Featured Image

Digital signage is increasingly becoming the standard over static, and for good reason. Modern software allows you to do more, display more engaging content, and offer features like personalization and interactivity. More importantly, digital signage allows you to keep content relevant, whether you’re displaying ads or a menu, to boost conversions and value.

While most consumers will never truly love ads or signs in any way, they expect them. Static signage is so ineffective, because would-be viewers glaze over them as part of the urban landscape. Digital signage allows you to be creative, helpful, and engaging, so that you can delight customers with how and what you are saying. This guide will put you on the right track to creating content that customers actually love.

Impress with interactivity

Interactivity is something of a buzz word, but for good reason. Interactivity allows you to actively engage with customers by asking them to react and interact. This can include:

  • Using motion sensors and detectors to personalize messages on the screen
  • Creating personalized messages for screens
  • Using tools like virtual reality cameras to integrate passers-by into the sign
  • Touch-screen solutions where customers can utilize the sign as a menu, place orders, or ask for help

Using signs as order forms are extremely useful for customers. Rather than waiting for a sales-clerk, shoppers simply walk up to a sign, search for a relevant product, place an order online, or check information.

Top retailers like Walmart have integrated digital signage since 1993, but interactive boards and menus have only begun to infiltrate stores very recently. Here, customers can quickly check orders or place an online order for in-store pickup, saving time if they can’t find what they’re looking for.

Personalize your message

Personalizing a message is a great way to catch attention. For example, a sign at the front of a store could use virtual reality cameras and motion sensors to integrate customers into welcome messages and ads or could call out to specific passers-by.

HP’s first Canadian store uses digital signage at entrances to share personalized greetings alongside promotions, discounts, and other messages. Signage uses sensors to rapidly push greets and specific messages to customers and integrates Bluetooth and app interaction to recognize existing customers.

Personalization can range from recognizing customers individually using Bluetooth and facial recognition to targeting ads based on demographic (age, gender, height, etc.).

However, you do have to be careful to respect individual privacy and desire for privacy. Some people will find being greeted by name to be invasive, especially if they haven’t opted in. If you don’t have an opt-in program as part of an app or in-store, you may want to simply greet people using more generic messages, or by using sensors to note group size and demographic, clothing, or so on.

Aim for relevance

Ad relevance is becoming more and more important as customers begin to expect the same level of service offline as online. While you cannot target ads in the real world in the same way as online, you can target ads to keep them relevant. Digital signage allows you to update ads instantly, scrolling through a series of media based on time of day, outside weather, local events, the person walking by, volume of traffic, and so on. Rule-based software means you can automate most of these updates, simply changing display content as new factors come into play.

For example, if you were advertising at an airport shop, you could schedule ads with flight departures. Ads could synchronize with departure times (You have 15 minutes left till flight XXXX begins boarding, have a coffee), weather at destinations (Taking flight YYYYY? How about an umbrella?), and local languages for flight destinations. Chances are, you already have access to data to make relevance changes like this happen, and digital signage makes it relatively easy to set up.

Most digital signage allows you to either update automatically using automation and contextual rules or push new information to signage instantly. This means you can automatically switch to a lunch or dinner menu, update menus when food runs out, or offer instant notifications when something has gone wrong and there’s a delay. This applies to ads, content notices, and much more, because it’s relatively easy to simply update presentations as situations change.

Always be helpful

Ads are largely seen as a nuisance. Many are intrusive, even online, where they are highly personalized and targeted. Taking the time to make ads and content that is helpful will work to delight customers significantly more than just seeing another ad.

How can you manage that? Even catering ads to inform individuals of the weather can be considered helpful. Many retailers use tag recognition to bring up products customers are holding, offering product information, comparisons, and price-point comparisons or reviews. You can also integrate infotainment into key areas such as queues and checkout lines, informing customers of how long they’re likely to have to wait, showing ads, and offering actual entertainment. While this won’t work in every scenario, it will reduce perceived wait time by as much as 30%, improving overall customer satisfaction.

Digital signage allows you to offer wait times, wayfinding, information about the weather, public transit schedules, time-till-ready for food and beverages, product information, online reviews and content, and much more. Integrating it is also simple with most real-time data synchronization, so you can do more with your displays.

Most people see signage as invasive, ugly, and largely unwanted. Digital signage gives you opportunities to be creative, interesting, and engaging. While it often requires adding sensors, monitors, and smart software to your displays, digital signage makes it easy to truly delight customers with personalized, helpful, and engaging content. While your application should depend on your customers, product, and location, digital signage offers numerous opportunities to do so, and you can create ads and other content that stand out.