2015 is right around the corner, and with it comes new opportunities for value-added resellers (VARs) to cash in on the exciting growth of digital signage and other pro AV systems.
The digital signage market alone is expected to be worth more than $20 billion by 2020—and that doesn’t even take into account other booming areas of pro AV, such as mobile marketing, laser projection and BYOD.
Here, we take a closer look at the top three pro AV and digital signage verticals for 2015:
Retail is expected to be one of the biggest areas of growth in 2015, keeping pace with its trend over the last several years. According to Digital Signage Today, retail accounted for more than 40 percent of the market in 2013 and should remain the most successful vertical through 2020. Meanwhile, other technologies that fall under the pro AV umbrella, such as iBeacons and focused audio, will continue to gain ground as well.
What’s driving so much pro AV and digital signage growth in the retail vertical? More and more, retailers are realizing that technology is the key to connecting with customers—and encouraging them to come back. As every generation, from Boomers to Millennials, becomes more comfortable with technology in their everyday lives, they have simply grown to expect devices such as video walls, interactive touchscreens and social media integration during their shopping experiences.
For retailers, pro AV and digital signage hold plenty of promise, offering a path toward better-informed salespeople, more points of customer engagement and the opportunity to gather data on shopper preferences and habits. For consumers, the payoff is better service, a more enjoyable experience and, in certain cases, the promise of a bargain.
Hospitality is also seeing huge growth in pro AV systems, particularly at hotels. In 2015, a growing number of hotel chains—and even some of the stand-alone boutique locations—will invest in digital signage for wayfinding, entertainment, advertising and promotions, as well as mobile marketing technology and projection systems.
For hospitality facilities, it’s all about VIP treatment and entertainment. Hotels especially want to be able to easily identify and reward their frequent customers through loyalty programs and perks. Over the next few years, a growing number of hospitality providers will also turn to pro AV devices to leverage the power of big data to keep track of visitor preferences, spending trends, complaints and more.
Although it may seem surprising to some, healthcare has emerged as another big area of growth for pro AV and digital signage. Hospitals and clinics are flocking to VARs to install digital signage technology for a variety of uses, including visitor and patient wayfinding, information sharing, donor recognition and “infotainment” in lobbies and waiting areas.
In addition, other pro AV systems are also making inroads into the healthcare industry. Many of the same systems that are popular among corporate clients—such as meeting rooms, video conferencing, desktop sharing and interactive whiteboards—are also well-suited for healthcare facilities, where fast and effective communication and data sharing is a priority.
What verticals will be your focus for 2015? How much of your pro AV business would you say resides in the retail, hospitality or healthcare markets?