Digital media is everywhere.
From electronic billboards to your favorite YouTube playlist, right down to the signs companies use to create branded customer experiences, companies have left traditional print behind in favor of what the digital experience offers.
When it comes to branding, digital signage offers the same disruptive capacity that neon lighting once did. Whereas the latter allowed businesses to catch the attention of passersby at night without having to rely on keeping large filament bulbs powered 24/7, the former gives businesses the ability to program an entire content series in a single place, catered to the unique needs of customers at each phase of the consumer cycle.
Digital Signage’s Beginnings – What’s Different Now?
When digital signage technology first started making its way into the consumer mindset, its applications were rather limited. For the most part, early adopters simply adapted the technology to their existing customer experience.
One of the earliest examples is digital signage at airports, where the practical benefit of digitally displaying route and terminal information in real-time outweighed the cost of implementing then-groundbreaking technology. Airports started phasing out their old split-flap displays in the mid-2000s, and continue to this day.
However, the full effect of this technology has not yet been felt in most sectors of business. Architecture is the main reason why – outfitting old buildings with new technology only gives you so much room to work with. Now, architects are beginning to incorporate digital signage strategies into new buildings, allowing for a much greater degree of control over the communication of customer- and visitor-oriented information.
Of key importance is the emergence of touchscreen technology, which makes the digital sign the centerpiece of each customer’s information-gathering process. This strategy is already a standard in the transportation industry, and it has made its way into museums, sports arenas, and retail spaces as well.
How Do Digital Signs Improve Branding?
Whether incorporated in a retail environment or a professional setting, digital signs offer a range of benefits. The most important benefits are in the realm of branding. The digital sign is more capable of addressing customer needs in a distinct, branded way and this can transform entire sectors of industry.
Consider, for instance, that a 2014 study in the UK showed that 29.5 percent of customers report finding digital menus influential when purchasing a new product.
Furthermore, digital media in public places consistently outperforms social media in terms of views and customer reach. This lets small businesses compete with large ones without having to spend nearly the same amount of money on a per-customer basis.
Here are just some of the ways digital signage can be used to help sway customer opinion –
- In-Store Testimonials: 88 percent of customers consider reviews and testimonials before making an online purchase. In a retail store environment, however, there is no way to offer a similar experience to someone who just walked into a store they’ve never seen or heard of before without digital signage.
Retail stores have begun using digital screens to bring past customers’ words and thoughts into the real-world shopping environment using testimonial displays. In local settings, this can be very effective when it’s done authentically. You may even display the testimonial of someone that a customer personally knows, generating authentic influence that is almost impossible to copy otherwise.
- Let Customers Own the Brand: On a similar note, digital signage linked to customer feedback is another way to build rapport and create a sense of authentic inclusiveness. Some professional environments have used digital signs to create live Twitter walls, where customers who tag their tweets with the appropriate hashtag find their comments displayed for everyone to see.
- Focus on Product Features and Uses: Cisco asserts that more than 40 percent of shoppers report being influenced by relevant product information shown on digital in-store displays. A digital display that changes its feature content focus depending on the time of day, informed by known sales trends, can help boost key sales and improve businesses’ bottom lines.
Digital Displays Educate and Attract – Fast!
Use indoor digital signage for quick and easy content updates on your sales floor and watch your average level of customer satisfaction skyrocket. Nothing is less exciting than outdated promotions – Valentine’s Day sales catalogues left up in mid-March, for example. Digital signage lets you quickly adjust the branding information you show your customers, driving sales like never before.
Contact DME today and we can help you select digital signage to meet your business’ unique needs!