10 min read
Nov 11, 2016
Scheduling

How to Choose Digital Signage Software to Better Engage Your Customers

From augmented reality billboards to facial recognition that puts you on a big screen, we explain how to choose digital signage to improve marketing efforts

Deeksha MalikContent Analyst

Standing in the middle of Times Square staring at those larger-than-life billboards and neon signs can be a pretty awe-inspiring experience.

From augmented reality billboards to facial recognition that puts you on the big screen with your favorite rock band, digital signage is attention-grabbing, engaging and informative.

It looks exciting, but behind all the hype and cool effects, does digital signage actually bring any benefits to your business?

In this article about how to choose digital signage software we’ll cover what it is, what features you should look for, and some examples of popular solutions.

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What is digital signage software?

Digital signage refers to displays of dynamic media content on digital sign boards, LCD and LED billboards, and similar devices. The information displayed can be static data, charts and graphs, images, videos or streaming content.

Digital signage software is an application that allows for the creation and management of information and advertisements on digital signs.

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Do I really need digital signage software in my small business?

Thousands of businesses have already increased sales and improved customer interaction by deploying digital signage .

Let’s take a real-life example: Taco John’s, the fast-food restaurant, decided to go for digital menu boards in 2014. Within seven months its sales soared 12 percent.

The same year Samsung organized its Small Business ReDESIGN contest in which 500 US small businesses took part. Among the winners were those who had not only embraced digital signage but had gone a step further and used it creatively for business growth.

With an industry that is forecast to reach about $20 billion by 2020, clearly this technology seems to be a popular choice among businesses of all sizes.

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Is my business ready?

Here are some questions to ask yourself to find out if your business is ready to implement a digital signage solution.

  • Do you have a hard time handling dynamic product catalogues and menus that need to be updated frequently? For example, if you own a restaurant, do you fear that a complex menu can confuse customers and put them off? With digital signage, you can play with different menu sizing and can also update the menu content instantly from different locations.

  • Do you feel that you are not able to attract new customers? For example, if you are a retailer, can driving more footfall to your store be a challenge for you? According to research, 80 percent of customers claimed to have entered a retail store after being attracted by the digital sign.

  • Are you annoying your customers by making them wait in long lines during order placement or at checkouts? Digital signage helps in better queue management by displaying wait times and line sequencing. Research shows that digital signage can reduce perceived wait time at sales counters by as much as 35 percent . More than 80 percent of customers say looking at digital displays at checkouts entertains them and helps the time pass more quickly.

  • How effective is your communication process for making important announcements and sending emergency alerts? Have you noticed your staff often missing those high-alert broadcast emails? Digital signage can help you in sending emergency alerts, making routine announcements, and delivering marketing messages. Data says digital displays are 400% more attention-grabbing than static displays.

  • Do you offer complex products and services but your sales team struggles to demonstrate them to the customers? Businesses can use interactive digital signs for product demos as well. Through digital signage, you can show how a product works, what its features are, and how its looks like from multiple angles.

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What to look for in digital signage software

Choosing digital signage software is tough, especially if the list of software companies is long and they all offer similar looking products. Here are some questions to ask yourself when thinking about how to choose digital signage software.

  • Will you choose on-premise software or go for a cloud-based solution? Cloud deployment allows centralized control and remote management of the displays. Users can also reboot the device from any remote location.

  • Will you be able to integrate it with other solutions that you are already using in your company? Most digital signage software can be integrated with existing applications such as scheduling systems , queue management, and marketing software. For example, truDigital Signage’s integration with Demandforce allows users to display customer reviews on digital menu boards.

  • Does it have mobile apps for iOS and Android devices? Mobile apps can extend the functionality of the digital signage software beyond the desktop. For example, OnSign TV’s mobile app allows users to remotely customize the content of each display through the internet.

  • What are the pricing options? Digital signage software in different types of licensing depending if it’s on premise or in the cloud. If you choose on premise software then the one-time license model applies, where users make an upfront, one-time payment for the purchase of the licenses and own them forever. Cloud-based software is subscription-based, with companies normally paying per user on a monthly basis. Users can be added and removed as required, and there are normally different tiers according to usage needs. In a freemium-based model, businesses can use limited features of the software free of charge, with the option to upgrade to full functionality.

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Essential features

Once you answered all the questions above, you’ll want to start thinking about features. Here’s what you can typically expect to find in digital signage software:

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Examples of popular digital signage software

Mvix XhibitSignage

Mvix’s XhibitSignage is a web-based digital signage media player that comes loaded with a content management system (CMS). It can manage and control media, URLs and HTML playback on screens from a remote location. Its intuitive drag-and-drop interface allows users to manage media content, playback, and network monitoring from different locations. Users can upload, schedule, update, and even reboot the device from any remote location.

OnSign TV

OnSign TV is a cloud-based digital signage solution that allows users to control and manage multiple screens from different locations. It drag-and-drop interface also allows users to create campaigns. It offers personalized templates and users can also adjust the size of the templates to create space for other widgets such as news, weather, and social media. Other features of the solution include automatic player updates, content scheduling, a media library, multi-screen support and remote deployment. Campaign scheduling feature allows users to play images, videos, and messages simultaneously on multiple screens.

viewneo

viewneo is a cloud-based digital signage solution. Users can schedule the content for the signage through its playlist manager and can set a timer for the digital screens displays as well. It offers a wide range of templates that can be used to display the message, or alternatively users can create new content using the viewneo Content Designer. As the solution supports HTML5, users can also embed their interactive HTML pages or web content in their digital signage screens.

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How to choose digital signage software: next steps

If you’re ready to scrap your boring, static billboards and reach your customers on a whole new level through then we are here to help you better understand how to choose digital signage software. You can check out a comprehensive list of digital signage software, or compare solutions based on features, integrations, mobile support, online presence, and pricing.

Or if you’ve already bought a digital signage solution, we’d love to hear from you.

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