Digital signage has come a long way since the 1970s, when electronic stores would roll commercials from VHS players on cathode-ray-tube televisions, hoping to attract passersby and maybe make a sale.
Yesteryear’s technology has given way to newer technologies like plasma, LCD, LED, OLED and networkable media players, to name a few. Today’s digital signage is lighter in weight, is less expensive and is networkable—attributes that undoubtedly are fueling the rise in popularity of these devices for retail use, hospitality, transportation and more.
And if the value of the digital signage industry?nearly $24 billion by 2020?is any indication of what marketing and informational solutions it’s expected to provide, then your customers undoubtedly have high hopes for this rapidly evolving technology solution.
Here’s what they’ll likely expect:
1. Equipment that works
Obviously, no technology is infallible, but the reality is that electronic devices sometimes don’t run flawlessly out of the box. LCD displays, in fact, are notorious for shipping with problems like pixel abnormalities and flawed firmware (albeit at an acceptable rate).
One way to flush out the ghosts in the machine is to purchase diagnostic software, which can be had relatively cheaply, and test the displays before they are delivered to your customer. Another solution is to do your homework on the reliability ratings of Brand X over Brand Y.
Digital signage displays are capable of allowing end users to interact with digital content via touch screens, facial-recognition sensors or QR codes via smartphones. In addition to mobile interactivity, networks are also using technology that integrates social and location-based media interactivity.
Your customers will undoubtedly want to enable end users to upload photos and messages to social networks such as Twitter and Facebook as well as to send text messages to the displays, even if they don’t need that capability right now.
Related: Interactive Digital Signage Use Cases to Master
Customers want their digital signage investment to be flexible enough that it can grow with their company’s needs as well as changes in technology. Some of the features they’ll expect are:
- Ability to network from one screen to a network of hundreds or more
- Hardware and software that can control any type of display from any manufacturer
- Ability to connect different types of devices into the same network at the same time
- Ability to easily add or upgrade screens and media players
4. Measurable ROI
ROI is important because of its broad applicability. ROI is, at its simplest, revenue returned from revenue invested, or, in other words, the gains from your investment less the initial investment cost.
ROI and return on objectives are closely intertwined, although they can be difficult to measure. For example, digital signs being utilized for wayfinding may not appear to lead directly to increased revenues; however, by freeing up staff time that had previously been spent providing directions to customers, the staff is now available to perform revenue-generating activities instead.
5. Delivers the wow factor
Digital signage solutions often strive to deliver the wow factor. It’s part marketing, part showmanship, but entirely about getting people to pay attention to your message, if even for less than a minute.
The combination of better content and technologies like transparent OLED displays, whereby interactive information is displayed on a transparent surface glass, is revolutionary in that it allows users to view what is shown on a video display while still being able to see through it.
Expect customers, especially in the retail and hospitality verticals, to look to OLED displays to provide over-the-top digital signage experiences for their end users.
These are just a few likely customer expectations as digital signage technology becomes more prevalent in our everyday lives.