As technology continues to develop and become more accessible than ever, customer-facing businesses are tackling the challenges of keeping up with expectations to ensure they stay in the game.
Consumers are becoming accustomed to ever-evolving technologies that make their experiences more seamless and personal, and anything below this is seen as outdated and below standard.
Digital signage is one platform becoming increasingly recognised as an effective way of enhancing customer experiences. In retail, for example, online shopping is at an all-time high, and using digital signage allows retailers that are solely bricks-and-mortar to compete with the information available online in an engaging and interactive way. No longer are stores limited to print materials to communicate with customers; the ability to provide digital demonstrations, live stock updates and answer questions on product specifics could be the answer to putting local stores back in the spotlight.
On the other hand, platforms such as digital signage and mobile marketing can also integrate with ecommerce to create a high-level omnichannel experience. It's rare that buyers will simply walk into a store knowing exactly what they want, for example. They are more likely to research an item online - where they'll find most of their information - and then visit a physical store to see the item in the flesh. When these two channels are combined well, retailers can offer consumers information that appeals to them personally, such as displaying a new range of jackets as the customer enters the store, after recognising that they viewed 'outerwear' on the website.
Whatever the business, communication to customers is much more effective when it is timely, targeted and refreshed, and digital signage supports this by offering flexibility to business owners. Real-time changes can be make at the click of a button, supporting spontaneous events and eliminating the time needed to create and assemble equivalent print materials.
The use of dynamic content allows businesses to broadcast more than one message at a time, and with moving image, is instantly more eye-catching to consumers. In environments such as pubs and bars this is an ideal way to advertise events and offers to customers in a non-intrusive yet engaging way.
With the creative possibilities of digital signage technology so vast, a further way customer-facing businesses can benefit from the platform is by using it to creating a stronger sense of brand. A successful business will carefully consider all atmospheric features of a venue, and using signage to reinforce this brand identity and key messages provides further opportunities for attracting and retaining the attention of customers.
A perfect example of this could be in a retail store where consistent yet varied digital messages are broadcast in multiple areas of the venue, directing and informing customers whilst advertising products and maintaining a great sense of brand. Other screens could give customers useful information about the local weather or that particular shop, creating a rounded experience that encourages engagement and is likely to increase dwell-time and return rates.
When analysing communication and entertainment technology trends in businesses, 2016 saw a leap in functionality and the overall offering from a business to its customers. As these new levels of convenience become the norm, the number of businesses adopting technologies such as digital signage is expected to grow at an even faster rate this year, giving consumers a lot to look forward to.
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