What is Digital Signage and How Does it Work?

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23 Jan 2022


The term digital signage is used interchangeably with digital signs and electronic signage. Technically, they all refer to the same thing i.e. a large panel screen displaying content to the public.

What makes digital signage different is the use of digital signage software. Content management software is the name for digital signage software. In other words, it is a content distribution platform for broadcasting messages to one or many screens.

The software also differentiates digital signage from a TV with a USB stick. Because of the software, businesses are able to:

  • add and display many types of content e.g. news, weather, menus, announcements, KPIs and more
  • schedule content e.g. displaying content at what times and for how long
  • create screen layouts to display multiple contents at the same e.g. videos, scrolling text, weather and time

Below are examples of how different industries can use digital signage:

  • Restaurants can use it to display menus and specials.
  • Corporate offices and manufacturing plants can use it for company announcements, employee training, room bookings, KPI reporting and HR & OSHA information.
  • K-12 schools and college campuses can use it to display announcements, school events, wayfinding, and emergency alerts.
  • Hospitals and doctor’s offices can display their services, show patient testimonials, improve wayfinding, educate patients and visitors, train hospital staff and reduce perceived wait times.
  • Government offices and facilities can use it to educate the public about government services, train employees, for interdepartmental communication, real-time alerts, display court dockets, and show appointments.
  • The banking industry can utilize it for self-help kiosks, queue management, displaying interest rates and stocks, and improving the in-branch customer experience.
  • Retail stores can employ it for branding, to showcase new or hot products, promote sales, and enhance the in-store experience.
  • The hospitality industry can use it to welcome, direct, guide, entertain, serve, and inform guests.
  • Entertainment venues can answer FAQs, display concessions menus, wayfinding, event schedules, ticket prices and special offers.
  • The transportation industry can show transit options and schedules and location-based advertisements.
  • Real estate agents can employ digital signage to showcase property listings and virtual home tours and display neighbourhood profiles.
  • Fitness centres can display a schedule of classes, share testimonials and showcase training tips and tricks.

Why is it Important?

Digital signage has a wealth of benefits across many industries and uses.

In short, effective communication is the primary goal of digital signage. However, the rewards of implementing this technology are unlimited.

Some common benefits of digital signage include:

  • it reduces the cost of communicating by eliminating printing and reaching more people
  • it adds aesthetic appeal and modernizes a facility
  • increasing employee productivity by 21%
  • it reduces perceived wait times by as much as 35%
  • it reduces workplace injury by 20%
  • showcasing dynamic content instead of static content improves retention by 83%
  • it creates a 31.8% increase in overall sales volume
  • increases footfall by about 24% in brick and mortar stores
  • influencing the customers’ decision-making process to boost sales
  • boosting impulse purchases for retail businesses
  • doubling up as a form of entertainment
  • improves brand awareness by about 23%
  • it creates a 20% increase in overall interest and attendance at events
  • improving internal communication
  • allows for real-time messaging, keeping audiences well informed at all times
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