Consistency is key to providing a high-achieving omnichannel customer experience, but aligning messaging, content and UX is easier said than done.
Achieving consistency requires technical integration, as well as the consideration of your UX and creative team. For the same reason that a website needs a mobile portrait, landscape, tablet and desktop view, a digital menu needs multiple versions. Each of these will reinforce a consistently stunning brand message while placing objects in an intuitive location for viewers as they interact across diverse environments.
In this post we’ll cover the basics of digital signage solutions, define the various digital signage solutions, share some best practices, review the benefits, and make the case for omnichannel signage. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or looking for a refresher to help optimize your digital signage ROI , use this guide to better position your omnichannel digital signage strategies for success.
How to Integrate a Variety of UX Types
Most UX professionals know responsive web design. Responsive web design accounts for the wide variety of viewports that will be used to peruse your menu. Are users on a mobile device, or accessing your menu from a desktop at home? Each of these locales has an impact on how content is presented.
Digital signage throws a few more variables into consideration. Digital signage comes in an even wider variety of custom sizes and assortments. These considerations are similar enough to the web that we do not need to discuss them. Your teams will be able to account for viewports fairly easily. Environment, on the other hand, is what makes digital signage unique.
Outdoor vs Indoor Digital Signage
Outdoor digital menu signage is displayed outside the business and involves a wide array of specialized needs when compared to indoor signage. Drive thrus, stadiums and outdoor malls are just a few examples where outdoor signage is needed. In these cases, UX must consider ambient light and direct sunlight. These factors will impact the content depending on time of day and year. External temperature and weather conditions also play a role in determining the best, ruggedized display and media player for the environment.
Conversely, indoor digital signage menu boards are for indoor use; this could be within a restaurant lobby, or on an endcap display. Telecom retailers place digital signage throughout the store to attract attention and educate consumers.
It is important to deploy the right digital signage for the appropriate environment; for example, using durable outdoor signage outdoors and indoor-optimized digital signage within covered spaces. It is equally important to align content between them.
In terms of deploying a strategic omnichannel experience, QSRs and other businesses that have both indoor and outdoor digital signage menus can program similar menu promotions, align marketing/messaging between the displays and online channels, etc. Customers are looking for a seamless experience – no matter where they are.
Mobile Digital Signage
Mobile digital signage can actually mean two things. Sometimes it refers to a feature of digital signage, which allows the signage to be controlled via mobile device. But for this topic, we care about how digital signage extends the mobile experience of, for example, a loyalty application, or an online menu.
Menu integration across mobile and on-premise signage impacts the convenience of using these different points of interaction with your locations. Customers who order from a loyalty application want to see the same item pictured on the drive thru display. They want to see the same description and the same prices. Differences, especially large differences that show preference to one channel or another, can irritate customers.
The question is, how do brands coordinate all these screens and experiences? It takes a combination of technical, creative and content management.
Digital Signage Content Management Systems for Omnichannel Businesses
Digital signage content management systems (CMS) are the software applications that deploy content to digital displays, manage the scheduling and programming, and provide visibility and control across the network of digital hardware devices. Think of it as the brain behind digital signage efforts.
Components of digital CMS include the content created for the digital display, digital signage hardware, and the digital signage content management software to connect and manage everything.
Deploying a digital signage CMS gives businesses all the control they need to integrate with various systems, deploy the right content to screens, and adjust elements like pricing and Limited Time Offers (LTOs) on the fly, so that these elements remain consistent across channels.
- Centralized content management
- Intuitive interface for easy deployment
- Hardware management
- Data analysis
Digital signage CMS is a necessity in maintaining a consistent experience across environments and viewports.
Quick tip: Look for a smart digital signage CMS, which empowers users with remote, centralized control, customization, easy deployment/adoptions, and other benefits.
Read more about Digital Signage CMS >
The Case for Unifying Digital Communication
As covered, your customer interactions occur in multiple environments (outdoor, indoor, online, on mobile devices, etc.). It’s important to make sure your content messaging is aligned; it does not need to be exactly the same.
Localization is a perfect example of the need for consistency, not equality. What happens when a retailer runs out of a Fall item before its neighboring locations? The item should be removed from that location, so that customers stop asking for it. Large networks need to authorize locations to publish changes like these, enforcing consistency but not equality across the network.
Here are some key strategies and considerations for making those various systems/channels communicate and keep the content consistent.
Content Marketing Strategy
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Consider developing a content marketing strategy to target the right audience, with the right content messaging, on the right channel, and at the right time. Strategically planning the content and how it gets deployed can better position you to meet your customers at the critical touchpoints, and that strategy will help you make the right decisions about authorization.
What happens if you need to quickly shift and send time-sensitive content to hundreds (or thousands) of your digital signage display? Doing this manually is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and error-prone.
When deploying an omnichannel digital signage solution and strategy, it’s vital to have the technology where you can quickly, efficiently and accurately distribute content to all your stores, locations, and displays accommodating every environment so the content is communicated clearly in all locations.
Quick tip: Look for a digital signage hardware/software solution partner that has the experience of accelerated digital content distribution with omnichannel experience.
Localized Digital Signage
Location can be an important piece of your omnichannel digital signage strategy. Location technology/features can help you diversify your digital signage content based on location, inventory, Point of Sale (POS), loyalty data, even weather or other contextual cues to display the most relevant offerings to customers.
As an example, a QSR may display particular digital signage content in a high foot traffic area indoors and time the messaging during peak volume times. Perhaps a location neighbors a high school, and at 3:00 pm all of the kids walk by the restaurant. Factors like these can and should impact the content you deploy at that location at that time to serve that regular audience.
Another use case is the deployment of sensors (indoor or outdoors) that can relay relevant information (data) about traffic flow (drive through), customer foot traffic, waiting time, etc. Armed with that real-time knowledge, QSR can tailor specific digital signage menus i.e. displaying wait times, “thank you for waiting” messaging, or other time/location sensitive content.
Digital Signage System Installation
Strategy is not just limited to the content but to different areas including hardware, location, management, installation and more. As for installation, there are key considerations including:
- Digital signage installation – This pertains to all the necessary hardware, connectivity, location parameters and other factors. Will there be a tech from the digital signage solution vendor or is the QSR responsible for installation?
- Network enabled – As covered, smart digital signage systems differ from static/standalone digital signage because they are typically connected to a network, while also includes a myriad of features and functions. Network-enabled digital signage solutions obviate the need to manually update each digital menu display by unifying all the displays to a centralized network and content management system.
- Deployment of digital CMS – The CMS is the “brain” of the entire digital signage solution so it’s wise to select a solution provider who specifically created the software for digital signage use cases. What are the technical requirements needed for the software? How is the training for the end-users? Is the CMS easy to adopt?
Teaming up with the right digital signage solution partner
Customer needs are constantly changing and evolving, so you want to make sure you are armed with the ideal technology solutions to augment your omnichannel strategies. Customers want a seamless experience, whether they are waiting in line or online – or a combination of both. And your messaging needs to be in sync with each other to reach these customers at critical touchpoints.
Deploying omnichannel digital signage strategies doesn’t have to be such a challenge. Partner with a digital signage solution provider with the experience and expertise of working with businesses like yours. Customer needs are constantly changing and evolving so you want to make sure you are armed with the ideal technology solutions to augment your omnichannel strategies.
Learn more how STRATACACHE can help you with your digital signage omnichannel strategies and deployment.
For more information on this topic, check out our on-demand webinar, Creating an Omnichannel Menu Strategy.