“Isn’t digital signage just an expensive way of replacing printed ads?” That is a question most digital signage newbies struggle with. However, there is an extreme focus on price and not the benefits of digital signage.
This article provides a look at the real value of digital signage.
We’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. Still, our innate desire to do so is why the proverb exists. What we see and perceive strongly influences human decision making. Business signage is the first exposure most people will have to your organization. Like most first impressions, your signage makes a powerful statement that can be hard to change.
Before you can hope to sell anyone on your product or service, you need to grab their attention. Signage speaks powerfully to your audience. According to the Chamber of Commerce, even a simple, solitary sign outside your business can increase sales by as much as 30%.
But it’s not just about location: quality is also essential. A FedEx Office survey found that 76% of American consumers enter a new store based solely on the quality of its signs. Some 68 percent made a purchase because a sign caught their eye. Unappealing can even drive would-be customers away.
So what’s the most effective way to communicate your message?
Many business owners today, including your competition, know the benefits of digital signage. The investment is not inconsiderable, and it might even scare you away. But consider the missed opportunity cost of NOT having digital signage.
To understand how NOT having digital signage is hurting you, let’s first explore some of its efficiencies.
Benefits of Digital Signage
1. Speed and Efficiency
Designing and producing traditional signage is a slow and often painstaking process. The materials for that upcoming campaign or convention must enter development weeks, if not months, before actually needed. Once created, they’re final — outdated information, typos and all.
To excel in today’s fast-paced marketplace, it’s crucial to update your visual presence in real time. With digital signage, you maintain control over your message at all times. Want to show multiple items on screen at once? No problem. Need to change your display several times over the course of a day? Easily done.
In your customers’ eyes, efficiency can sometimes be a simple matter of perception. Queue management pros at Lavi Industries found that offering the distraction of commercials and promotional messages on digital signage, can reduce retail line perceived wait time by as much as 40%. That means the your current customers enjoy a better experience and are more likely to return.
2. “Silent” Endorsement
This is one of the most important benefits of digital signage.
The technology can serve as a stand-in for representatives on the floor, guiding others towards your product or service in a tailored fashion. It’s far easier to grab the attention of potential customers and impress them with your message when you incorporate motion.
Consider a retail example: strategically placed interactive displays escort customers through the entire sales process. Digital signage can endorse brands, tout special offers, inform on product details in an impressively high-tech way. It’s like having a virtual sales assistant. For example, Adidas installed digital wall displays in test locations and increased sales by 40%. This sort of promotion is no longer a mere novelty: it’s what sophisticated customers expect.
Digital signage also improves guest experience in hospitality or convention settings. With displays to attract and guide, you’ll require fewer representatives on the floor. Now that’s a benefit that pays off, through reduced payroll, travel and training expenses.
3. Less Waste
Today’s public is increasingly conscious of environmental concerns. Traditional signage systems often involve a tremendous amount of designing, printing and transporting. Plus they produce a great deal of physical waste when your campaign or convention is over.
After all, you can’t realistically update physical signs with new facts, slogans, promotions, or calls-to-action. Not in the simple way that you can with a computer display. Digital systems are re-usable and modifiable in real-time to highlight different content throughout the day. When information changes, so do your signs. This keeps a sharp focus on your message without any downtime to replace the display.
Digital screens are built for the long haul, unlike the wood- or cardboard-based solutions that clutter up landfills. When they eventually live out their lifespan, the interior components (like copper, aluminum, and polycarbonate plastic) are easily recycled. In fact, your signs often contain already-salvaged materials. For optimal energy performance, look to use LED units over their LCD counterparts when possible.
Digital Signage is not Just A Way to Save Money
Making the switch to digital is a great way to save money in the long-term. But it’s also the right move for the planet – and might earn the admiration of your “greener” clientele.
So, what about Missed Opportunity Cost?
You may still be asking, “Is switching to digital signage really worth the time and expense?” After all, you’ve probably been getting at least some sort of response with traditional methods. Besides, the initial investment cost of a simple wooden sign or handful of flyers isn’t exactly prohibitive. Why not stick with what you’ve already got?
It’s a fair question.
But every sign that doesn’t grab a customer’s attention is wasted time and money – and these resources could have secured that business if better spent.
This is what economists refer to as “opportunity cost.” It’s a safe bet that no matter your industry, the cost of missed opportunities will far outshine the comparatively small investment of digital signage.
Let’s face it: we’ve trained ourselves as humans to ignore print advertising. We now do it quite well. Hubspot estimates that as much as 44% of direct mail is never opened. And it’s not that customers are actively avoiding paying attention to your business’ signage. There’s just so much information hitting our eyeballs these days that our minds avoid the least exciting and engrossing bits. This isn’t just conjecture, either. It’s actually the work of physiological mechanism called the “reticular activating system,” which filters out unwanted stimuli to avoid overwhelming the brain.
But TV screens and monitors remain harder to disregard, and can often be quite riveting. How many times have you stopped on the sidewalk or in a storefront to watch a digital display for at least several seconds? Even if customers don’t stay to absorb your entire message, there’s a world of difference between taking some notice and taking no notice. Even noticing some of your message can help impact sales and brand visibility.
An Exercise in Opportunity Cost
Imagine you are a hotel owner with events, happy hours, and meal specials to promote throughout each month. In days past, it might have been sufficient to post this information on a large calendar in the lobby. Perhaps you’d even take the extra step of printing off small calendar sheets and placing one on the table in each guest’s room.
Today, however, we are living in an increasingly digital age. You can no longer rely on static cards to attract the attention and sustained interest of a guest. What’s more, your competition has already incorporated digital signage in the form of dynamic displays. Your customers are conditioned to focus their limited attention on the things that jump out at them. Those calendar sheets may not have cost much to print, but can you justify the miniscule material savings knowing that so many guests have likely paid them no heed at all?
So long as your imagery and campaigns are well designed, the cost of getting your customers’ eyes on them is well worth it. In some instances, you may be able to sell space on your displays to non-competing advertisers, creating an entirely new income stream.
Bottom line? Not having Digital Signage can be expensive
Digital signage can be a significant investment. However, if done properly, it’s less than the missed opportunity cost. Use a messaging medium that your tech-savvy customers are more likely to respond to and engage with, and they’re more likely to make a purchase. The benefits of digital signage far outweigh the capital expenditure.