As the pro AV industry continues to expand, value-added resellers (VARs) should pay close attention to those devices that are making the most headway. Digital signage and interactive technology are expected to be big in 2015, and will help to drive the pro AV industry forward in a range of vertical markets. For any VAR looking to grow their pro AV business in 2015, these two segments might be the place to start.
InfoComm International’s 2014 Market Definition and Strategy Study predicts that audio-visual products and services will represent a $116 billion global industry by 2016. A sizeable chunk of that total will come from interactive AV and digital signage. Why? For several reasons:
1. They’re extremely versatile.
Interactive pro AV and digital signage technology can be leveraged in a wide variety of ways, in nearly every vertical. These devices have the power to inform, engage and entertain, and they are changing the way in which businesses communicate with their customers, employees, partners and the world.
From touchscreens and multi-user video walls to iBeacons, interactive whiteboards and digital signage that integrates with a user’s Facebook status, these systems can do a bit of everything. That’s why they are booming in a range of industries, including retail and hospitality (see below), healthcare, education, corporations and even houses of worship.
2. They’re popular in retail and hospitality.
Throughout 2015, retail and hospitality are expected to be the two fastest-growing AV verticals. As your customers in these segments race to add pro AV technology to their retail stores, shopping malls, hotels, casinos and more, the incredible versatility of interactive technology and digital signage will quickly become indispensable. This will lead to even greater growth opportunities for these two products.
Expect to see more of your retail and hospitality customers requesting AV technology to engage with customers, improve service, increase employee knowledge, communicate sales and specials, enhance the brand and even provide entertainment. All of these goals are possible through the range of digital signage and interactive devices available today.
3. They have true staying power.
Interactive pro AV and digital signage aren’t your typical technology trends that might fade in a few short years; these systems have been around for years and have been put through their paces. As a result, today’s devices are more advanced and more reliable than those of just a few years ago.
Your customers can be sure that their digital signage, touchscreens, video walls and more will not only work as expected, but also benefit them for years to come and integrate easily with other systems.
4. Consumers have grown to expect them.
Finally, interactivity and digital signage are likely to continue to boom because consumers want them. They’ve become accustomed to encountering interactive devices, such as touchscreens and wayfinding kiosks, in their everyday lives, and your customers are rising to the occasion by incorporating them into their businesses.
In the coming years, expect a growing number of customers to seek out interactivity and digital signage as a way to engage with consumers who frequently use their smartphones for everyday tasks like shopping and wayfinding. This technology is particularly attractive to younger audiences, including Millenials, who are gradually amassing more spending power every year.
How much of your business is currently in interactive pro AV or digital signage? Do you plan on increasing the focus you give to these technologies in 2015 and beyond?