The pro AV industry continues moving toward record growth, yet trying to build a business selling digital signage hardware and software using a piecemeal approach to growth is still popular.
And that business model is not surprising considering all kinds of entities, from restaurants to hotels to airports, seem to be rolling out digital signage displays on their premises, whether in the form of a single-unit or a corporate networked installation.
But value-added resellers (VARs) that forgo incorporating the LCD video wall segment into their business plan stand to leave money on the table as clients flock to competitors offering turnkey digital signage solutions.
Here are a few reasons why ignoring LCD video walls may cost you sales:
The market is big and getting bigger.
The video wall segment of the pro AV industry alone is expected to grow from $4.1 million in 2013 to almost $18 million by 2020, and VARs will likely encounter fierce competition for revenue as the number of resellers increases, drawn in by phenomenal growth in the industry.
One way for VARs to stand out from the herd is to offer quality products at competitive prices. But clients also like one-stop shopping for turnkey pro AV solutions, and VARs that shun LCD video walls from the product lineup will likely drive potential customers away.
You lose an excellent source of future revenue.
More than any other pro AV system, video walls lend themselves to product bundling simply by the nature of how they work as an integrated system.
For VARs, that means the potential for recurring revenue streams in the form of contracts for monthly maintenance fees and warranties. VARs can also create revenue streams by offering content creation and management as part of an LCD video wall package using either in-house staff or leveraging a partnership with a third-party content creator.
Single screens can't produce the wow factor.
Besides being a versatile digital video platform capable of indoor or outdoor deployment, video walls' sheer size and high brightness make them compelling attention-getters.
There is no comparison between a regular digital sign and an entire video wall to get your content noticed, especially when content is interactive and animated. And because video walls can be configured for dozens or hundreds of display panels, they lend themselves to creative video signage solutions.
Recently, a video wall measuring 43 feet by 26 feet was installed at South Korea's Incheon International Airport in order to welcome visitors. At Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport, 100 46-inch LCD displays were installed as part of a huge video wall providing area information, advertising, and entertainment to incoming and outbound passengers.
They are getting cheaper as quality improves.
There is no doubt that an LCD video wall solution is not for every customer, due to initial acquisition costs and total cost of ownership down the road. However, that doesn't mean that VARs should shy away from pitching video wall solutions to customers that do have a good concept and the budget for deploying them.
The cost of professional-grade video displays has been coming down lately, and with bezels as small as 0.9mm, video walls have an almost seamless image for great impact in the broadcast, command and control, higher education, hospitality, and premium signage verticals.
With large LCD video wall installations, ROI is always a major consideration affecting whether or not clients will pull the trigger. And VARs should advise clients that positive ROI depends on a number of factors that don't necessarily have to do with the video wall installation itself.
Still, consider that at Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport, the video wall there is estimated to produce an additional $500,000 to $1 million in gross advertising revenue for the airport annually.
If you’re a VAR looking to grow your pro AV business, ignoring the revenue-generating potential of LCD video walls could be a major deciding factor as to whether your business flourishes or winds up costing you lost sales.