How digital signage technology has aided businesses

With industry standards higher than ever, businesses must embrace technology trends and functions in order to keep up with competitors and make their brands stand out.

One way in which businesses can achieve this goal is by incorporating digital signage – an increasingly popular platform for providing entertainment and communication in customer-facing businesses.

With digital signage, it’s become easier to broadcast high-quality content and reach customers with targeted information, and whilst print signage has proven to be effective in the past, it is much more limited than digital, which continues to push boundaries and offer more functionality.

One of the key advantages of digital signage to customer-facing businesses is the dynamic content.

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With moving images and video, drawing consumer attention is made much easier and this increased engagement not only helps brands to communicate information, but can subsequently lead to an increase in sales.

Furthermore, the ability to broadcast multiple messages at once without the platform becoming overcrowded allows a brand to cleverly reach different audiences in one space.

This is something that was previously difficult to achieve with print materials such as POS posters and catalogues, where constructing numerous messages in one place can easily become confusing and overcrowded.

Basic tasks such as design, admin, printing and setup of print materials are time-consuming for employees, and can require further correcting and reinstating efforts.

By going digital these processes become much more streamlined.

A digital signage provider will often include design templates and guides, assisting those with little creative flare with the creation of professional-looking content to suit their brand.

In terms of assembling and arranging content, businesses can take advantage of the ability to schedule content in advance, even predetermining different messages for certain times of day.

Being able to plan the information communicated to customers in this way presents a time-saving solution on its own, but a key area that digital signage optimises is updating content.

If mistakes are made or changes are desired at any point, real-time amendments can be made at the click of a button and there is no need for reprinting and physically reassembling.

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Transforming advertising and communication efforts to a digital platform can not only make the whole process much more seamless, but could equate to long-term savings and a better ROI for a business.

Whilst initial hardware and installation fees will occur, digital signage usually only requires minor payments for ongoing support and maintenance.

Compared to the costs of continually printing and distributing print materials – for example, arranging a new set of product-specific billboards in a retail store – uploading new content is basically free once the initial installation fee has been paid.

Digital service provider, Startle, specialises in providing businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors with innovative products that improve in-venue customer experiences.

After a recent rebrand to reach a wider market and expand from their original position as a background music service provider, Startle now offers a digital signage solution for shops, bars, hotels and more, and the business has recently made changes to offer more advanced technology to these areas.

The Startle team have developed their content delivery platform and in-venue hardware to enable their customers to create their own channels that can be managed remotely alongside the sports, news and other channels.

This comes from seeing an increasing investment in TVs and video walls from retail and hospitality businesses who entertain their customers with sports, news and other programming.

This means that that businesses can generate revenues from suppliers who wish to advertise on their channels, just as brands do on commercial TV, but with the advantage that the products will be promoted at the point of purchase.

To achieve this, the digital service provider has worked with some of the most reputable manufacturers in China to source the most cost effective hardware to work with its platform.

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Nigel Warburton, CTO of Startle comments: “The inclusion of advanced hardware and bespoke firmware, sourced from cost-effective manufacturers in China, has enabled us to have a platform that will deliver: a background music service, digital signage and TV channels, all with picture-in-picture capability, from one portal.”

“This is a very unique offering for our customers and seriously reduces their need to support multiple standalone platforms that are not integrated.”

Andy Hill, CEO of Startle adds: “When you are developing very advanced functionality and you need to integrate additional hardware, it’s important to carry out extensive due diligence on your suppliers.”

“At Startle, we take no short cuts and personally visit the factories we have chosen to partner with in China. These visits enable us to check their quality control practices, their ability to deliver in volume, and that we are aligned with our respective visions for future products. Unless you visit these factories and invest the time to find out this information you cannot support your customers in the way they deserve.”

It’s clear that any business looking to succeed in terms of digital advertising, communication and entertainment is required to invest in a solution that meets the needs of their customers and keeps in line with their vision for the brand.

In an era where digital evolution is more apparent than ever, businesses will likely see expectations grow along with transformations in technology, ever-increasing the industry standard.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...