Coates Group: The Global Digital Merchandising Powerhouse

Leo Coates, CEO The quaint old city of London has something for everyone; from royal palaces to riding the giant observation wheel for breath taking views, visitors are never out of options. However, their patience could be challenged as they queue up to embark the circular tour of The Coca-Cola London Eye. Built to mark the Millennium celebrations in 2000, the London Eye’s 32 individual glass capsules offer the most spectacular views of the city. As the UK’s most popular paid-for visitor attraction with more than 3.5 million visitors every year, Merlin Entertainments Group, the operators in charge, needed a solution that could simplify the customer journey and reduce admission wait times. And that’s where Coates Group entered the frame. Teaming up with Merlin Entertainments Group, Coates offered their sleek self-service kiosk hardware to support the London Eye’s strategy to reduce admission queue times, whilst enriching visitor’s experiences by personalizing every interaction.

The prowess of Coates Group in delivering a truly unique merchandising solution doesn’t stop at the London Eye, neither does it confine only to kiosks. Founded in 1963, Coates applies technology to deliver relevant, personalized digital merchandising content for quick service restaurant (QSR) brands and the retail industry. A truly global company with seven branches internationally and a market presence in over 40 countries, Coates Group, has become the global go-to digital signage partner for multinational retail outlets and QSRs such as McDonald’s. “We are an Australian business that has transformed into a global powerhouse supplying some of the largest QSR’s internationally,” says Leo Coates, the CEO of Coates Group. Offering a fresh perspective to the way businesses interact with their customers, they provide a turnkey approach to digital signage and merchandising.

Building the Future for the Connected Customer

The digital industry is moving toward the trend of a connected customer experience.


Using data analytics to display the right content to the appropriate audience is a key element in digital advertising online, we take this concept to physical, instore locations


Be it outdoor or indoor locations, there is a surge in the digital technology growth; digital merchandising, service availability on smartphones through integrations, and self-service kiosks are taking centre-stage. “It’s all about delivering a genuine service experience, and although the technology platform is critical, it’s how we integrate those channels of communication for a truly connected customer experience,” mentions Coates. The technology-oriented company develops innovative hardware platforms and software for digital signage solutions.

With paramount importance given to managing various stakeholders, digital content strategy development, and effective utilization of data, Coates Group works closely with its clients to build cost-efficient digital solutions that guarantee improved customer experience and a substantial return on investment. “Using data analytics to display the right content to the appropriate audience is a key element in digital advertising online, and we take this concept to physical, in store locations.” explains Leo Coates. To capitalize on the available customer data, Switchboard™, Coates Group’s proprietary content delivery software, integrates with the client’s architecture and analyzes various internal data sets from POS to CRM and other external systems such as weather and traffic to create personalized in store marketing content.

Creating Innovative and Bundled Digital Solutions

Coates Group offers a bundled solution that includes Switchboard™ CMS software and technology hardware. They can, however, deliver these services individually and design flexible solutions that cater to the specific requirements of each client.
Their business intelligence tools optimise content displays using transaction-level data and machine learning technology that not only helps clients maximize profits but also increases up sell opportunity.

The strength of Coates is undoubtly their Digital Drive Through solution. Using the latest in cutting edge technology, their slimline, modular hardware is designed to withstand the most extreme conditions, and when integrated with Switchboard CMS, it’s an offering that is unmatched in the industry. “With outdoor signage showing a lot of potential for growth, we are extensively working on creating innovative solutions in this field, especially digital drive-throughs that engage customers via one-on-one interaction,” says Leo Coates. The integration between Switchboard and systems, such as POS, as well as targeted animation, enhances the order experience and engages consumers. This also presents an opportunity to build unique customer connections using not just internal data, but also external data such as traffic and weather conditions. The clients can thus maximize their ROI and reduce waiting time, whilst increasing speed and accuracy in the customer journey. As a trusted partner of McDonald’s for over 40 years, the company has set up an expansive number of digital drive-throughs and has rolled out its solution in several countries.

Ushering the New Digital Age

Personalization is the future of digital marketing, and technology such as self-ordering kiosks and big data analytics, are set to disrupt the sector. Coates strives to remain at the forefront of innovation by developing cutting-edge digital signage solutions. Having been in the business for 55 years, Coates Group looks to usher the digital revolution by capitalizing on the opportunity for further business opportunities in the likes of McDonald’s, as well as develop strong partnerships with retailers across the country. While the company continues to expand its presence in the U.S. market, it’s also focussed on growth in Europe, Latin America and Canada, plus continuing to drive innovation in their existing markets.

Coates Group has redefined itself as the market leader in digital signage by developing cutting-edge software and hardware technology to disrupt the retail and QSR industry. “We have witnessed huge success, traction, and incredible growth as an organization in the recent years and truly believe that we are at the forefront of the digital landscape,” concludes Leo Coates.

Company
Coates Group

Headquarters
Chicago, IL

Management
Leo Coates, CEO

Description
A global company that offers innovative, data-driven digital signage solutions to over 40 international markets

Coates Group