How INEO is using location-based advertising to offer loss prevention to retailers, for free

July 26, 2022Kristen Theodore

Now that most pandemic restrictions have been lifted, brick-and-mortar stores are faced with the need to adapt to new consumer habits and expectations while also trying to recover lost revenue. There’s a lot at stake; and with shrink recently found to be at an all-time high in the US, accounting for 1.62% of a retailer’s bottom line and costing the industry an estimated $61.7 billion, it’s small wonder that loss prevention has become more of a priority for the majority of retailers.

INEO Solutions Inc., a provider of location-based digital advertising, analytics, and loss prevention solutions for retailers, has come up with a creative solution to help brick-and-mortar retail stores address this problem. Combining industry-leading loss prevention technology with digital screens, INEO’s patented in-store advertising platform leverages rising demand for DOOH so they can offer their devices to retail stores, for free.

Solving an existing security need with DOOH

Six years ago, INEO’s founder, Greg Watkin, set out to develop a loss prevention pedestal for retailers that also included a digital display. He’d noticed that many retail stores weren’t taking advantage of their most valuable real estate—the front entrance—and saw an opportunity to turn the loss prevention devices that were typically placed there into digital signage for OOH advertising. 

The concept behind the resulting device is simple: retailers get a free loss prevention and self-promotion media tool in exchange for running DOOH advertisements in their store. Since its founding in 2016, INEO has grown its network of digital loss prevention pedestals to 150 locations, with plans to increase to 225 by the end of 2022.

Equipping retailers with the technology they need to succeed

INEO’s ambitions were never just to display DOOH advertising. Part of what makes the company’s approach unique in the DOOH space is its continued focus on loss prevention and the benefits they’re committed to offering small business owners. 

Rather than simply adding digital signage to locations where it didn’t exist before, INEO’s pedestals address security concerns with cutting-edge loss prevention technology—then layer the advantages of in-store digital retail media on top of it. And the best part for retailers, especially the small brick-and-mortar stores that were hit hardest by the pandemic, is there’s no cost to them.

“The pitch is basically that they get a loss prevention device at no charge,” says Frank Halbach, Managing Director at INEO. “And most retailers are extremely happy about that. What we get in return is access to the advertising inventory that’s on those devices.”

INEO gives each retail location between 10 and 15% of that inventory to use for themselves, and does all of the creative for them. So in addition to the loss prevention aspects, retailers are getting free digital signage that can be used to promote in-store specials and communicate company updates. A lot of the stores INEO works with are also happy to use some of their space for public service announcements. 

“During the height of COVID we had a lot of messaging regarding distancing and mask wearing,” says Halbach. “We also have a big campaign for MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) that’s constantly running and the stores are very happy with that.”

INEO’s loss prevention device also provides access to anonymized data and analytics that help retailers better understand their customers. This audience data provides information about each location’s customer demographics and foot traffic that store owners can use to improve the in-store experience for their customers.

Partnering with Broadsign to optimize ad revenue

To support this innovative approach—where retail stores gain access to an advertising, data analytics, and theft detection media platform, free of charge—and also meet its ambitious expansion goals, INEO needed to maximize its revenue from ad sales. The leadership team understood that programmatic selling would open up INEO’s network inventory to new digital media buyers around the globe, and were impressed by the Broadsign Reach programmatic OOH platform.

In addition to automating content delivery and programmatic transactions, Broadsign Reach offers benefits like real-time inventory availability, accurate insights into network performance, and flexible programming options. All of this made our self-serve SSP a good fit for INEO, which wanted more than a new place to showcase their inventory.

“What’s really important for me is that we have a partner going forward,” says Halbach. “I don’t just want programmatic to be something that’s running alongside our other sales methods because I think we have an opportunity to actively drive the business.”

As INEO continues to expand its network of digital loss prevention pedestals, Broadsign’s DOOH solutions will provide them with the visibility they need to continuously optimize their ad sales and scale up their revenue from programmatic selling. 

“I don’t want to be passive,” says Halbach. “And with Broadsign, we have a partner that can help us understand what we need to do to improve and how we can become better at programmatic.”

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