What is digital signage?
Digital Signage Today defines the technology as “any form of business communication where a dynamic messaging device is used to take the place of, or supplement, other forms of messaging.” In other words, retailers and restaurant owners can install large screens throughout their buildings to graphics and messages that play on a loop or periodically change. These messages usually advertise a product or promotion.
Businesses of all sizes use digital signage technology to convey messages and promote products, which has worked to level the corporate playing field. An advertising tactic that was once expensive and unattainable for small businesses is now very affordable and easy to maintain, thanks to the introduction of LCD screens.
Because digital signage content is constantly changing, it is quicker, easier and less expensive to communicate with customers. Businesses no longer have to purchase new posters and physical cardboard displays each time they need to advertise – they can make a one-time purchase and change their messaging anytime they want. Graphics, animation, touch screens and kiosk also allow customers to interact with your brand as they eat or shop.
How is it used?
By strategically placing screens throughout a restaurant or retail store and displaying images in “movie trailer” fashion, businesses can draw customers inside and reach them at the point of sale.
Here are the most common applications:
- Communicate specials or promotions
- Manage traffic; direct customers to a specific part of the store or restaurant
- Conveying brand messages
- Welcome customers to your business
- Internal communication and education
- Upsell high-ticket items
- Liquidate sale or clearance items
How does it work?
Digital signage allows businesses to control not only the information they are providing to their customers, but also the time and location at which their customers receive the information. Restaurants and retail stores can use this control to their advantage and communicate more effectively.
Time – As mentioned, digital signage content can be changed – or scheduled to change – at any time. Retailers and restaurant owners can use this feature to reach specific audiences or to take advantage of peak traffic hours. For example, screens can be scheduled to change between breakfast, lunch and dinner and group deals can be displayed on weekend nights.
Location – Location can be used to place information where it is sure to be seen or make an impact. Your digital signage screens can be used to draw attention to a product display, showing information about a product within close proximity. If you have complementary products, the screen could be used to point customers in the right direction. They can also create an atmosphere around a product that inspires people to buy.
Time and location are fused together at the point of sale, a.k.a. during checkout. Research has shown that displaying advertisements at the point of sale is more effective than in other areas.
What can it do?
Businesses can benefit from increased sales, stronger branding and an improved customer experience.
- Increase sales – Digital signage can be used to promote future sales include, countdown time remaining for promotions, display direct calls to action and cross-sell products through strategic location.
- Strengthen branding – Digital signage technology allows businesses to improve the customer’s opinion of and experience with their brand with lifestyle messages, images and videos that illustrate core company values.
- Engage customers – The technology catches customers’ eyes, gives them something to look at while waiting in line and alerts them of great deals to, overall, enhance their shopping or eating experience.