What is Digital Signage?

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Digital signage is a method of conveying information, messages and advertising across digital signs (such as LCD, LED and Plasma screens). You might have seen it in your local train station or airport displaying departure times, in a hotel reception displaying welcome messages or even in your local retail stores displaying sale and product information.

Why is it useful?

Digital signage is an extremely useful and trending advertising platform because it’s a highly interactive and engaging platform for advertising on in comparison to traditional physical printed advertisements or messages. It’s also much more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly compared to traditional print methods as you don’t have to physically print your advertisements anymore (which could cost up to £30 traditionally for A1 colour posters).

Marketers love it because compared to traditional advertising methods, advertisements and messages can be targeted to certain demographics or different audiences. Additionally, there is physically no labour involved with changing content on displays as they’re typically updated from a central cloud system (this also saves you having to chase up staff to ensure new posters/messages have been displayed). New content can also easily be added, often in a user-friendly platform, with an instantaneous push to all digital signage displays across your entire network or business, or to just certain locations (at your desire).

Where can it be deployed?

Frequent areas digital signage can be used in include; reception areas, open spaces, in schools and in retailers. Reception areas can use digital signage to display welcome messages and information to people entering the building. Open spaces in businesses, for example in corridors or near the lifts, are often another great area to deploy digital signage to display important messages to staff. Schools similarly can use digital signage in hallways and receptions to display important messages to parents and pupils. Lastly, retailers can use digital signage to display product information, stimulate impulse purchases at the POS (Point of sale), or display sale advertisements in a shop window for example.

There has been great uptake in all of these areas with digital signage platforms, except perhaps for retailers, within the UK anyway. Obviously, retailers in the UK have been extremely cash-strapped and in a fragile state after the worldwide recession from 2008. However, there is evidence to suggest that investing in digital signage for this sector may actually be more efficient (in terms of costs, sales, footfall and conversion) compared to spending up to £30 per typical A1 colour poster printout.

Ok, so how effective can digital signage be?

According to DigitalSignageToday, in-store digital advertisement for retailers were seen to lead to a 29.5% increase in average purchase amounts, a 31.8% increase in overall sales volumes, a 32.8% increase in store traffic and lastly a massive 47.7% increase improvement in brand awareness. Clearly digital advertising in-store appears to be more engaging and cost-effective compared to its traditional physical print counterpart.

When you consider that a typical retail store paying up to £30 per A1 colour print (typically changing it once a week) can spend £1,560 annually (remember retailers typically have several advertisements both inside and outside a single outlet.), digital signage could actually work out cheaper in a single year. The investment would likely pay itself off in that time in terms of additional sales, traffic and decreased printing costs.

Overall, digital signage is certainly increasing in terms of usage across areas such as receptions, open spaces and in educational establishments. But do some industries, such as retail need to speed up adoption to remain competitive in such a cash-strapped and competitive industry?