In today’s fast-paced environment, retailers must provide the best possible customer experience to stand out from the crowded marketplace. Being sales-savvy is just not enough anymore. Brick-and-mortar stores need to be tech-savvy as well.
Digital signage solutions are an effective way for retailers to target more technology-oriented consumers. Digital content can be a new way for retailers and businesses to effectively communicate their brand, products, and services to consumers.
Proper digital signage can provide businesses a competitive edge in an accelerated, digitized world.
Benefits of digital signage displays
The dropping cost of digital screens is making digital signage displays commercially viable solutions for more businesses seeking an effective way of reaching their target audience.
Unlike traditional print signage, digital signage displays can deliver varying messages, announcements, and product descriptions in real time. The adaptive nature of digital displays can capture more views, increasing consumer recall and retention rate.
What’s more, digital signage is highly connective, allowing businesses to easily deploy a digital signage solution across multiple physical locations. Through cloud-based platforms, businesses can run relevant ad displays according to location, time of day, or day of the week.
Being able to use digital and signage as an interactive platform increases customer engagement. This can effectively boost awareness and increase sales. When paired with online or mobile content, businesses can double the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
All of these benefits are making digital displays an increasingly popular marketing solution for businesses. If your business is ready to invest in the power of digital and signage, here is what you need to know to get the most out of your investment.
1. Focus on key design principles
Similar to traditional print signage, the design is an important aspect of displaying digital media. Digital signage can be a powerful medium to drive consumer attention, but only if the message can be clearly read by the consumer.
When designing digital displays, consider the following:
- Employ contrast and legibility
- Use easy-to-read fonts
- Keep type size as large as possible
- Use a visual hierarchy
- Pick colors wisely
If you have never designed a digital display before, work with a signage and wayfinding consultancy. Their knowledge and experience in this industry will ensure your displays become a powerful marketing source for your business.
2. Choose the right content management software
A content management software (CMS) is how your digital signage displays content and information. This is an important process to ensure your business invests in the right digital solutions.
When researching vendors, these are the qualities you should look for in a CMS:
- Easy to deploy
- Easy to use
- Easy to scale
- Features remote upgrading ability
- Automates content delivery
- Includes data analytics
- Integrates with other tech APIs
- Has comprehensive security capabilities
Be sure to ask questions when doing your research.
Ask a lot of questions during this process to understand how the vendor can work with you to meet your business goals. And most importantly, do not overlook the importance of post-deployment support.
Problems will occur once your digital signage is up and running. You will want to work with a vendor that provides the necessary support when issues arise.
3. Choose the right media devices
Using software is just one aspect of using digital signage effectively. The media devices you display your digital content in are just as important as the CMS. There are different hardware categories available to businesses, so the digital signage hardware should be carefully chosen to suit the business’s particular needs.
An outdoor display, for example, will need to be able to display content where lighting conditions can’t be controlled. Brightness output will be a key consideration in this type of environment. The digital display must also be able to survive environmental factors like inclement weather.
Indoor displays have other considerations. Monitors used indoors should be able to withstand prolonged usage periods. In businesses with extended operating hours, like a hospital or school campus, consumer-grade TVs simply won’t cut it. They will quickly burn out or require significant service and maintenance.
The physical scale of the installation is an important factor in both outdoor and indoor installations. A digital display that’s too large for its environment will ruin the visual appeal of the digital content.
Knowing your business requirements beforehand will allow you to choose the right digital hardware for your space.
4. Choose the right location
The location will greatly determine the success of your digital displays. Digital signage displays should be optimally placed in an area of your business where they are easily noticed and can quickly engage your target audience.
Pay particular attention to high traffic areas in your space. These are the ideal locations for your digital signage displays. High traffic areas will be different according to the nature of the business.
In a university, busy hallways are an ideal place to display digital content. A typical high-traffic area in office buildings, health clinics, and hospitals is the entranceway. In a retail environment, digital displays should be located in store windows or near point-of-sale to encourage new customers and increase sales.
Once the right location has been found for your digital signage, consider the right viewing height. An optimal viewing height will positively affect audience interest and maximize how the content gets seen.
5. Monitor your metrics
Feedback is a critical component of engaging your audience with dynamic content.
Knowing what content your audience engages with will allow you to track the effectiveness of your digital signage. Being able to measure success with your digital signage will help you see if your investment is contributing to your company’s goals.
This is where key performance indicators (KPIs) come into play. KPIs are an important tool for determining the return on investment (ROI) of your digital displays. Achieving your KPIs will help improve your digital signage efforts.
Your KPIs should align with your business objectives. However, measuring KPIs will differ according to your industry.
In retail, KPIs can include ad revenue, lead conversions, engagement rate, wayfinding, and subscription rates. In an industry like banking or medical, KPIs can range from satisfactory customer feedback and dwell time to utilization rates and service calls in the queue.
The data you collect from your signage CMS can be turned into insight that informs the project’s progress. Your data can tell you what content is working or needs removing, whether the digital display needs to be moved to a new location, or if your software and/or hardware needs upgrading.
Your data will allow you to make the changes necessary to better integrate digital signage in your business goals.
The most important thing to keep in mind when creating highly effective digital displays is to have fun.
The purpose of digital signage is to entertain, inform, and engage. Using the tools given to you to inject branded humor into your displays will transform your digital content from ordinary to eye-catching. Not only will this grab the audience’s attention, but it can also start a conversation.
For businesses, particularly in retail, starting a conversation is the first step in engaging audiences in a memorable way that stands out from the competition.
Zak Zakaria is a Waymaker at dezigntechnic in Dubai who also previously worked as the company’s Graphic Designer and Art Director. Zak is a creative with work experience in multiple multinational agencies such as JWT and Saatchi & Saatchi. Signage design is a family business, making Zak’s personal experience with signage his longest professional commitment.