By Mary Peterson
The lives of consumers have changed. How they work, how they learn, how they unwind, and how they connect with each other. They have also changed their expectations.
So, what does this mean for businesses?
The pandemic has forced companies to adapt and evolve to meet these new consumer expectations. One way in which successful businesses are doing this is by embracing the power of digital signage. For the past two years, digital signage has experienced rapid growth across a variety of industries, including retail, hospitality, and transportation. Now that people have come to rely so heavily on technology for the information and entertainment they consume daily, flexible and reliable digital signage has become more important than ever before.
The role of display technology has expanded to complement more aspects of today’s new lifestyles. In fact, it’s hard to avoid digital signage these days. From the self-service kiosks at quick-service restaurants (QSRs) to animated billboards to adaptive, collaborative screens in modern boardrooms, it has become clear that digital signage is here to stay. With the latest display technologies, people are more informed and connected.
For businesses that want to grow, communicating with their customers in a meaningful way is key. With the right digital signage, they can provide real-time updates with the information that matters most to their customers, such as physical distancing rules, hours of operation, and special promotions. By going digital, business owners will have the peace of mind of knowing that their consumers have the most up-to-date messaging–no matter what.
Here is how digital signage is enabling businesses to keep up with shifting consumer lifestyles and provide an elevated experience.
Rain or shine: Outdoor digital signage is here to stay
In the past, rain, snow, heat, and cold had conspired to make installing screens out in the elements—in a drive-thru lane or on a transit shelter wall, for example—a costly, complicated, and temperamental proposition, but not anymore.
These days, outdoor displays reflect years of engineering designed to make running an LCD in harsh environments as crisp as running an LCD on the reception wall of an office. Outdoor displays are designed to work flawlessly, for years, despite extreme temperature changes, direct sunlight, precipitation of all types, and dust.
In industries like QSRs, the need for reliable outdoor digital signage is almost non-negotiable. Restaurants have come to rely on it to communicate menu items, new products, promotions, nutritional information, rewards programs, and prices.
The drive-thru, in particular, has become a primary destination for outdoor digital signage. With indoor dining restricted in many places during the pandemic, restaurants turned their attention to their drive-thru and take-out offerings, representing a major portion of their business. This is why it became more important than ever to communicate the right information on their outdoor displays.
Unlike static displays, digital signage enables QSRs to reduce their business costs as there is no need to constantly produce new signs. They also provide greater pre-sale opportunities as their audience sits in their vehicle waiting in line and they can speed up the entire ordering process, leading to higher sales.
Just like their vivid screens, the future is bright for outdoor digital displays in this industry as some major QSR companies are already testing order and payment using mobile devices, with walk-up and drive-thru pickup windows. In fact, some operators are using their drive-thru screens to let customers know the state of traffic in the immediate area, potentially warning them off a planned route.
Beyond QSRs and drive-thrus, outdoor digital signage can help all kinds of businesses upsell and attract customers, raise brand awareness, and speed up orders. Digital displays, with static or moving content, are also more attention-grabbing and memorable, they can be updated remotely, and they offer more opportunities for engagement through interactive touch technology.