For brick-and-mortar retailers, the conversation around digital signage in retail has become progressively more enthusiastic. But technology for technology’s sake is rarely a winning proposition. Retailers who haven’t yet deployed digital displays probably had good reason to take time to watch the market mature. However, recent developments should prompt those retailers still holding out on digital signage to reconsider.
The original pricing model for a digital signage solution required a high upfront capital expense followed by substantial recurring fees, which is why the first users were often big box stores with deep pockets. But times have changed — the cost of technology components has decreased and a new pricing approach is emerging. Today, that big upfront expense has been significantly reduced, and those recurring fees are disappearing.
There are many moving parts in a digital signage system — including network design, hardware and software selection, installation, content production and management and assorted ongoing support and maintenance services. Retailers used to have to find, evaluate and integrate multiple vendors in order to implement an end-to-end digital signage solution. Fortunately, one-stop shops are emerging that offer a single expert interface, including only one person to go to if problems arise at any time during the solution’s life cycle.
If the last digital signage system evaluated employed a TV display attached to a consumer DVR player, it’s time to get current on the impressive technological advancements that have taken place in this sector. Commercial displays with embedded media players, versatile outdoor displays, LED backlit technology, smoother scrolling, higher contrast ratios, touch screens and large video wall displays are just some of the substantial improvements that have been incorporated in digital signage. Additionally, commercial-grade design means less wear and tear and more consistent, high-quality operation.
What is the goal of a retailer’s new digital signage system? Is it to entertain? Inform? Inspire? Promote? Once the objective has been clearly established, the value of the solution becomes readily apparent. Today’s digital displays offer an array of additional benefits, including:
Pinpoint promotions: With digital signage, retailers can ensure the right message is in the right location at exactly the right time.
Enhanced customer engagement: Consumers have increased convenience and access to more information at the point of decision.
Optimized in-store selling: Integration with other back-end systems (pricing, inventory and logistics, etc.) allows rapid adjustments to promotional messages. For example, system integration can automatically identify a product overstock situation, quickly apply a price discount, and then promote the new offer in real time on the digital display.
Competitive advantage: Cutting-edge visual communications solutions attract consumer attention and create a more personalized experience for the customer, laying the groundwork for increased sales.
The digital signage market has witnessed a number of changes during the past 24 months, with many improvements particularly relevant to the retail industry. It’s time for retailers to take another look at digital signage.
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