Dynamic digital signage is not just transforming the sign and visual communications industry. Its impact is being felt among end users as well.

As end users adopt this type of signage—or see their competitors do so—they are bringing questions to their sign and visual communications company partners. At ISA International Sign Expo 2014, 53 percent of attendees surveyed said their customers are asking about digital signage.

Here’s a look at three sectors embracing digital signage and deploying it in rather interesting ways :

* Retail shops. Retailers and digital signage solution providers are learning to integrate and target individual customers, sometimes in collaboration with their smartphones. For instance, a shopper can browse recipes at a digital signage kiosk, build a shopping list and then text, email or print the recipe, shopping list, coupons and a store map.

Even when not integrated with a smartphone, digital signage at the point of purchase has been proven to increase sales. It’s no wonder, then, that 29 percent of retailers surveyed by the National Retail Federation said they planned to increase their budgets for digital signage.

* Hotels. In hotel lobbies, guests can interact with touchscreen digital signage to learn more about the surrounding area, find maps of the hotel and view menus of hotel restaurants. Digital signage also can signify events in ballroom and meeting rooms—often integrating with room scheduling software to eliminate manpower needed to manually change these signs each day. Some hotels even integrate with local weather or the nearby airport’s airline schedule. Imagine knowing about a flight delay before you catch a cab to the airport.

* Quick serve restaurants. Wetzel’s Pretzels uses its digital menu board to tell the story of its products through animation. One of the early adopters of digital menu boards five years ago, the one-minute animation is designed to market the products. The results have been multi-faceted: a reduction in perceived wait time, an increase in impulse buys and the chance for the snack to stand out in crowded food courts.

Burger King has rolled out “suggestive selling” at its drive-thrus. The displays flash on and off to get the customer’s attention, then offer a product or discount. McDonald’s has begun introducing the digital menu boards in its company-owned restaurants as well.

There is little wonder that digital signage will become even more commonplace at fast food and quick-serve restaurants. Taco John’s installed digital menu boards at a few locations as a test. It found a 12 percent increase in combo meal sales in the test markets.

Source: International Sign Association (signs.org)

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