Editor’s note: This is part of a series analyzing current and future trends in the digital signage market. The next part will analyze software trends.


Digital signage has been rapidly expanding its reach in nearly every market and area, especially indoors. Now, both large and small retailers are using digital signage in greater numbers to advertise, boost branding improve customer experience, according to the Digital Signage Future Trends Report.  It found that two-thirds of retailers surveyed said that improved branding was the greatest benefit of digital signage, followed by improved customer service by 40 percent.

Nordiska Kompaniet, a retailer in Stockholm, Sweden, for example, deployed digital signage with tanned leather bands around the top and hung those to the wall to create the illusion that the display was hanging by the band. This helped the displays integrate with the retailer’s overall sober and high class brand image.

On a general level, the indoor digital signage space is seeing better displays to improve branding, and better engagement tools to improve the customer experience.

Better displays

One major trend is a move away from LCD displays toward more advanced LED displays, according to Barry Pearmen, manager inside sales, Watchfire. Pearman argued that the decreasing cost of LED displays is helping drive this trend.

LEDs aren’t just getting more common, they are also becoming more advanced.

“LED have been around for a quite a while, we keep pushing tighter and tighter pitches, getting LEDS closer and closer together,” Brian Huber, creative team manager, Watchfire, said in an interview. “Gone are the days of just that giant lightbulb sign that shows just 8 characters at a time.”

Another big trend is the push toward direct-view LED displays to create more immersive and awe-inspiring experiences, according to Kevin Christopherson, director of product marketing, NEC Display Solutions.

“Direct view LED panels are highly customizable and can create experiences that encircle the audience or create architecturally captivating focus points,” Christopherson said in his entry for the 2018 Digital Signage Future Trends Report “With pixel pitch options for anything from close-up viewing to distant viewing for larger venues, owners can use dvLED to provide a completely unique and memorable experience.”

Better engagement tools

Simply having a brighter display isn’t enough to deliver better indoors experiences. That is why digital signage vendors are offering more and more advanced analytics systems to gain key insights into customers, so they can better engage them.

Matthias Woggon, CEO, eyefactive, pointed out in his entry for the Digital Signage Future Trends Report that vendors are using proximity sensors and face recognition cameras to identify key information about a customer, such as whether they are looking at a product or display.

“Modern algorithms are even able to detect parameters like age, sex and mood by analyzing the facial expressions on the camera footage. Additionally, touchscreens can measure touches on specific content and can assess the exact performance of advertising campaigns and the return on investment,” Woggan said. “The combination of face recognition and touch technology allows for measuring how many people react to which content and facilitates the creation of targeted campaigns and sustained optimization.”

Digital signage is also delivering interactive omnichannel experiences to engage with customers. Ian Crosby, vice president of sales and marketing for Zytronic, wrote in his entry for the Digital Signage Future Trends Report about Ebekek, a mother and baby product retailer in Turkey. Ebekek is using interactive digital signage to integrate ecommerce and assisted sales. Customers can browse through the entire range of products and make a purchase independently or ask a sales assistant for help.

The survey for the Digital Signage Future Trends 2018 report confirmed this trend of increasing interactive experiences. 50 percent of retailers said that they found touchscreens very useful for digital signage.

The overall larger trend with all of these examples, is the push towards more reactionary media, according to a 2019 Digital Signage Future Trends Report blog by Geoffrey Platt, director of RealMotion

“These emerging interactive technologies all require one common element. The ability to create, analyze and react in a world that requires real-time-based solutions,” Platt said.

Where are we headed?

In the indoor space, digital signage is getting both bigger in terms of larger, grander displays with innovative software and smaller, as Mom and Pop stores deploy simpler displays in larger numbers.

Christopherson argued that digital signage end users and vendors have been developing solutions that create engaged audiences. The next big step is when all the pieces fall into place, and we start seeing truly dynamic deployments flood into the market for both large and small companies.

“The next step is putting the analytics piece in place,” Christopherson said. “Once the first wave of these full-system projects are complete, you can expect this practice to take off like a wildfire as owners see the additional value it provides.”

Image via Istock.com.

Post time: May-13-2020