Outdoor advertising, an industry with a remarkable 35+ consecutive quarters of growth, is going to expand further in 2020. Who would’ve imagined? Now, that we’ve given you the main prediction for the future of digital signage in 2020, we can take a look at some more specific digital signage trends.
We know current digital signage trends overall aim to bring a greater degree of personalization, ensuring the right content is displayed to the right person, at the right time. Another such goal is the provision of better customer experience. Given the multitude of businesses available, it’s become one of the main factors in swaying consumers to one business over the other. With these two goals in mind, let’s view the trends the digital signage world will face in hopes of achieving them.
The accession of Artificial Intelligence
AI is growing in presence in digital marketing overall, so it’s not just our humble world of digital signage that is facing it. However, when looking at it in digital signage in particular, we can see that AI helps displays to identify the ideal time when a specific type of content should be displayed for optimal impact. An excellent example is the use of facial detection to display content directed at a specific audience when in front of it.
Further features of AI are improving to allow display adaptation based on spontaneous factors, such as a change in weather, number of people, or unique user input. AI also brings more possibilities for interaction as the content adjusts itself by understanding the individual facing it. We’ll cover the importance of interactivity a bit further down the line.
An easy way to grasp the potential impact of AI in digital signage is by looking at digital marketing as a whole. One of the reasons businesses adopt AI in any context is to gain a competitive edge. Given its power in digital signage, that reason is very valid in this world as well. With that rising AI implementation in digital signage, its abilities will rise, making it clear this will become one of the longer-lasting digital signage trends.
Further rise of interactivity
It is unlikely the ceiling for interactivity will be met any time soon as there is constantly room for more. Much like personalization and better customer experience, interactivity continues to be one of the main goals most digital signage trends strive to achieve.
As you’ve seen, AI can provide more opportunities for interaction, giving each individual unique content they will likely interact with. That aspect aside, the visual design, placement of displays, their size, and, of course, content, all aim to get the viewer to act in some way.
Certain interactions between a consumer and the display are becoming commonplace, such as browsing products, ordering out-of-stock items, requesting more information via the display or just being entertained. As audiences grow accustomed to these, new objectives from interaction will likely arise.
Clarity and accuracy of data
With tools such as AI and various means of data collection at their disposal, businesses can gather heaps of information. Though, the gathering part has never been the problem. It is the understanding, analyzing, and reacting to it that defines good strategy. We’ve already stated that a business ignoring analytics is a blind one. And while it’s certain many businesses use analytics well, the ease of analyzing data requires structure and qualified personnel.
Using AI, for instance, you’ll know what most consumers respond to. Using polls and feedback forms are all solid old-school methods for learning about what makes your customers tick. But with tools like AI, the system analyses and adapts content accordingly, then tracks how users respond. This increases the amount of useful, clearer data. And with that, you can get a better picture of what is needed to boost the customer experience. This is certainly one of the highly-anticipated and useful digital signage trends for many businesses.
A range of display sizes
2019 has demonstrated what video walls are capable of. The digital signage world is now familiar with every size of display there is, so now it’s time to perfect them. Video walls have not replaced large displays or billboards nor pushed smaller displays and tablets into oblivion. One could say they all have their strong and weak points, and each keeps them relevant.
With such a rich selection of display sizes, we’ll likely see more specific uses and software for each of them. For instance, a tablet kiosk is perfectly fine if you want to provide specific product information. Smaller displays and tablets mean greater flexibility and interactivity. Meanwhile, for attention and eye-candy, you might opt for a video wall. Businesses are learning that while display size does matter, bigger isn’t always better. The market is taking note, offering more unique options than ever before.
In digital signage, all eyes are on the hardware, literally. But while we’re all amazed at the colossal video wall or display, we often forget about the technical aspect. Digital signage software has advanced a lot to accommodate for the demand users have. Multi-touch displays, multiple videos in one display, AI content, you name it. The hardware is working hard to catch up.
With higher video resolution, unique video formats, setups, interactivity options, it takes a lot for everything to run smoothly. The fact that each and every type of software has unique demands doesn’t make things easier. Another weight on the shoulders of hardware is the increasing appearance of video. While digital signage menus or ads can work well as rotating images, the use of video has become the norm at this point. Users want their content to run smoothly, no matter how complex the campaign they make is. With all this in mind, we’ll likely see 2020 push hardware further to ensure the software side can shine, unhindered by performance or compatibility restrictions.
This particular trend, if we can call it such, focuses rather on the unanswered questions of privacy. The issue of privacy in facial detection and digital signage potentially collecting personal data is not new. However, as of late it gains more attention as the awareness of the population and lawmakers on this topic grows.
We discussed privacy in detail in a recent post, and have already seen some cities responding to this matter very strongly. Some issued an outright ban on technologies like facial detection, in an attempt to protect the privacy of citizens. Although there haven’t been any global changes on this matter, the topic certainly won’t go away anytime soon. While it’s going to be a pending topic in the upcoming year, the real question is whether this particular “trend” will fully swing into the spotlight in 2020. If not, then 2021, 2022? We have to wait and see.
The expected 2020 digital signage trends are grand, but hardly surprising since trends in our industry develop over time and rarely take us by storm. For example, in 2018 we saw technologies like AI mature to use. 2019 saw it convert into a more refined form, revealing just how it could be applied and which parts of digital signage it can bolster. For 2020, its potential will need to be seen to come into realization. It is similar with other digital signage trends where we can establish them based on the industry’s behavior in years past. Even if these trends don’t come into realization exactly as predicted, the digital signage industry will surely thrive.