Verizon Partners Cooler Screens to Power Digital Ad in Retail

Verizon Communications Inc. VZ recently inked a strategic deal with Cooler Screens to extend its digital advertising footprint in order to enhance the in-store shopping experiences of brick and mortar retail stores. The partnership is likely to redefine the way advertisers seek to reach consumers in the aftermath of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, when people were forced to stay indoors and seek the refuge of online shopping facilities for their daily needs.

Cooler Screens is a Chicago-based startup firm that combines retail product merchandising with digital technology to deliver relevant in-store shopping experiences by embedding smart screens into glass cooler doors. The screens are equipped with IoT sensors, enabling them to function as both merchandising and advertising platforms for brands, which can buy ads of various types and sizes that appear on the screens as people shop.

Per the deal, Verizon will power Cooler Screens’ digital media and advertising platform through LTE connectivity, IoT condition-based monitoring, integrated service desk and field services support. In addition to wireless connectivity, it will enable high-resolution smart screens on cooler doors that store in-cooler contents. Notably, the company is the exclusive digital ad service provider on retail cooler doors across leading Walgreen stores in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle.

The consumer connect program at the point-of-sale is regarded as the last mile of advertising and likely to make a lasting impression on consumers for top-of-the-mind product recall. The collaboration aims to tap this opportunity for more focused advertising campaigns and further intends to explore ways to leverage the speed and latency of 5G for transformative customer experiences.

Over the years, Verizon has systematically diversified itself as a major player in the digital content and online advertising space. The company wrote off a majority of its media business — Oath — which includes Yahoo and AOL due to a lower-than-expected performance. Verizon Media replaced the Oath brand. The company has spurred technological innovation and economic development, including introducing mobile data and making the ecosystem more pervasive with 4G LTE. The company has now embarked on a new operating structure under Verizon 2.0, with an operating model closely aligned with the evolving customer needs. The business transformation is likely to propel the growth engine of the company as the industry is witnessing a major upheaval.

With one of the most efficient wireless networks in the United States, Verizon continues to deploy the latest 4G LTE Advanced technologies to deliver faster peak data speeds and capacity for customers, driven by customer-focused planning, disciplined engineering and constant strategic investments. The company has been aggressively marching ahead to expand its fiber-optic networks to support 4G LTE and the upcoming 5G wireless standards as well as wireline connections. The company remains focused on making necessary capital expenditures in order to support increased demand for network traffic. At the same time, Verizon is focusing on continued build-out of its 5G Ultra Wideband network, deployment of significant fiber assets across the country and upgrades to the Intelligent Edge Network architecture.

However, shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock have lost 3.5% over the past year compared with the industry’s decline of 1.7%.

Some better-ranked stocks in the industry are T-Mobile US, Inc. TMUS and ATN International, Inc. ATNI, both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), and United States Cellular Corporation USM, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

T-Mobile has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 18.9%. It delivered a positive earnings surprise of 19.4%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for next fiscal-year earnings of ATN International has moved up 108.3% in the past 90 days.

United States Cellular delivered a positive earnings surprise of 104.1%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

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