaire, and Samsung. The changing face of manufacturing and the increased operational costs of warehouse operations also contributed to the decision to remove cooler doors from the warehouse floor. Although the move resulted in significant cost savings and convenience for customers, the digital cooler remained excluded from many warehouses.
WHY IT REMOVED: During the summer of 2021, Aperture digital coolers began appearing on store shelves. Retailers began to experience higher levels of replenishment, lower replenishment costs, and difficulty making informed purchase decisions. This uncertainty was reflected in overall sales, which fell short of sales expectations. Management failed to address these issues effectively enough. Although most stores made additional investment in marketing and advertising, these efforts did not provide sufficient visibility to overcome the loss of existing customers. As a result, overall sales fell by six percent year over year.
WHAT TO ADD: At this point, it is unlikely that most consumers will replace their current cooler with a new digital cooler. However, a strong incentive program could be used to boost in-store shopping experience. In addition to lowering the costs associated with purchasing new digital units, a successful program could provide significant value added service perks, such as product training and assistance with replacement parts. In addition to offering a solid incentive to purchase a cooler, the addition of easy access, ease of use and product training features would provide consumers with an additional reason to purchase the new digital cooler.
TO CONDITION THE DEAL: Many retail organizations have been successful at conditioning the purchase decisions of their customers by providing in-store digital merchandising. The success of in-store digital merchandising programs is dependent upon effective branding efforts. Store branding programs should include a consistent signage message that describes the new digital cooler as well as other general store messaging. Digital display panels should be strategically placed throughout the store to attract attention. The placement of the digital display panels should be carefully considered to avoid introducing confusion by having adjacent displays displayed at different angles.
AVAKian’s digital display panel technology and the cutting-edge software used by our digital display panel specialists help shape the shopping experience. Our digital display panel specialists leverage our robust knowledge of digital media, marketing solutions and retail stores to design and create custom digital signage. Our specialists leverage our experience in the refrigeration industry to identify a unique picture for each unique location. With our highly skilled design team, we can work with our clients to develop the ultimate in-store marketing strategy. In addition, our highly skilled graphic designers can create highly effective color schemes to enhance any advertising campaign.