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The holiday shopping season is over, and many businesses are heading into one of their slowest seasons of the year. Holiday shopping bills and nasty weather are powerful motivators to keep customers at home for the next couple of months. For businesses, these months can be critical to their bottom line, especially if the holiday season wasn't as lucrative as expected.

So what can businesses do to reverse the slump? New signage, especially outdoor digital signage, can make the difference. There is no more powerful way of communicating effectively and instantly with customers already passing your front door. As traditional advertising methods become less effective, an outdoor digital sign can make the difference between an average year and a great year.

Here are just a few ways outdoor digital signage, such as LED signs, can help a business increase sales, traffic and visibility in the community:

Timely advertising

LED-based digital message centers offer flexible, dynamic communication that can create a sense of urgency for businesses to help drive customers into their location. Whether appealing to a cold customer's impulse to buy a hot chocolate or reacting to a forecast for snow by advertising snow tires, business owners can tailor their messages to react to whatever is happening at that moment. They are also the perfect tool for advertising products that might be hard to find and are highly sought after. A digital sign offers the flexibility to adapt to changing inventory levels and situations almost instantly. An ad in a newspaper or on television takes days, if not weeks, to produce and schedule. Imagine updating your message in a matter of minutes to advertise that the store only has a few shovels or Xbox Ones left in stock.

Advertise high-margin services

These dynamic signs are especially effective for advertising high-margin services that customers may not be aware the business offers. Many auto dealers have seen a high return from using their sign to advertise high-margin items like financing offers and extended warranties. Restaurants might offer their catering services, while banks might advertise specialty loans. Many businesses report they have higher foot traffic, more transactions and increased sales after installing outdoor digital signage.

Become a local landmark

Beyond the ability to communicate quickly and effectively with customers, a sleek new sign with a full-color digital message center speaks volumes about the business. It shows customers that the business is thriving and willing to re-invest in their infrastructure. A digital sign is a fresh, modern way to update a location's look and shows the company is on the forefront of new technology. Fresh, modern signage can also quickly become landmarks in their communities. Many businesses use them to spread messages of goodwill, announce community events and congratulate sports teams. These types of messages foster a sense of community spirit that can really set a business apart from the competition. Wouldn't you be more likely to shop at a business that congratulated your daughter's basketball team for winning last night's game?

Competition for businesses is as strong as ever. Not only do they have to compete with the shop down the road but with online options as well. The right digital signage can give businesses the competitive advantage they need to stand out in the crowd, locally and beyond. Business owners I talk to consistently tell me that their outdoor digital sign remains the most cost-effective, flexible and impactful form of advertising in their marketplace.

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