Digital Signages are steadily and surely making their way into businesses across sectors. A real-time digital channel is much required, especially in a place in which you have your customers attention.
DO NOT forget to check these, while evaluating digital signages for your business
Given their intention to ‘buy’, you have the time with your customers to pass on important pieces of communication. It is well known that customer engagement has the ability to dramatically uplift sales.
So why not use the golden time with your customer to communicate efficiently and increase engagement, and eventually sales.
Digital Signages, therefore, maybe key, but requirements and needs across different sectors are not quite the same. Therefore, the solution deployed may differ. For example, a food outlet may not have a change in their menu or dishes, as often as say a clothing store which has changing trends and designs.
With different requirements, come different solutions, and more importantly different price points and features.
To optimize your Digital Signage solution to the best possible configuration, one must keep in mind various parameters before deciding a direction. For example, once a hardware is procured, you are limited by its capabilities, so make sure you think it through and make a choice.
Here are some key points one must think through before taking a decision on a digital signage technology for your business.
1) What will it be used for?
The application your solution is to be used for is key to evaluating the infrastructure you need. For example:
- Is it used to show basic offerings OR is it for secondary revenues like advertisements?
- Would simple images and videos do, or would you at some point want to integrate it with you ERP to show real-time data?
By understanding your current and potential future trajectory, we suggest the best way forward.
2) Hardware – will it satisfy your current requirements as well as in the future?
Charting down current and future requirements for your solution is important, especially with respect to its hardware (device).
This is because your hardware may prove to be a constraint over time. Of course, don’t over think this, there’s no need to imagine “maybe” scenarios to needlessly purchase an upgraded hardware when there is no foreseeable need.
For longer term changes, there are innovative ways to work around upgrading.
For example: A signage whose purpose is to share best practices in a corporate, maybe required at some point to enable live streaming of leadership messages. Hence, this must be accounted for in the hardware. However, there is no need for complex advertising features for this use case.
3) Ease of use
In our experience, this cannot be emphasized enough. Complex installations, deployments and needless integrations make a solution difficult to adopt by your own staff, who are to be its users. To start with, focus on “ease of use” of the product. It should be plug-and-play and easy to understand by users. And in consecutive steps, advance features can be plugged in.
4) Dashboards and alerts to monitor
One of the facets of monitoring remotely, is to have aggregated data or dashboards that can be centrally viewed by users. For example: if the utilization of the screen or revenue earned for a Digital OOH provider is a key metric, a real-time dashboard of utilization and revenue earned, and its trends will be key to the management.
Such Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) should be distilled out and easily viewable.
In addition, you may trigger alerts on certain events. For example, in the previous example, if the utilization is too low, one may send out a mail or an SMS to the management mentioning that revenue earned is currently below the minimum threshold.
5) Capability to integrate – social media / ERP
One should always check out the ability of a solution provider to integrate with ERP’s and social media. Many a times, solution providers use out-of-box solutions, and don’t really have access to customize beyond a certain level, which may restrict capability of the solution.
The applications of these integrations are quite interesting.
With social media, one can integrate online campaigns with offline activations. For example, in case of an apparel store, one can engage with audience by crowdsourcing picture posts of customers wearing the brand, and by publishing them across stores, one can build engaging campaigns with them, and so on.
With ERP integration, one can show relevant live KPIs. For example, in a manufacturing setup, one can display live dashboards of number of defects across locations, to raise awareness and drive best practices.
Applications are more real-time and interesting with these integrations.
6) Ability to add sensors and more
These too are very important and interesting additions to the core product. The ability to add sensors tremendously increase digital signage use-cases. For example, with motion sensors, one can play videos based on which product is being viewed or picked up by customers, which substantially increases engagement and sales.
From a technical standpoint, one should verify that the vendor you are choosing has a deep technical expertise so as to future proof these use-cases. In this area, hardware expertise is key and generally lacking.
After the technical requirements are satisfied, the next key parameter is, of course, cost and how it can be optimized. One should have a pricing model that works on features used and/ or volumes. One can then ‘scale it up’ later to add in more features and optimize costs.
8) Lead time, refresher trainings & scalability
These three may seem minor but important points to keep in mind, and can be the last step in your conversations with service providers. You should align on a lead time for end-to-end installation of the digital signage solution.
In addition, frequency and duration of remote trainings, can be enquired on. Many a times, the operators using the solution change, and so a refresher training for them, as well as for any new features must also be enabled.
Finally, scalability and ease of expanding the solution to different locations and the mobility of existing installations must also be gauged. This is generally easy and hence, should not be an issue.
At Intelisa, we are happy to consult you on the optimum configuration you would need for your requirements, so that you don’t need to worry about the tech, and can focus on what you do really well, which is customer engagement and business growth!