Seamless user experience
Digital Signage projects have always been connected to back-end systems but the growth of omni-channel platforms, which offer seamless user experiences, has accelerated this trend. Digital Signage needs to be highly integrated in order to create new retail experiences and to support big data analysis. With the help of established standards like XML and internet programming paradigms, dynamic signage connects to back office systems, enables transactions through ePayment/eWallet solutions, integrates RFID/iBeacon for interactivity and returns valuable customer data to make retail analytics possible.
Digital customer journey
The customer journey that marketers learned about at university is dead. A new generation of customer – the real digital natives – ignore the rules of these purchasing processes. They ask for new and flexible shopping experiences that focus on referral marketing, location based services and amenities which, until now, could only be delivered by web-based services on a computer.
Effective signage follows established processes
Successful Digital Signage concepts are always based around one simple strategy: Digital Signage follows existing communication processes and should not require radical changes in daily routines. Before designing a new Digital Signage concept, it is an absolute necessity to analyse the needs of all stakeholders, define content workflows and decide the role that Digital Signage should play in the communication mix. Technology is only an instrument; the customer is the key to success.
Globalisation of Digital Signage
In the early days of Digital Signage, most projects were designed as local installations. A positive return on investment was a distant hope. This has changed. Head offices are consolidating their various island projects and are rolling out global solutions. For most enterprises, customer Digital Signage has proven itself at the PoS/PoI. Now it needs to be planned, built and efficiently run on a global scale. This leads to a new level of services, highly scalable software and a localisation of communication and content. Today’s Digital Signage solutions are far more complex and demand scalability, flexibility and efficiency.
Hardware and CMS agnostic
Digital Signage solutions of the future will feature more hardware and will be CMS-agnostic. Leading Digital Signage integrators have already changed their processes. New templates and editorial workflows are programmed in HTML5 – they work no matter what CMS the customer chooses. This approach enables Digital Signage integrators to playout content on various screens, like online and mobile.
Media asset management is the new CMS
The biggest impact for change in the Digital Signage industry is the trend towards separate digital asset management platforms. These omni-channel solutions enable larger organisations to manage media assets using a central platform regardless of their media channel. Photos are uploaded once, in large resolution, and the middleware automatically converts the asset for each media channel. Full resolution where needed and smaller for mobile websites. Media asset management systems enable marketers to publish assets across all platforms simultaneously or to withdraw/exchange old out-dated assets with the touch of a button when a new product is launched. In the near future, functions will move from the Digital Signage CMS to the central platform, thus reducing the need for a full-blown digital signage CMS. The CMS of the future will be a light version of today’s, which will focus on features specific to Digital Signage, such as scheduling and playout. Intelligent backend software is taking over integral functions of the Digital Signage CMS and therefore changing the supplier landscape.
Displays can be everywhere
Displays are not limited to 16:9 LCD panels. Almost everything can be a display. Media façades, mirrors and glass panels with integrated LED-strips are becoming commodities. And embedded signage is the fasted growing Digital Signage sector. Scales, vending machines or pay trays – dynamic information can be displayed on many screens, from small to very large.