Dynamic Signage: Proof in Numbers

Data-backed digital signage stats to drive buy-in.

If you or your customers haven’t heard, digital signage is a growing industry. And it’s expected to continue growing for the next seven years, especially as barriers to entry like cost and technology become lower every day.

However, not all PSPs have adopted digital signage. One of the biggest hurdles your print shop may still be facing is convincing customers that it’s right for them. It would be great if they just took your word for it, but most need proof. Ideally, this would be through a case study, but those can be difficult to create and require cooperation from a client.

So, hit them with facts. There’s a wealth of data and research on digital signage, but sifting through it to find relevance can be time-consuming. So, we did it for you.

Digital signage has significant reach.
Your clients may wonder if it makes sense to place digital signage in their venues. They may think no one will notice it or that it will just blend in with its surroundings. A 2010 Arbitron Research study says otherwise: Seventy percent of US residents recalled seeing a digital sign within the last month; 52 percent in the last week. That 70 percent is equal to around 181 million individuals per month. Those able to recall seeing digital signage in the last month grew to 75 percent in a Nielsen study from 2015. The number of respondents who could recall in the last week grew to 60 percent.

And how does print signage stand up against digital? According to an Intel study from 2012, digital signage captures 400 percent more views than static signage.

Print may never have the reach of digital because it’s typically one-dimensional and installed flat to the wall. This reduces how well it can be seen from certain angles. Digital signage is mounted, so it juts out from the wall and can be turned to optimize the angle. This allows the screen to be seen from various viewpoints. When considering placement alone, digital signage has its advantages over print.

Digital signage reach is greater than Facebook.
It may be hard to believe that digital signage can rival social media, but the same Arbitron study found that, when compared to other channels of video, digital signage was considerably more viewed. Digital video in public venues reaches more Americans each month (70 percent) than video over the internet (43 percent) or Facebook (41 percent).

One reason digital signage may be the winner here is that on social media, users choose to watch a video. When users watch a video on digital signage, it’s because they are a captive audience. They aren’t making a conscious decision to watch it; it’s just in their line of sight. So providers should make use of the time when consumers are waiting in line or commuting to work.

Digital signage can impact buying decisions.
This may be the biggest piece of data that can influence your customers. Here are some 2014 stats from Eclipse Digital about how digital signage influences buying decisions:

• Average sales uplift of 3 to 5 percent. This provides a baseline for measurement so that after digital signage is installed, you have a clear goal to meet.
• Average increase of margin per transaction of 2.5 to 3 percent. This is the “upsell” data that can help influence any customers who use P-O-P displays. Content related to add-ons or products can be effective when used as P-O-P signage.
• Nearly one-third (29.5 percent) of customers find digital signage influential in their purchasing decisions. Again, this provides context around who might be easily influenced to purchase more.
• One in five customers made an impulse purchase after seeing the product displayed on dynamic signage. This is a substantial number of easily influenced buyers.

Consumers can recall messaging seen on digital signage.
So, we know consumers remember seeing digital signage, but can they actually recall the specific message? This is important, especially if the signage is advertising something not in the immediate location. Location informs recall. If the digital signage is within a retail or dining venue, the user is seeing messaging focused on their current experience. If a consumer sees digital signage outside of the location, like on a billboard or on screens in a commuter train, recall is more important. That user needs to be able to remember the message at the time when he or she is ready to make a purchase.

To understand recall for messaging outside of location, the 2015 Nielsen study tested six digital billboard campaigns in five major US cities. Consumers reported recall of a specific message 74 to 89 percent of the time. These numbers provide real proof that using digital signage outside of the actual location can still influence buyers. Consider using this type of data if you’re working with a client that uses digital signage more as source of advertising revenue versus promotion of their products or services.

Consumers are receptive to digital signage.
The Nielsen study also found that 72 percent of respondents think digital signage is “a cool way to advertise.” Sixty-five percent think it’s a “good way to learn about new businesses in the area.” And 61 percent believe that digital signage is “a good way to learn about sales and events.”

Consumers do, in fact, have positive feelings toward digital signage. One pushback you may get from clients is they think it’s a nuisance to customers. With this data, you have the ability to remove that misconception.

Digital signage isn’t just for restaurants and retailers.
Corporate and healthcare sectors are seeing a rise in the use of digital signage as they’ve realized the benefit of being able to instantly communicate with audiences. A 2016 Grand View Research report found that growth in a variety of industries should continue through 2024. Both of these nontraditional digital signage markets are expected to grow their usage substantially in the next seven years.

Digital signage is applicable in any situation where messages need to be conveyed. The ability to have real-time communication should be a huge selling point.

Kiosks are dominating the market.
Kiosks held the largest market share of digital signage in 2015, according to a MarketsandMarkets study from the same year. That’s a bit surprising, but kiosks are beacons for information. They can also provide the ability to transact. Restaurants use them for easy ordering, large venues use them in wayfinding, and museums use them as learning aids with exhibits.

A kiosk is an interactive communication channel. The touch screen allows viewers to search for information, and they can be fitted with payment acceptance elements. Kiosks even help companies eliminate labor in certain circumstances. This trend is expected to continue to rise, as many quick-serve restaurants are already employing them or planning to do so. For example, Wendy’s announced earlier this year its intention to add kiosks to cut costs.

Digital signage gets customers in the door.
Digital signage at the storefront is sometimes harder to sell. Your clients may have concerns about how it will adhere to windows or if it will be impacted by the sun. Technology is continuing to address those concerns. PixelFlex, an LED signage provider, offers a product called Flexclear that was created for windows. It’s lightweight, ultra-bright, and designed specifically for window displays.

Using an effective sign in the window is a key element of its success because it needs to attract. When consumers are attracted, they’re more likely to walk in the door. FedEx conducted a study in 2012 on storefront signage and found that 76 percent of consumers were compelled to enter a store because of signage. Further, 68 percent went on to purchase products reflected in the signage. And, these consumers trust the signage, with 68 percent believing that the store’s signage was a reliable indicator of the brand’s products.

Window shopping has been around since the introduction of storefronts. But digital signage has turned window shopping into actual buying.

Now that you’re armed with data, it’s time to put it all together for your clients. Use this information in presentations or proposals as proof points on assumptions. Be specific to your client. For example, if you want to convince them that digital signage can influence buying behavior, show them the projections of increased sales and give them ideas on how to create effective messaging around a target item.

It’s hard to argue with data. It’s the best way to counter objections or preconceived notions. So, continue to collect data from the industry as a whole as well as within your own client base, and digital signage in the digital print industry will continue to grow.

Explore the rest of Big Picture's August 2017 "Outside the Lines" issue.

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