Digital signage trends come out anew from year to year and are relatively easy to predict based on the previous year. However, we will take a look at an overall development of certain trends and what might come out of them in the future.
Interactivity, personalized content, data analysis and artificial intelligence are only some of the trends which have started to dominate the world of digital signage.
1. The rise of complexity
From the side of the provider, the technologies for digital signage interaction with the customer is definitely going to get more complicated. As for the viewer, the technology will be simple and handy for convenient grasp in minimal time.
This is hardly a surprise as this is only an extension of an already visible pattern: The quicker people understand something, the quicker and more they will interact with it. For instance, the use of facial or voice recognition in the digital signage market is an astonishing feature, but it won't do much if the viewer can't immediately understand what to do with it in order to properly engage with the technology. With that said, these technologies are becoming more common and with exposure are easier to understand upon first contact: a path which future technologies and developments must follow if they are to be relevant and impactful within the digital signage market.
2. The rise of convenience
As far as convenience is concerned, this is also evident today in the example of technology being able to recognize people based on their previous actions. For instance, in the same way the internet shows you ads based on your browsing history and cookies, digital signage will do the same, and more.
Take restaurants as an example, where potentially a digital display could provide you with a fitted menu based on your diet, health condition or taste. Compare this technology to a standard restaurant in hectic everyday life, you probably will see people choose the former over the latter.
3. The technology will think for itself
The aforementioned examples showcase the convenience the digital signage market can have in the future, but it stands to reason that such scenarios can't be fulfilled without at least partial use of artificial intelligence (AI), which will have the ability to make the decision what and when to display.
This can lead to not only convenient content for the viewer but also for the provider, the primary example being advertising. If a person is looking for a certain type of product, the display can "choose" an advertisement that is most likely to engage a customer. This won’t be your usual advertisement involving the best “daily deal,” but rather an intelligent offer which takes into account much more than the appeal to cheaper products. Seeing a brand or type of product at the time of purchase can subtly turn the balance towards one brand over another.
4. Data analysis will be a top priority
Even though today it is held relevant, especially with online activity and attempts to generate traffic, data analysis will moreso become a key component of any digital signage marketing strategy. All advanced features such as facial or audio recognition, pre-set or specifically targeted ads show that data analysis is the key.
Without an adequate understanding of what content provokes a response from your audience, you might as well be blind as far as marketing efforts go. Data analysis will become an integral part of intelligent Out-Of-Home advertising and will help maintain an optimal use of digital displays.
One example of intelligent OOH application in the digital signage market can already be seen today, but is bound to develop further in the future. In the particular case of shopping centers, Shopper Media Group Managing Director, Ed Couche says, “Smartlite™ the Group’s signature digital signage panels provide shopping centers and advertisers all the targeted data analytic benefits received with an online campaign and with broadcast reach benefits only digital Out-of-Home advertising can offer.”
As he explains, among other features, the digital signage panels provide free WiFi with a fast connection which tracks the user's behavior online. It tracks the user's interests, social media activities and even a heat map which shows the user's movements throughout the establishment, helping to see where their interests lie and what the most critical location of the establishment is. This helps shopping centers to better understand customers and to see how to best engage them.
By adapting digital signage to the analytical information gathered this way, it is much easier to influence customers. In a way, this carries the benefit of online browsing analytics commonly used for online marketing into the physical world.
5. The (further) rise of interactivity and self-service
Interactivity and self-service will both become a standard expectation as they already have slowly risen through the ranks of the digital signage market for several years now.
Be it digital displays used for browsing in a store, or digital kiosks used for a variety of information, self-service will reach a new level. With interaction capabilities of a digital display in any commercial setting, there will be no need for a staff member to provide guidance or help in providing product information. This partially already applied with self-service cash registers, where there is no need for a staff member.
Although it may sound like the beginning of a futuristic apocalypse movie, digital displays and kiosks will have the ability to replace the human factor when it comes to purchases or similar activities revolving vendor-customer relations.
For more brief predictions of how the digital signage market will develop, read this article by Real Digital Media. Some of the predictions there include more important and complex content triggers, as well as a drop in LED display prices: a prediction that has already become a reality and can be noticed in the market today. As the demand for LED displays rises and a greater variety of products floods the market, a drop in prices is inevitable and will surely proceed.
With an expansive market and this price drop, it is safe to say that the digital signage market is not only here to stay but here to expand. It is currently one of the wisest investments on the sales side a business can make and will most definitely only grow in importance across all industries.
Images by Eden, Janine and Jim and Shopper Media Group.