Digital Signage Influences Retail Advertising in a Big Way
Posted on 27, April, 2015
Last Modified on 22, June, 2015
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The presence of digital signage in today's retail environment is testament to its ability to exceed expectations in advertising. The digital signage industry has grown considerably in recent years and is now a widely accepted form of advertising thanks to its accessibility. The accessibility and visibility of this style of signage comes from everyone’s favorite pastime: watching television. Displaying commercials between regular programming is one of the ways brand name merchandisers drum up business. In the same fashion, using a digital sign inside a retail store increases product exposure by directly targeting consumers with ads about surrounding merchandise. It’s a great concept designed to replicate an actual television commercial inside a store - and it leads consumers directly to the checkout line. Conditioned to love digital media just as they love television, consumers have almost come to expect some sort of digital signage wherever they go.
Dynamic vs. Static Commerical Displays
Traditionally, retail establishments relied on printed, static media for their advertising (and still do to a very large extent). However, today digital signage creates an entirely different effect on consumers than that of traditional signage - it attracts the eye through movement. It sounds simple, but often the simplest of ideas prove to be the most powerful. The dynamic quality of digital signage gives retailers a powerful tool to wield inside their stores, attracting customers in the same way LED billboards on the highway attract motorists. Moreover, digital content can be changed or updated as fast as you can change a TV channel. When compared to the more expensive ritual of printing new posters for every new promotion, the savings in labor, time, and money can be a major factor.
Components Needed for Dynamic Digital Displays
The hardware required to operate a digital signage program in a retail environment includes three items:
- TV Screen
- TV Mount
- Digital Media Player
If the signage screens are to be left on continuously, without interruption, then commercial-rated monitors are a necessity. Rated to run 24/7, these flat screens feature special cooling technologies and more rugged housings to protect them from dust.
Most TV’s come with 3 year warranties for parts & labor coverage. High definition, 1080p resolution TVs are also available, but since most businesses will not be showing movies, a TV with 720p resolution is also more than acceptable.
With use of digital signage in businesses becoming more popular, the TV mounts industry has stepped up to the plate with a dizzying array of wall mount brackets, articulating arms, and ceiling-hung mounts. Unlike residential TVs, most commercial flat screens are mounted high up on walls with tilt attachments that point the screens down to the viewers, as in the case of many bars and restaurants. Another method of displaying digital signage is the floor stand. Whether stationed next to a new car in a showroom or on the trade show floor at a convention, floor stands provide quick solutions for temporary signage setups. The nature of floor stands’ construction allows them to be height adjustable, great for setting up in window displays or alongside merchandise aisles. Locking casters also provide easy transportability.
Digital Media Player
The media player is what drives any digital signage program. Broken down into three types, they offer:
- Simple Plug & Play Models
- Pre-formatted Content
- Multi-frame Advertising w/ Network Live TV
As the premier method of both informing and entertaining consumers at the same time, digital signage can consist of something as simple as a slideshow. Simply insert a USB flash drive with your image or video content into a plug & play box and it sends the slideshow, digital menu, and anything else to the flat screen. More advanced media players can connect to the internet, providing access to live sign channels featuring pre-formatted content such as weather, sports, stock tickers, and entertainment news that updates on an hourly basis. The added bonus of an internet connection allows the digital signage to be controlled anywhere from any computer. Media players streaming Live TV can also display custom advertising targeting your clientele. For example, a restaurant bar can use digital signage to display a football game for its customers while food and drink specials run along the side of the game. This content can be rotated to show more offerings over the course of the game, impacting profit on a number of levels.
The use of digital signage can influence a customer to make a purchase on the spot. The thing to remember is you’re not simply providing what the customer expects - you’re looking to maximize their experience. Just placing a TV in your establishment may or may not increase sales. However, providing engaging content informing customers about new menu offerings or sales promotions will influence customer behavior, sometimes instantly.