Key Trends: How Digital Signage Will Shape the Future of Retail

Retail point of sale

Retail point of sale

Digital signs are going to have a massive place in the future of offline retail. And, where this has always been the assumption (just look at movies set in the future), the 2020 pandemic actually “Proved” that digital signs are here to stay. Companies are not installing digital signs to “Future-proof” their businesses. Here is how digital sign will shape the future of offline retail.

Companies Are Futureproofing

When the 2020 pandemic hit, people had to stay home and we saw just how much the government can treat us like prisoners in our own homes. However, governments quickly realized we need to get out to get food and medicine and such. So, restrictions were put in place. Stores were allowed to have a few people in at a time, and people were supposed to remain “No contact.”

Very quickly, we saw that the “No Contact” part was pretty difficult. That is, until digital signs were introduced. Companies were telling people how many may enter the stores using digital signs. People were told when to approach the till, when to enter the waiting room and so forth.

Associated Technology Was Bought Up Quickly

One of the side effects of this surge in digital sign interest was the additional surge in associated technology. We saw things like Apple TV selling far more units, we saw an increase in the popularity of Kitcast Apple TV because people were using the software and hardware to stream to digital signs.

We saw digital sign sales increase slightly, but we also saw cheap TV sales increase, since people figured they would use them as quick solutions for their no-contact problems. Cheap TVs seemed to do the trick, but what happened next was more surprising.

Digital Signs Stuck Around

As the pandemic went away, companies kept using digital signs. Those cheap TVs turned into hard-wearing high-quality digital signs. Companies decided to keep these signs for two reasons. The first is that they were futureproofing. They figured it wouldn’t be long before the next pandemic hit, so they may as well keep the digital sign infrastructure in place.

The second reason why digital signs stuck around is because they did the work of several members of staff. Telling people when to approach checkouts was a great way of keeping lines moving faster, which meant more was done by each clerk. Instead of people asking where things were, the digital signs told people where things were. Even things like who is next for the waiting room or changing room were being done by digital signs. If they were doing a good job during the pandemic, why not keep them running and have their usual staff do something else?

Keeping Things Digital

People are very used to the online world. They are used to the sorts of adverts they see, and they are often glued to their phones, even when they are walking around stores and businesses. There are two ways a business can use this information.

A company can make their in-store experience a little more like an online experience. They can run adverts on their signs, they can offer information, reviews, directions and even social media comments on their signs. 

The other way a business can use this online-offline digitization, is to have people interact with the signs as they would with their phones. You can set up menus using your signs, you can have people book their appointments using your signs, and you can offer QR codes and URL links that people can follow. That way, even if they are on their phones, they are on your stuff. You could even manipulate people to be on their phones and in your store and sell to them from both fronts at the same time.