What is Digital Signage? – Introduction and 4 important components

Digital signage as an interactive way to get more attention from customers

Digitization is not only changing how we deal with information. It also changes the way we are presented with it. Digital signage is a way to present classic advertising media with the help of displays. Here we explain what it really is.

Digital signage is a trend that has become an increasingly frequent topic of conversation in retail in recent years and is also being used more and more often in sales areas and shop windows. It involves the digitization of classic advertising media such as billboards, displays or posters. For this purpose, displays and special digital signage screens are used to play digital content such as images, image films and commercials. These monitors are integrated in entrance areas, in shop windows, above cash registers or even directly in the sales areas. This necessitates the use of special displays that can withstand continuous operation without interruption.

Digital signage: More than just digitized advertising

Such digital signage systems do not necessarily have to be used only as advertising media, but are capable of much more: they are suitable for displaying current information, such as news and weather forecasts, or more specific, information on local features, promotions or even suitable advertisements for any time of day or region. Furthermore, it is also possible to use these systems for atmospheric images. Thus, the imaging of sales areas is a dynamic element that can simultaneously provide more information as well as a beautiful environment.

Various studies indicate that people remember moving images better and they evoke more attention as well as longer interaction. These effects thus help to focus the attention of customers specifically in the sales areas and also to address customers more actively again, because the Digital Transformation also has a great impact on customer behavior.

The fact that content can be managed either locally on the device or via the network saves effort. Central management of display areas via the Internet saves costs, as all content can be controlled from any screen. This eliminates the time-consuming manual replacement of content that becomes necessary when using conventional techniques. This ability to easily update the content displayed is not only cost-saving, but also allows all display areas to be kept up-to-date. In addition, the centralized management offers a geographical differentiation. For example, relevant information for different cities, regions or countries can be displayed and completely time-aligned.

4 Components of Digital Signage

Hardware

In order to create a digital signage system, you will need hardware components like screens, media players, and network components. Additionally, you will need mounts to hold your screens in place, as well as casing to protect all of your equipment.

Software

Digital signage software is used to manage and play back content on digital signs. It can be used to create playlists of content, manage schedules, and monitor signage systems. There are a variety of software options available, depending on your needs. Some popular software options include BrightSign, Signagelive, and Scala.

Connectivity

Digital signage systems require a certain level of connectivity in order to be effective. Without proper connectivity, the screens cannot be accessed or controlled remotely, and the content cannot be transferred or updated. Additionally, many digital signage systems rely on mobile technologies or WiFi to function, so a lack of connectivity can render them ineffective. For these reasons, it is essential that digital signage systems have reliable and consistent connectivity.

Content

Managing and creating content for digital signage is important because it keeps the signage relevant and interesting to viewers. Without fresh, relevant content, viewers may lose interest in the signage and stop paying attention to it. This can be damaging to businesses or organizations that rely on digital signage to communicate with their audiences. By managing and creating content effectively, businesses and organizations can ensure that their digital signage remains a valuable communication tool.

Interactivity with digital signage

In order to offer the customer more opportunities for interaction, there are various ways of making the screens interactive. One of the best-known and most frequently used examples would be the integration of touch functionality, which enables customers to search for content independently and to orient themselves in the system by navigating directly on the screen by touching it.

A recent example of how this technology can be used is demonstrated by Metro subsidiary Media-Saturn. In Barcelona, the company has built a store in which all touchpoints with the customer are digitized. More than 5,000 products are available in just 500 square meters. Customers can use screens, touchscreens and other technologies to find out about the products and select the one they want, which is then fetched from the warehouse by a robotic system.

Technologies such as the integration of smartphones via Bluetooth or RFID are also designed to make the screens more interactive. With the help of smartphone integration, it can be detected whether a person is in the vicinity, or which person it is. With this information, the screen can, for example, output specific content tailored directly to the customer in order to address them specifically and offer real added value.

CEO & Founder of MoreThanDigital. Serial entrepreneur since he successfully founded his first companies at the age of 13. He has always questioned the "status quo" and is committed to innovation, disruption and new ideas. As International keynote speaker, consultant for companies and governments & states, lecturer and published digital transformation expert, Benjamin tries to advance the topics of digitalization, digital transformation and innovation internationally.

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