Watch These Digital Signage Trends in 2017



2017 shows all the signs of being a fantastic year for digital signage, with the latest tech trends proving that the industry has some exciting tricks up its sleeve. As we look ahead to consider the impact digital signage will have in the future, it is clear the technology will not only be a driving force within wider industries (such as retail and hospitality) but also on our everyday lives as it becomes truly ubiquitous.

“The demand for digital engagement over digital signage will only continue to increase….”

Figure 1: Retail and other industries, notes the author, stand to gain from new, innovative approaches to POS and digital display integration.

Figure 1: Retail and other industries, notes the author, stand to gain from new, innovative approaches to POS and digital display integration.

In 2017 and beyond, integration and personalization in digital signage are the major technology players to watch out for. No longer just a screen holding the sole aim of grabbing attention for a matter of seconds, digital displays have naturally evolved to become all about sustained digital engagement. It’s not just about catching someone’s attention—it’s about engaging people once you have their attention. Customer-facing businesses are looking for the technologies that create highly immersive, memorable experiences—and digital signage is usually one of the best ways to make those experiences come alive.

Reflecting on the recent advances made within the digital signage industry, SignStix’s CEO Nick Fearnley commented that integration in particular is on the cusp of making some big waves. “Successful integration with third-party apps, beacons and POS systems will aid digital signage in its journey to becoming a complete and well-rounded solution,” Fearnley said, stating “the demand for digital engagement over digital signage will only continue to increase, and the results will be incredibly dynamic.”

Easier Software Integration
Today, third-party software integration with a digital signage solution is easier to achieve than ever, and this affords providers the luxury of offering a dynamic and creative digital engagement solution packaged into one neat and tidy box. This has been revolutionary for the retail industry, which as an industry is always seeking to innovate and excite shoppers with the freshest technology trends. Digital engagement in a physical setting is providing golden opportunities for pioneering innovation, with the concept of ‘experiential’ retail also expected to continue gaining momentum in 2017. Previously, the concept of ‘Omni-channel’ shopping has been little more than a marketing buzzword —a good idea in theory, but always just frustratingly out of reach for those trying to achieve it. With 2017 gearing up to show a real focus on completely immersive and interactive experiences for customers, digital signage/digital engagement is proving to be a crucial part of the wider Omni-channel strategy.

With all of this in mind, exactly which emerging digital signage trends are key? Which will have the most impact? What can you expect to see as you stroll around the shopping center, or enter your favorite brick-and-mortar store? Point-of-sale systems integrated with digital displays have been around for some time—but the new ways in which they can be used (and the freshest forms of the technology) indicate some exciting times ahead for retail and other industries.

Interactivity

Interactivity is and will be a huge technology trend. Everything today is ‘smart’—as the increasing popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT) and interconnected devices demonstrate. It therefore stands to reason that digital signage would one day become smart, too. Smart dressing rooms made their entrance onto the technology and retail scenes nearly two years ago, and are steadily becoming more and more mainstream. ‘Magic Mirrors,’ which allow customers to browse product recommendations, reviews and see real-time stock updates with just one touch are poised to make a huge impact on the retail industry’s brick-and-mortar shopping experience. Smart dressing rooms will allow customers to virtually ‘try on’ items that are not physically in store that day, and even place an order then and there, creating an experience reminiscent of shopping online. With 8 out of 10 customers admitting that they use their smartphones whilst in-store to shop, the ability to do so using a large-format digital display—in a physical environment (and at the precise point of need)—is precisely the vision of Omni-channel experiences that retailers have been trying to achieve since the day e-commerce raised its disruptive head.

Furthermore, alongside Magic Mirrors, the concept of ‘Endless Aisle’ effectively manages to close the gap between customer demand and the limitations of a brick-and-mortar store. By allowing customers to browse additional options, and order out-of-stock items for home delivery, this kind of technology and interactivity is guaranteed to have an impact on the way that we make our future purchases. This type of interaction has also been fuelled by the fact that consumers are simply more ready to embrace technology than they were 10, five or even two years ago. Similarly, more shoppers today are also willing to embrace beacon technology, which leads on to…

…Personalization
Although previously experimented with largely by the retail industry, beacon technology is set to make a huge impact on many sectors, including hotels, airports, communications, and organized events. Where consumers initially met previous trials of beacon technology with a certain sense of distrust or skepticism, this is beginning to change. Proximity marketing techniques—when executed in a non-intrusive and correctly timed manner—provide real value to customer experiences, and so consumers are more willing to opt-in to this marketing knowing that they will receive something tangible in return.

By linking beacons with digital signage and POS systems, brands and businesses have the tools to ease the pressure placed on them from customers to provide a seamless experience that is highly personalized. Using real-time data and analytics, as well as data collected from previous visits to a store or activity within an app, retailers can deliver highly targeted and valuable content directly to a customer’s smartphone. This can include push notifications containing exclusive promotional offers and discounts or reminders that the item they previously placed in their online basket is available in-store. Hotels can also use beacons to help staff deliver a personalized service to guests (such as a first-name greeting as they enter the hotel) and airports can send reminders to passengers to check-in and receive live, personalized updates regarding gate and flight updates.

The Future of POS Systems
In the interest of examining future trends, POS specialists Mainstreet have also provided their insight into the future of the two industries, and how successful integration will impact future customer experiences:

Technology is revolutionizing traditional retail by creating immersive, interactive shopping experiences that help drive traffic back to brick-and-mortar stores. Because POS is at the heart of most every retail store, it’s also a technology that has changed significantly over the past few years.

Mobility is the future of POS, providing a proven, integral component of today’s connected retail store. Mobile POS (mPOS) provides a multi-function platform that retailers can leverage to enrich their shoppers’ in-store experiences; improve associate productivity and empowerment; drive operational efficiencies and superior ROI.

Growth of the mPOS terminal market is estimated at over 18% CAGR from 2016 to 2024. This significant growth is driven by:

  • Wireless technology advancements
  • Emergence of mobile wallets
  • Cost savings over traditional POS including upfront investment
  • Ease of use, flexibility and portability

mPOS devices range from tablets to smartphones, even wearables. They can be purpose-built for harsh retail environments or consumer-grade devices adapted for retail when outfitted with ruggedized enclosures that are equipped with such components as bar-code scanners and payment terminals.

Mobility isn’t one-size-fits-all. Successful adoption requires participation from all stakeholders throughout the business including store associates; assessment of current systems and infrastructure as well as those required in the future platform; best practices and most important, engaging a specialist like Mainstreet to aid with the planning, implementation and deployment of mPOS strategies.

While the industry will be monitoring the progress and acceptance of AmazonGo’s checkout-less retail format, we at Mainstreet and at SignStix believe that POS will continue to be an integral component of the immersive, interactive customer experiences essential to the success of brick-and-mortar retail.

Sources:
Global Market Insights report on Retail POS Terminal Markets
Digital Signage Today ‘Future Trends 2017’ Report


LibbyLibby Davies is a Content Marketing Assistant for SignStix, an award-winning, cloud-based digital engagement platform that is used by world leading brands to build innovative digital experiences and attention-grabbing displays. SignStix is a member of the Digital Signage Federation, the only independent, not-for-profit trade organization serving the digital signage industry. The DSF supports and promotes the common business interests of worldwide digital signage, interactive technologies and digital out-of-home network industries.

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