Do I need digital signage for my small business?
As a small business owner you are probably on the look out for some means to give you a competitive edge over other businesses.
digital signage fits all sizes
Digital signage can grab the attention of potential customers; enhance the shopping experience and boost sales. If you haven’t thought about using digital signage, then think again, its time to up your game.
Large fancy digital signs, the kind you see in large high street retail stores, create a wow factor and eye-catching media content displays products in a way that static ads cannot compete with. Small business can use this same digital medium to their own advantages. Digital signage could be a new weapon used in the fight for business survival and it’s not just for the larger organisations.
So you are thinking that digital signage is too expensive or you need a degree in computers to operate. Well things have changed making digital signage affordable and easy to use for everyone.
About 8-10 years ago, digital signage was still an infant and the cost to install and maintain systems were high. Only the major retailers had the deep pockets to install digital signage solutions. With the emergence of services like digitalsignage.NET running on cloud-based servers from Amazon and Microsoft, the need for expensive server based hardware was totally eliminated, reducing costs for everyone.
This change spawned a multitude of companies to get into digital signage and now there are hundreds to choose from all over the world. But what should you be looking for?
Free is the best? Think again
Price is a major factor when considering digital signage, but it’s not all about price. There a few digital signage packages that are free and of course these seem tempting to try. However, be aware that most free digital signage solution require some form of technical expertise to set up and maintain, making it far to complicated for some small business owners.
Software support is also generally via an online forum, were you post a question and wait for an answer. This is time consuming and frustrating, and distracts the small business owner away from their core target of “SELL MORE PRODUCTS” A system that is off is no use to anyone. Choose a vendor that will provide the proper support you will need.
“Value for Money is what I want”
Getting value for money should be your goal, so choosing the right digital signage vendor that gives you balance on price, support and a great customer experience should be at the forefront of your planning.
Ask yourself a few of these questions first:
- Do I need full screen content (videos, static images, etc.), or create a layout with multiple content areas?
- Do I need the same stuff to show all day, every day or do I want the content to change?
- How often will I need to change the content with new videos, images, price-lists, etc.?
- Do I have to be on site to make changes or can I do this from anywhere?
- How about saving energy and turning the screens off automatically at night?
- How many screens will I need? And how will I make sure they are working fine, even if I am not there?
- What happens if I get a problem, am I supported?
- I am not a content designer, can you help me with this?
Answer these question and your will help you understand your needs better. Most digital signage solutions will cover all of the above, and with a low cost to get started, you can start small and grow as required.
Easy to setup, simple to manage
Some digital signage solutions are difficult to setup, especially the free ones. They want you to buy the media players install their software, and configure it. You can’t always do that, but why if you can get preconfigured devices.
Some solutions have such a complex management system that you need a days or so training, or read the 100-page manual or watch some videos to get started. Modern digital signage system should be self-explanatory. They should plug and play in 2018
Here are a few things you should look out for and ask your vendor:
- Ask if the media players come pre-configured. You just want it to work when you plug it in.
- Try out the content management part. This is usually a web based user interface that allows you to modify the content shown by your players. If you can use it at a basic level without any training, you are good to go! Find out if you can get a remote demonstration too, this may help.
- Sign up to a subscription-based service. It is easier to get involved, while you also get real person support, not just online forums and new updates included in the price.
Who uses digital signage?
Any business can use digital signage. From garden centres and beauty salons to cafes and retail outlets, most requirements are generally the same.
Most business owners want to combine video and image into playlists show it during opening hours, and change content for different hours or days. You might also want to display messages, weather info, news feeds and similar stuff. But generally, everyone has the similar requirements.
At digitalsignage.NET for example, we have users across many industry sectors Retail, salons, corporate, education , airlines, motorway services, doctor’s surgeries to name but a few.
Conclusion: Choose simplicity, value, and support
When evaluating a digital signage solution for your business, don’t choose the free option. Take time to consider the points mentioned above. Look for value for money together with a simple to use solution backed up by excellent customer support. Take your time to try a few systems before you make your choice so that you spend you money wisely and gain the maximum impact for your small business.
At digitalsignage.NET we try to balance all of these factors into a smart and simple digital signage solution that any small business can use. Check out what our customers think