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Unlimited Engagement: How digital signage expands message outreach across industries.

Recent innovations and technological improvements have allowed the digital signage industry to expand at an incredible rate, driving both demand and profits higher than ever before. According to a press release from IHS (ihs.com), “By 2017, total digital signage takings will amount to $17.1 billion.” Businesses across a wide variety of industries and markets are turning to digital signage to expand their message outreach. This is particularly prevalent in retail, banking, airports and quick-service restaurants.

Digital signage has been making impressive inroads in the retail industry for some time. The retail industry learned quickly that the inclusion of digital signage into the layout of their stores positively impacts the customer experience and helps focus the drive to buy. Not only does digital signage assist in getting customers valuable product information and store specials, it also creates an interactive environment that makes a more enjoyable overall shopping experience.

Many retail digital signage displays are located throughout stores in a variety of key areas. These areas can include aisles and special in-store displays to help focus customer attention on a new product or service. Other highly effective areas are self-help signage systems where customers can look up information about in-store products for themselves, or even at points of purchase locations, such as the cashier. This creates a fertile environment for high-impact advertising and high brand visibility that leads to marked increases in impulse purchasing.

Stores can also creatively implement digital multimedia into their layout through flatscreens, videowalls, kiosks and even interactive applications via tablets. With these systems in place, stores can broadcast entertainment, advertising, brand videos, how-to-use guides, store promotional materials and even help direct traffic flow. Digital signage naturally creates a multi-sensory environment that captures the attention of the consumer by making the process of shopping more inviting and interactive, while transcending the typical “behind the counter” client/sales relationship. This makes for a more personalized, sensory-rich shopping experience.

Although not as common, the presence of digital signage in the banking industry is increasing steadily. Banks have sought to use digital signage solutions to give bank members a more satisfying customer experience. Banks have slowly adapted a more retail-esque environment after rediscovering the value of providing in-branch services to strengthen their relationship with their customers. The implementation of digital signage in the local banking branch environment provides customers with high-quality live and video content, in addition to providing banks with an easy, approachable medium to broadcast targeted information to customers using in-branch services. This material can inform, educate and promote the bank brand and increase customer loyalty. It also assists in raising customer interest in bank services that customers may not have been aware of. As with retail, the presence of digital signage in the bank also lowers the customer’s perceived wait time, which makes for a more pleasant overall experience.

In addition to providing a positive environment for the customer, digital signage can also be a valuable tool for bank employees. By broadcasting content, it saves a significant amount of time and money by reducing printing costs of in-branch posters, data sheets and brochures. Additionally, these solutions are also used to assist in off-hour employee training sessions. Trainers can use the displays to integrate and present information to trainees using a variety of sources, including websites, databases, live TV, promotional videos and more.

Perhaps one of the most high-visibility industries making use of digital signage is transportation. Most travel hubs, especially airports, are known for being chaotic, confusing and stressful places. Digital signage has been implemented throughout airport terminals worldwide in an effort to reduce these negatives, while providing an orderly, structured visual system for travelers to get important information with a minimal amount of effort. Most of the digital signage displays are designed to integrate seamlessly into the terminal’s existing structure, providing information at key navigational points throughout the travel terminal.

This is done in a variety of ways, from large-screened displays at each terminal to smaller information kiosks. Many of these kiosks have created user-friendly interactive stations where travelers can access transportation information easily. The presence of digital signage in high- travel areas creates value for passengers by providing useful information directly to them. This can be in the form of travel schedules, weather reports, courtesy messages and time change information, all presented in a fast, modern and highly efficient way. These systems are also helpful for assisting travelers with wayfinding and becoming oriented with the layout of the terminal, and they provide passengers the opportunity to lessen travel stress by decreasing their perceived wait time.

Another industry that has wholeheartedly embraced digital signage solutions is the quick service restaurant (QSR). QSRs have been at the forefront of integrating digital signage into the foodservice industry for some time. Digital signage solutions for QSRs are vast and highly customizable. They are often used for suggestive selling, menu boards or lowering customers’ perceived wait time at the counter. By incorporating these solutions into their store layout, restaurant owners create a highly engaging and interactive dining experience with great success.

Many QSRs that have embraced these solutions have been able to streamline operations, content and inventory management, which leads to lower operation costs. Plus, customers are responding to these solutions: Measurable increases in ticket averages have been reported.

A quick glimpse into the applications for digital signage shows that the possibilities for this field are nearly limitless. Not only are they transforming how the world does business, they are being combined with other technology to create a more interactive and informative environment for users. Customers and other users can combine digital signage with their mobile devices via QR codes and other similar applications, receive rewards for sharing digital signage promotions on social media, get deals in real time, swap recipes, browse electronic catalogs and so much more. The world that digital signage is building is definitely one of unlimited engagement.

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