Like all forms of media, digital signage moves with the times – and 2019 looks to be yet another huge year. Technologies like digital signage offer a whole new raft of possibilities for digital marketers to make their mark and, with the retail landscape constantly changing, the companies that embrace these new technologies are likely to be the ones that benefit the most. With that in mind, we’ve cherry-picked the most exciting trends expected to make an impact on digital signage this year.
It’s no secret that Artificial Intelligence is a big deal. In all areas of our digital life, the arrival of AI is already making a huge difference; look no further than Facebook and messenger bots. AI also offers a raft of advertising opportunities, and 2019 will undoubtedly be a huge growth year for the use and implementation of AI. Whether this is good or bad in the long run remains to be seen, but it is certainly going to make a big impact.
So how can you use AI in your digital signage? One way is to use AI to “recognise” your customers. This helps your AI to learn about your customers, understand their preferences and then tailor advertising specifically to them. This may sound like sci-fi, but this technology is here and can be used today. Is it ideal for every business at this stage? Maybe not. But as customers get used to AI being in their everyday lives, it is likely that the industry pioneers will derive the most benefit from the early uptake of new technology.
Humans are tactile creatures. We love to touch and experience the world around us, and this is not lost on advertisers. In the coming year we expect to see interactivity taken to a whole new level, particularly in the retail landscape. Imagine not only seeing a product on the screen, but experiencing it in 3D. Imagine walking around it and visualising what it would really look like. Or what about digital signage you could have a conversation with about the product? Again, with emerging technologies, these are options, not fantasies; in fact, we’re already harnessing the power of interactivity. Our ongoing collaboration with Mercedes-Benz has seen us create a range of interactive digital applications for their showrooms, which has helped to engage and inspire customers in unprecedented new ways – and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The push to drive sales means that digital signage is likely to take huge steps in 2019, and interactivity will play an important part in making this happen. The move away from the traditional high street means that companies operating physical stores will need to find a way to encourage people to come back. This offers a huge raft of possibilities to marketers, and the creative use of intelligent and interactive digital signage may well be a key weapon in the war against the online giants. Indeed, the high street is not dead yet – but those who want to succeed long-term will need to use every weapon available to ensure their long-term survival.
Augmented commerce, or A-commerce, is the process of using augmented reality technologies to enhance digital marketing. In essence, AR places a new layer on top of the real world by the use of either a phone or virtual reality goggles to show a digital object in the real world. The technology has made huge strides in recent years, particularly with the rise of mobile phones, many of which take advantage of this technology for a variety of reasons. For many businesses this is the holy grail of marketing. Imagine for a minute that you run a furniture business – the biggest issue facing many customers looking to buy furniture is not knowing how it will look in their own home. However, AR can take away this issue and allow the customer to see exactly what the product would look like inside their own home using their smartphone or a similar device. This is just one of countless possibilities allowing people to see and interact with a product in the real world before they buy it.
AR sounds like something out of science fiction – but it’s actually far from it. AR is a well-established technology which is prevalent in many of today’s smartphones. Marketers across the world are now starting to get their hands on augmented reality devices in order to really drive their sales and advertising to the next level. In 2019 this is set to explode. The options for the use of the technology are almost limitless – it seems the only limiting factor is your imagination.
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