• Nikki Ault

Digital Signage Industry Pivots With New COVID Products

Heading back into the world post pandemic reminds me of the 1999 film, Blast from the Past, where Brendan Fraser comes out of a nuclear fallout shelter after 35 years and has to relearn what kind of world he is living in. State of confusion immediately.

It is like that for us, as everything seems different. Menu options, hours of operation, mask requirements, social distancing, working from home, ordering food, virtual learning for school, concerts and social events cancelled, sports with new rules, all of these things are different.

As with all other industries, a shift is being made by companies to stay relevant in this ever changing world. Honestly, we are all just trying to figure it out.

Among those making the shift is digital signage companies, who have significantly pivoted. This is evident with the plethora of new products that exist to help maintain new social distancing, PPE, sanitizing, and health and safety protocols.

Some of the newly created or improved digital signage products include:

  • Touchless Kiosks

  • Body Temperature Detection

  • Mask Detection

  • Displays with Sanitizer Dispensers

  • Occupancy Control/Alerts

  • Mobile Integration

  • AI/Facial Recognition

  • Inventory Control

  • Access Control and Alert Systems

  • Web Content Licenses

  • Touchless Menus

  • Thermal Mirrors

  • Voice Recognition

  • Antimicrobial Touch Surfaces

Although, there seems to be a gap between restarting the economy and ensuring the safety of customers and employees alike. Digital signage is bridging that gap.

Digital signage allows companies to communicate effectively to ensure the health and safety of consumers and employees, improve the customer experience, and enhance internal communications, while also offering consistent branding and cutting-edge promotion.

Health & Safety of Consumers and Employees

Not only do new digital signage products physically provide sanitizer, PPE, masks, gloves, etc. but it also provides a messaging system. 95% of customers want companies to implement social distancing and other measures, and what better way than with a dynamic solution.

A system that reminds consumers and employees to maintain social distancing, stay home when experiencing symptoms, cleaning schedules, and provides the most up to date information.

Messaging can also include safety tips, emergency notifications, wayfinding, and encouraging and inspirational stories.

Mental health is a large concern with the more isolated and less social scenarios people have had to experience. Offering positive quotes and funny stories or welcoming visitors as part of your messaging helps encourage your audience.

Technologies such as occupancy or people count allow maximum occupancy numbers to be controlled more easily, some even have mobile integration to let customers know when it is ok to enter. Facial recognition and body temperature detection allows access control and can trigger alert systems.

If your company is working remotely, there are also web content or broadcast licenses offered by digital signage software companies that allow your messages to be accessed at home. You can keep consistent brand message even if you aren't face to face.

Improve Customer Experience

Customer service has always been a "thing," however now it is THE "thing." The world as we knew it has changed, but digital signage can help improve customer experiences as we try to adapt to it all. In fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.

Allowing digital signage to improve that experience is the advantage one brand or company can have over another. Here are some ways an experience can be heightened with digital signage:

  • Tracking inventory and sharing where hard to find items are located

  • Sales and Discounts

  • QR Codes for easy accessibility

  • New safety procedures

  • Real-time updates

  • Calming and positive content

  • Share what you are doing in the community and for good causes

  • Leverage audience analytics

  • Create a touchless experience

  • Easy to read outdoor menu boards

A customer's experience can have a lasting effect on their loyalty to a brand as well. It is a competitive market right now as many brands are falling due to the strains of COVID. It is essential that businesses provide an immersive, pleasant experience to take the advantage.

Enhance Internal Communications

Not only can digital signage create a quality experience for your customers, but it can provide valuable content for your staff and employees as well. Communicating during a pandemic has definitely created some new ideas, especially with the use of digital signage.

New technology introduced includes:

  • Zoom Rooms

  • Broadcast Licenses

  • Digital Wellness Stations

  • Kiosks with PPE

  • Desk Booking Systems

  • Occupancy Control

The ability for digital signage to work seamlessly whether your employees are in the office or are working from home, is what makes it the ideal solution in a pandemic situation.

Content can include: HR/Training Updates, New Safety Protocols, Operational Updates, Employee Recognition, Key Performance Indicators and Data, Real Time Updates, New Product Launches, Company Events, Conference Room Booking, Inventory Control, and more.

With digital signage you can maintain your brand consistency and keep it front and center. Include content that allows your company mission to shine through or highlight how you are keeping up with social issues. Your messaging should be able to hit your audience in a way that shares exactly who you are and where you stand. This helps create a positive company culture within the organization, and also loyalty and trust from your customers.

When it comes down to it, it is pertinent that companies provide a safe and controlled environment for employees and customers coming into the building so they can be reassured, and digital signage can help do just that.

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