Mobile integration boosts digital signage
These days, the biggest dilemma facing advertisers is how to successfully market to consumers whose eyes are often glued to their phones. Retailers looking to purchase digital signage often worry that the 50-inch display won't be a match for the pocket-sized screens. One way integrators are addressing this issue is by adding mobile elements into digital signage.
Methods of interaction
In a previous article, Nate Remmes, vice president of corporate development at NanoLumens, listed several possibilities for mobile integration, such as interactivity, beacons, analytics and loyalty programs.
"Just by having a digital display, brands can interact with audiences through screen-smart device interaction. This is accomplished by using URLs to have a smartphone talk to a display, most commonly through having audience members play games on their phones, which relays information to the display," Remmes said.
Richard Ventura, vice president of business development at NEC Display Solutions, said beacons can "draw in the customer and deliver valuable information." This can be done through several methods, such as identifying a customer's demographics and delivering them targeted information, or be integrating purchasing options through NFC.
"Being able to purchase via NFC and utilizing mobile transactions will further drive the engagement with signage," Ventura said.
Analytics also has its role to play with mobile interactivity. Companies can use beacons on digital signage or proximity networks to track a user's movements without the store. Also, if a customer downloads a loyalty app and approaches a display, the display can read the data on their phone and gain key information, according to Remmes.
It is already fairly common for retailers to use digital signage to push loyalty program adoption. Gas stations, in particular, are integrating digital signage into their point-of-sale devices to inform visitors of their loyalty programs.
However, there are still some key challenges with mobile integration.
The first challenge retailers must address is wireless bandwidth. It can be difficult to deliver advanced content such as videos or interactive elements where bandwidth is limited.
Ventura points out a possible solution to this would be to integrate 5G, as this will help offer better bandwidth.
Another issue is simply getting customers to engage in the first place. Average smartphone users are using nine apps per day and 30 per month, according to a report by Tech Crunch. This can make it difficult to cut through the app clutter with your individual app or to actively engage your audience. Some retailers simply integrate QR codes into their displays to encourage buy-in but this may not be effective.
"The idea that the QR code will drive engagement is not gonna happen," Ventura said. "True engagement happens with interactivity and with the mobile devices we can personalize the interactivity and the engagement can leave the location and continue much later."
You need a clear value proposition to give the customer.
You have to consider with mobile integration how it will directly benefit the customer, Ventura said. Retailers need to offer, "something that you can only get when using mobile apps," and make "the experience worth the time for the consumer."
While mobile integration might seem like a great tool for any display, if it isn't driving engagement or creating value for your customers, then it's an absolute waste of everyone's limited time.