The stage is set for a massive battle in 2017 as digital signage companies fight to provide smaller pixel pitches, bigger screens, better resolution, faster refresh rates and much more. As this battle rages, retailers, financial institutions and customers will begin to look at digital signage not just as an isolated deployment, but a complete customer experience solution. These are just a few of the trends on the horizon for 2017, which we explored in the 2017 Digital Signage Future Trends report.
The report compiles a variety of commentaries from experts in the field on what they see as the biggest future trends for 2017. The report also compiles survey data from restaurants, retailers, education, financial institutions, advertising agencies, digital billboard operators and solution providers. The results of the survey reveal that digital signage usage is on the rise, and 61 percent of all respondents listed improved customer experience as the key benefit of digital signage.
Several contributors to the report believe that this trend towards improved customer experience is part of a greater push towards more engaging and customizable signage solutions. Nick Fearnley, CEO of SignStix, believes that customers now expect digital signage to act as a "digital engagement solution."
"What we are now witnessing is the rapid increase in demand from organizations for digital signage solutions to perform as a complete digital engagement platform, going above and beyond the capabilities of SaaS," Fearnley said in his contribution to the Future Trends Report. "This means that, in the near future, we will see digital signage technology evolve to fill the role of a Platform-as-a-Service, rather than SaaS."
Greater customization is a key factor that has been driving digital signage in recent years and will continue to pick up steam.
"Another big change has been the increased targeting of unique messaging to different audiences. Rather than a one-size-fits-all digital signage, companies are looking for an enterprise-wide solution that accommodates multiple users, multiple locations and customized content geared to diverse audiences," Frank Kenna III, CEO and president of the Marlin Company, wrote in his contribution.
This in turn has added a great deal of complexity and diversity to digital signage solutions. Digital signage companies have to do business with companies such as enterprises that expect more diverse content, for example.
"Addressing these needs will create greater product differentiation going forward, to the point where the digital signage industry will have separate products for the same types of customer, differentiated only by scale," Kenna said.
In order to meet these customers' needs, digital signage companies will continue to develop better visual technology.
"It's not quite the Cold War arms race — but it's close," Christopher Hall, managing director of the ICX Association, said in his contribution. "I imagine we’re not that far off from the day when the local McDonald’s — or maybe the local Apple Store — has an OLED front window that’ll allow it to turn the entire glass exterior of the store into any kind of sign or graphic it wants."
These are just a few of the trends discussed in the 2017 Digital Signage Future Trends Report. The report is available here for purchase and download.
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/ Bradley Cooper is a Technology Editor for DigitalSignageToday.com. His background is in information technology, advertising, and writing.