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  • Rob Garry - CEO at SensLynx, LLC

The Age of Digital Signage: Why Wireless Connectivity Enables Retailers to Do More

Today, retailers are competing with more brands than ever for the limited attention spans of their audiences. Instead of basic, static advertising, retailers are investing in interactive, attention-grabbing digital signage solutions. There are in-store signs that leverage Beacon technology to serve up individualized content, to cellular based digital sign that can control and change the content remotely... Digital signs are a critical marketing tool.

Consumers are getting better and better at avoiding advertising, Brands are competing to create the most engaging, interactive content possible. Central to this shift toward engagement and interactivity is digital signage. If a retailer can capture the attention of consumers while in their store, there is a higher conversion rate from shopper to actual buyer. As of 2017, that rate on average hovers around 15% – 30%, depending on type of retailer.

The predicted rate of growth in digital signage usage is astounding: experts predict that the digital signage market will grow 8.18% year over year through 2020. Internet-connected digital signage opens new and exciting possibilities for retail marketing and sales strategies. Not all retailers will be able to achieve bottom-line ROI for these technologies. A reliable, easy-to-manage wireless network can mean the difference between revenue generator and loss leader. 4G LTE can provide faster ROI and added value to digital signage solutions by increasing revenue and reducing overhead.

Innovate Faster

With connected digital signage, companies can adjust their messaging as frequently as necessary, and ads can be far more granular in their targeting and content. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, connected digital signs let retailers utilize different creative presentations from store to store, or even customer to customer. In fact, 2018 will see a huge increase in responsive and automated content. Sensors on the actual displays, as well as data feeds from computers and the web, will adjust content according to real-world conditions. If it looks like rain, ads for umbrellas and indoor activities will be shown; if it’s sunny, maybe the displays will decide to show ads for a local water park or an outdoor music festival. The playlist will no longer be entirely in the hands of the people scheduling content – computers will make certain choices based on external data correlations. With the ability to update signage instantly from a remote location, and as frequently as necessary, retailers can innovate faster, test ideas with less investment, and stay ahead of the pack.

Pop-ups: Immediate Connection on Day One

Pop-up stores and pop-up advertising are driven by speed. The appeal of the spectacle is rooted in the here-today-gone-tomorrow factor, so agility and flexibility are essential. Being tethered to an ISP’s timeline for setup or having to work with a store’s existing Wi-Fi negates much of the flexibility and agility that digital signage brings to the table otherwise. It’s a difficult decision: wait for wired connectivity or go offline. 4G LTE connectivity lets the network move as quickly as you need it to.

Improve Customer Experience

There is high bandwidth available through 4G LTE connectivity. This allows digital signage to leverage live video and large file sizes and can even offer an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot for customers. These factors will go a long way in holding a customer’s coveted attention span.

Capture Actionable Data

When digital signage is connected to the Internet, it’s possible for retailers to gain real-time intelligence, respond to the information quickly, and maximize sales. For example, one company uses 4G LTE connectivity in its digital signage solutions to determine which items its customers are most interested in. This provides instant feedback for its merchandising teams.

Manage the Distributed Enterprise Remotely

Different connectivity solutions and sources in different signage situations usually creates extra work and leads to mistakes. 4G LTE allows retailers to manage a single wireless network, with devices connecting from across the entire world, from a remote location. Firmware updates, security patches, and configuration changes can be rolled out remotely and over the air. The company’s IT teams can rest assured that all network devices are properly configured and operating uniformly.

Limit Truck Rolls & Management Costs

One potential drawback of digital signage is that in-store personnel may not have the necessary knowledge or training to update signage. They also may not be able to troubleshoot connectivity issues. 4G LTE, network connectivity is as simple as “plug and play.” With the right cloud-based network management platform, IT teams can virtually eliminate the costs associated with truck rolls and shipping devices back to headquarters. Network admins can manage and troubleshoot network devices without ever stepping foot on site.

In Summary

Developing a strategy to bridge the digital divide between brick-and-mortar stores and customers begins with understanding the full impact of digital influence factors such as digital signage. Knowing how to take full advantage is where wireless connectivity comes into play.

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