Outdoor Signage: Digital vs. Static

Technology continues to be the driving force behind innovative efforts, and outdoor digital signage is proving to be a valuable tool across a wide variety of industries. Recent studies show that the average Americans spend more than 10 hours a day looking at a digital screen, so it only makes sense that businesses would use screens to connect with customers. Outdoor digital signage effectively meets the consumer where they are by providing a familiar format for conveying important and timely information in real-time.

For those who are still relying on static signs, it may be time to reconsider traditional tactics and upgrade to more dynamic signage tools. Here are just a few of the benefits of using outdoor digital signage:

Visual Appeal

Outdoor digital signage provides a crisp, clean and bright display that will continue to look like new. Unlike static signs that will fade and decay over time from exposure to the sun and other weather conditions, digital displays are well protected and won’t experience the same wear and tear. Digital signs will also add a level of sophistication to any space. This lets customers know that a business is progressive and current with emerging trends.

Make Technology Feel Human-Centric

Some may make the argument that incorporating more technology into our lives creates a less personal and more sterile environment where there is little one-on-one interaction. While this may be true in some cases, outdoor digital signage can actually be used to enhance interactions and allow businesses to shift to a more human-centered approach.

Starbucks is one example of a company who has managed to leverage the potential of outdoor digital signage to create a customer-driven approach to service. In early 2017, the company incorporated a two-way video into its digital drive-thru menu displays. This allowed customers to see and interact with their barista, instead of a detached voice over a speaker system. The initial trial was such a success that Starbucks is now actively rolling out the screens across the U.S.

outdoor digital signage

Image courtesy of OSM Solutions

Real-Time Responsive Content

Unlike static signs, outdoor digital signage can provide content that is timely, relevant and aimed at a target audience for a truly engaging experience. This level of interaction is important because engaging with consumers goes beyond simply providing excellent service; it involves creating a well-orchestrated experience that taps into customer emotions. This type of all-encompassing engagement is what leads to repeat business.

Provide a “Wow” Factor

When it comes to creating an eye-catching display that will impress customers and help create that engaging experience that is essential to growth, static signs simply don’t compare. Outdoor digital signage is sleek, modern and will make any business appear more polished and professional. A lot can ride on making a strong first impression and the mere presence of digital signs send a clear message and provide the perfect way to instantly win over new visitors.

outdoor digital signage

Complement Existing Spaces

Outdoor digital signage provides a unique opportunity for designers. While static signs can also be customized, digital screens can be creatively incorporated into existing architecture for a seamless look that naturally blends different design elements. The sign can simultaneously be unobtrusive while also attracting the attention of passersby and potential customers.

Outdoor venues can also use outdoor digital signage to provide weather updates and other relevant news that may affect services. Not only is this a convenient service, but it can also improve overall safety.

Advertise Daily Promotions

Imagine being able to instantly update advertising displays to push products that may be piling up in the store. Businesses can run daily specials based on items they want to clear out. They can also create advertisements that will upsell specific items based on customer behavior. Outdoor digital signage provides the perfect companion to data-driven businesses so that they can immediately execute actions that will drive sales.

Instantly Update Information

Investing in static signs means that the content will eventually become dated. Businesses will then have to create another campaign, commission the sign to be made and repeat the process all over again in just a short time. Outdoor digital signage can easily and instantly update so that the important and timely information is always being displayed. This is especially useful when advertising sales and specials that are only available for a limited time. All it takes is a few minutes at the computer.

Fast food restaurants, pharmacies and any other business that utilizes a drive-thru to provide services can use outdoor digital signage to provide updates on wait times and alert customers when they are next in line. This can reduce any confusion and help businesses deal with impatient customers.

outdoor digital signage

Maximize Visibility

Traditional, static signs can be difficult to see and read throughout the day as the sun shifts. If a light is hitting the sign head on, the entire image can be obscured, rendering it useless. In contrast, outdoor digital signage will automatically increase or decrease brightness according to the light. Sensors will actively detect any shifts so that the sign is always visible and legible. Also, digital signs can be especially eye-catching at night when there is more lighting contrast.

outdoor digital signage

A variety of mounting options can help optimize visibility. Digital signs can be placed on storefronts, near entrances or windows, on the outside of buildings, in courtyards, alongside drive-thrus or even on free-standing pedestals. With the right design, there are virtually no limitations to where and how you can place outdoor digital signage to garnish the most attention and maximize use.

There is such a drastic difference between digital and static signs that it is almost difficult to compare the two options. While static signs certainly had their time and place, they simply can’t offer the same benefits and value as digital signs. Today’s consumers are more tech-savvy than ever, and they expect the same from the companies they interact with. Digital signs allow businesses to keep up with customers demands and meet the new standard for providing dynamic and convenient tools that create an entire experience instead of serving just one purpose. For those who want to stay relevant in the competitive business world, digital signage is a must.

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