By 2024, analysts expect the digital signage sector to be worth more than $29 billion, according to a report from MarketsandMarkets. The use of new technologies such as OLED and electronic paper display is expected to contribute to this growth.
In addition, the increasing use of LED and LCD is likely to be another factor that fuels the digital signage industry. A further factor facilitating growth is the advancement of hardware and software. Digital signage is becoming progressively more reliable, allowing consumers to receive information, with features like interactivity and personalisation.
Today’s digital signage solutions have come a long way from where they started. Digital displays are everywhere, assisting us in our daily lives — in pharmacies, retail stores, fast food drive thrus, stadiums, even your local dentist office and bank branch. Naturally, as the level of sophistication in digital signage grows, retailers and marketers are capitalising on the value of smart digital signage.
However, what are some of the other digital signage technology trends that we can expect to see emerging throughout 2020 and beyond? Size variability looks likely to be one of the biggest trends, with retailers and marketers having a wide range of digital display choices including large-scale video walls, to smaller devices like tablets, to in-aisle shelf edge displays, all of which are proven consumer engagement solutions.
As digital signage becomes fundamental to consumer or audience engagement, the need to tailor and personalise messaging continues to gain strength. In other words, getting the right message to the right person.
A combination of new digital signage industry trends, emerging technology and a continuation of past trends are set to dominate signage throughout 2020. This is good news for retailers, pharmacies, restaurant owners/operators, and other sectors, who will have the option to blend tried and tested methods with a mix of newer and emerging technologies.
AI has the potential to disrupt most industries and the digital signage sector is no different. When AI is combined with digital signage, it can create a more personalised experience for consumers, sales associates and employees, but there is far more to it than that. In a May 2019 study conducted by Isobar, 29% of companies worldwide said they were currently using AI to help streamline customer experiences, and another 46% said they anticipated using the technology in the future.
AI transforms digital signage by:
• Delivering smarter, location-based marketing.
• Taking inputs from sensors and making rule-based decisions on what messaging to appear on digital displays in real time.
• Enabling deep in-store data collection, convenience and personalization, leveling the in-store retail experience playing field with online competition.
• Activating a consumer engagement strategy that focuses on personalization at scale.
• Driving smarter, targeted messaging for customer-facing promotional content and crew-facing messaging focusing on tasks and efficiency.
According to the February 2019 ‘Global Shopper Trends Report’ 37% of shoppers said that receiving personalized offers, experiences and communications is the most valued aspect of retail shopping experiences. AI and digital signage solutions play key roles in delivering that personalisation. This tailoring of messages to a precise demographic — down to personalizing content for what personas of consumers are currently in your store, restaurant, branch or venue — is proven to enhance customer satisfaction, inspire repeat visits, optimise operational efficiency and increase sales. As time moves on and marketing and innovation teams are realizing the return on investment with smart digital signage, we can expect to see more of this.
Interactivity in both the front and back of the house improves engagement among customers. Every day you see interactivity used via emails, social media websites and increasingly, in digital signage. Rather than a digital screen of any size functioning to display passive images, interactivity in digital display encourages consumers and employees to take part. From touchscreen kiosks to mobile engagement and tablet-based sales associate tools, interactivity captures attention while increasing consumer engagement and sales.
The October 2019 survey ‘Smart Stores: Rebooting the retail store through in-store automation’ uncovered that lack of product information was the fifth leading pain point of the in-store shopping experience and the third-leading point was difficulty in locating products in the store. Interactive digital signage solutions and assistive selling solutions throughout the store can ease these shopper frustrations. From answering frequently asked questions to giving directions, aiding product discovery or helping the checkout process, interactive signage fills the gaps when staff cannot be on hand to assist a customer or guest, and ultimately increases brand awareness and customer loyalty.
For example, on-screen interactive content can encourage customers or patients to engage with your company or healthcare facility. This may take the form of educational content, infographics or quizzes displayed on digital signages. When used in this way, interactivity also has the advantage of reducing perceived waiting times and leads to greater customer satisfaction.
In 2020, digital signage trends show choosing the correct size digital signage, increases overall audience engagement. It is easy to see the attraction of video wall content. Large format video screens are high impact, one of the best ways to draw the consumer attention. However, video walls are not suitable for every occasion, or when there is limited space.
While commentators forecast that large video screens will become more popular, that does not mean small screens will not serve a purpose. Small-format display options, such as touchscreen tablets or digital shelf edge displays, give your business added flexibility in when and where to promote content. They are also good for encouraging interactivity or giving a more personalised approach to consumers. When partnering with the right marketing technology company, brands have the ability to choose from a wide range of technology available for today’s market and can look ahead at digital display trends.
Not long ago, a simple poster in a window or a carefully designed shop display was one of the most popular ways of attracting a potential customer’s attention, but times have changed. The use of flashy or attractive or eye-catching signage to get consumers off the streets and into your premises has shown steady growth in recent years, and we will see more of this in the year ahead.
There are several reasons a business might choose street signage, as opposed to a static poster or window display including:
• One-off cost, rather than continual investment.
• Real-time updates.
• Multiple display options.
• Reduced operating costs and resources.
• Improved consumer engagement.
• Higher impact.
When you couple these advantages with advancements in technology, you can understand why outdoor displays are in wider use. For instance, advances in technology have helped solve common issues like sun glare. STRATACACHE’s own line of outdoor digital displays focus on key points of value including ruggedness, brightness and field serviceability. In addition, hardware and software are becoming more sophisticated and reliable, making them more suitable for outdoor displays.
Enhanced data accuracy–along with the surge in AI comes the ability to better read and analyze data. This allows businesses to make data-driven decisions that can shape their marketing campaigns, target ideal consumers and develop new products.
Software and hardware developments–in 2020, hardware and software become more sophisticated. This will include advances in attention-grabbing imagery and touch displays for higher levels of interactivity for consumers. The benefits for business will be improved reliability and performance.
The future for digital signage is looking bright and there is no sign of the demand slowing down. 2020 is likely to mean greater use of interactivity and a larger variation of sizes. It is also likely that there will be a greater move toward outdoor displays as hardware and software get better and technological problems are overcome.
The real success story is likely to belong to AI. Although it is not new, AI has come into its own in recent years and its capabilities offer a broad range of benefits to businesses, healthcare centers and the entertainment sector alike.
Through AI, greater personalisation, real-time data and contextual signage can enhance the service the retailer offers, while allowing greater personalisation and interaction with consumers.
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