Digital signage, an effective sales tool

Young couple in protection mask holding multiple paper shopping bag walking in the corridor of large shopping mall, New normal lifestyle and shopping concept

On an international level, the Digital Signage market is considered to be mature, but in reality, this is far from being the case. All the evidence shows that it continues to grow and move at a strong upward pace, spanning multiple markets, through multiple means.

In the recent past, Digital Signage was primarily aimed at large facilities, which has been reversed as -now- even smaller businesses can benefit from it. Nowadays, innovative formats and templates such as interactive displays, outdoor menu boards, curved screens and so on are attempting to drive new levels of customer engagement while boosting sales. It may be the medium, i.e., the screens, that captures the eye of users-customers-consumers in the first instance, but it is the message and the content that attracts and retains their attention. This is the ingredient that can lead them to the next step. In today’s market, LCD technology is the leading choice for businesses, primarily due to its (low) price, ease of installation and implementation, low maintenance costs and overall value. This is expected to continue until at least a dramatic drop in the price of LED technology solutions becomes apparent.

The expansion of the vertical fields and markets in which digital signage solutions are applied is also significant, as -in addition to traditional retail businesses- there is a strong demand in restaurants, bars, hairdressing salons, beauty salons, real estate offices, etc. Another important aspect and trend is the demand for small and medium-sized formats, especially on behalf of smaller stores where the available space is extremely limited. Several professionals are opting for 4K displays, as well as 3D digital signage models. More advanced businesses have a greater appeal -now- to video walls, which are becoming increasingly mainstream. One of the trends that is expected to dominate in the near future, signalling a shift in thinking and broader logic about digital signage is the full integration of customer-user-consumers as part of the content! Combined with LED displays, it is estimated to… explode the overall experience. Mirror-type display models are proliferating, seamlessly combining the image clarity that a mirror ensures with the broad appeal of digital signage. And what’s the outcome? Customers interacting with businesses like never before until today. Having a specialized sensor on the screen itself detects prospective consumers and automatically displays specialized marketing material to them, turning the mirror into a fully informative as well as appealing sales tool. The market is not lacking in screens that can be adapted to spaces with specific characteristics, such as ceilings, under shelves, small as well as sufficiently narrow spaces and corridors.

AI is changing the game!

In every -almost- aspect of modern business, the factor of personalization and tailoring counts! Every customer (individual or corporate entity) who experiences a complete personal service experience based on their data, their wants and requirements, and the direct provision of exactly what they need before they even… think twice about it, is sure to choose to bond with this unique customer-oriented proposition. An element that can be a highly cost-effective differentiator in an intense economic environment. In this aspect, the trend of transferring and applying the online experience to every physical store through digital signage is increasingly gaining momentum, which, combined with the progressively evolving collection, analysis and utilization of a wide range of customer data, further highlights and strengthens the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Now, the features and functions of AI are being harnessed to noticeably enhance and provide a close-to-reality, but somewhat of a… sci-fi feel. For example, branded clothing and footwear retail chains have developed and use highly specialised virtual applications that work perfectly on touchscreens and allow customers to select specific models and items, view them from every possible angle, as well as obtain information about the production process. By integrating and using video analytics, the same companies are collecting data to ensure the delivery of uniquely personalized experiences and products…

Other businesses collect a rich array of demographic data, such as age, gender, etc., and then use it to develop relevant content to display at digital signage points. At the same time, the concept of AI has recently been increasingly leveraged in a number of tasks, such as the self-checkout process and direct response to queries on behalf of customers, while simultaneously analyzing multiple volumes of data in much shorter timescales, generating deeper insights, while constantly learning ways in which they are able to adapt to diverse customer audiences, in order for businesses to use relevant digital signage to create even more personalized smart experiences.

In fact, the drastic evolution of Artificial Intelligence to the point that it has dynamically penetrated the field of Programmatic advertising, seems to have a significant contribution to the next day of advertising and especially to the level of programmatic display ads. This is because Artificial Intelligence helps manage individual ad campaigns by relying on machine learning algorithms that in turn can provide relevant content that is modified in real time! In a broader context, AI significantly increases the degree of personalization of online ads, creating high-quality content that is targeted to the right audience at any given time. Additionally, AI has begun to play a similar role in advertising in the digital signage sector, leveraging data related to the audience viewing the messages in order to display highly targeted ads and offers. Now, businesses and professionals can actively participate in programmatic advertising, placing ads on digital screens around the world in a similar way to what they would do online. Combined with the highly specific demographics they have at each individual point of sale, they can decide what kind of ads or general promotions to present to their customers per specific location. At the same time, professionals can resort to the use of video analytics in order to decide what or what kind of advertising to show to each individual customer standing in front of a digital signage screen. And all of this, in real time. The entirety of these actions have at their core one goal: The direct or cross-selling sale.

3+1 trends

The value of mobile: the world is becoming more and more connected and Digital Out Of Home (DOOH) is no exception. The interaction between mobile devices and today’s smart DOOH displays allow for creative dialogue between organizations and their customers to create a truly personalized experience. The data feedback loop creates a powerful, targeted, as well as measurable relation.

Smart cities: Today, the smart city is getting smarter and smarter. As DOOH expands, it is increasingly integrated into the growing digital infrastructure of smart cities. Digital touch screens offer personalised digital services (self-service, access to local maps, points of interest, etc.). The use of big and live data visualise real-time information related to their immediate environment.

Immersion & Interaction: 4K resolution, OLED, flexible and transparent displays, HDR, etc. open up new possibilities for DOOH. New formats and flexible uses allow for seamless integration into the environment and create immersive experiences. Interactive touch applications with information, wayfinding, QR codes, loyalty coupons, learn apps, retail assistant etc., are launching immersion.

Analytics (Real Time): DOOH has always been able to respond to the obvious requirement: the right message at the right time! where consumers are most likely to act.

Digital screens are now able to recognise in real time the gender, age, facial expressions and emotions of the audience and automatically display personalised content. Advertised brands reach their audience with highly accurate targeting, skyrocketing conversion rates. At the same time, they confirm high ROI based on metrics found in other modern media.

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