If you want an audience, you better have something to say. In the retail industry, it's par for the course that if you want to successfully sell something, you better know what to say in order to sell it. We're talking about convincing messaging and no, we don't expect you to use your actual voice. Your in-store signs are the only voice you need and as long as the messaging you use on them is persuasive, you'll succeed at selling the products and services your store offers.

However, some voices are louder than others…

Any in-store signage will speak to your audience, i.e. your customers, but digital signage is capable of speaking far louder than the static signs you pick up from your favored printer.

Why?

Because digital signage is versatile. Its content can rotate, flash, be compartmentalized, be animated, and be demanding. Digital displays grab consumer attention and hold it. They're captivating.

In other words…

They're the most powerful option on the market today, and until Google figures out how to beam your store's advertising directly into the pituitary glands of every human on Earth, digital signage will remain the best, most cost-effective, and most successful form of in-store promotion you'll ever be able to get your hands on.

Digital signage will save you time, money, and effort… and we're about to tell you how.

SAVING YOU TIME

Retailers that have made the switch from using static signs to implementing digital signage in their stores are familiar with the superior benefits of digital technology. In-store screens offer the quick delivery of information to shoppers, and each display can alert customers to multiple ads, promotions, and incentives because the content can rotate if programmed. The fully customizable content is built within a centralized software control system, and because the store owner is in control of the content creation--we're talking pre-made templates, too--their expenses and effort are cut, which saves them time.

When a comparison of time spent is actually calculated between static, paper-produced signs versus digital content creation, digital content creation always wins the race. Think about it. If you're using static in-store signs, then you will never avoid the logistical and administrative aspects of working with a printer. Even if you've established an effective, professional working relationship with a printer that you're happy with, the time investment of emailing the graphic files, making sure the files open, waiting for the proof, approving the proof once you make the time to show up at the printers, then waiting for the actual print job which could take days, the overall time you've spent to see one single promotion through from start to finish is massive.

Now compare that with digital signage. Because digital signage software empowers you to put your own ads and promotional graphics together yourself, right off the bat you are suddenly not relying on anyone else. You don't have to wait near the phone or your computer email. You don't have to "catch" the printer before 5pm when they close up shop because they function under normal business hours. In the comfort of your own office or home, even if it's the middle of the night, you can open the cloud-based digital signage software and put your in-store ads together.

Another massive time saver comes when the software solution provider you're using offers unlimited advertisement templates with drag-and-drop options and all you have to do is change some text and type in the details of a particular sale. What used to demand countless trips to the printers--and countless bills from the printers--is suddenly entirely within your own control. Plus, once you've created your promotional materials, you can schedule them to whatever in-store digital screen you choose. Your scheduling can be as simplistic or complex as you like. Ads can rotate on this screen or remain static on another. You can even schedule different promotions to fill your in-store screens at different times of the day, which is especially convenient for any location that has a menu board. Best of all, any administrator you give control-center access to will have the convenient ability to change or update display content with just a few clicks. 

TIME-SAVING TIP: Every store owner's day-to-day operations vary and only you know how much spare time you can squeeze out of each day, week, month, and year. First evaluate the potential time you might have to invest in generating the digital content that will show up on your in-store displays. For example, you might want to dedicate one day of every month to creating all of the in-store ads, promotions, sales, deals, and alerts that you'll need to display that month. Or, if your free time is more sporadically spaced throughout the day, you might prefer to grab one hour every week to create and manage your signage content. Are your prices relatively fixed month to month and only change with big seasonal sales on a quarterly basis? If so, block-off a full weekend to figure out the content you'll want to display for the next three months and be sure to schedule the various promotional graphics in an overlapping fashion. Just because you create your in-store content once every three months, doesn't mean that your shoppers can't be exposed to multiple sales and promotions that switch over on a monthly or even weekly basis!

SAVING YOU MONEY

It's estimated that it takes 24 trees to produce 2,000 lbs of paper. If two-thousand pounds of paper doesn't sound like a lot, remember that your average Staples office supply store carries a heck of a lot more than that amount at any given time. We're talking only 400 reams of paper… In both the short and long runs, what costs the planet, costs your business' bottom line, and vice versa. We have less quality oxygen to breathe due to less trees, and you have less money in your pocket, because you paid for those trees to get cut down--every time you send a promotion or advertisement or signage order to the printers.

There are significant financial impacts associated with using paper, cardstock, signage boards, and other paper-based materials for your in-store signage. If we look at the big picture, since 82% of US companies rely heavily on paper, that translates to an annual expense of $8-billion. Depending on how many promotions you run at your store and how often you need to swap out an old ad for a new one, your expenses could be up there, especially when you factor in graphic design and other professional costs. 

Digital signage, as an alternative option, will instantly eliminate these design and printing costs. Does this mean you'll eliminate costs altogether?

Of course not. There are upfront costs associated with getting your in-store digital signage up-and-running. You'll need the hardware (the LED, LCD, or other screens), the software (the computer programs to generate the ads, info, and promotions that will be displayed), and the solution provider that supplies the previous two elements--yes, you can sign up for a monthly subscription that will cover these bundled expenses in one flat rate no matter how many times you change the content of your in-store digital signage.

MONEY-SAVING TIP: The real-life costs associated with implementing digital signage at your retail store can vary widely, so we recommend you first assess your budget, goals, and needs in order to get the most ROI out of this investment. Assess screen size and the number of screens you'll need and choose a solution provider that offers commercial displays with longer warranties and lifespans. The investment could run anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on your research to find the best solutions for you!

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SAVING YOU EFFORT

The greatest benefit that comes with implementing interactive technology at your retail store is saving you effort. Digital signage screens are versatile and any given display can be used for multiple purposes. Displaying time-sensitive promotions and sale items, advertising your store's customer loyalty rewards program, alerting your customers to pertinent information, and depicting menu boards and high-quality photos of meals along with prices--these applications are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways in which you can make your in-store digital signage work for you. If your store has contests, drawings, and games, display the winners. If you've set up social media accounts for your store's brand, project the social feed directly to your in-store displays. Even practical uses like wayfinding, and displaying the date, time, and outdoor temperature can all enhance your customers' shopping experience without you having to lift a finger. Yes, you'll need to schedule your displays on the back-end using the software dashboard, but the amount of effort this requires is nothing compared to constantly managing the printing schedules of one in-store promotion after the next when you use antiquated, static, paper signage.

When we say that digital signage can "save you effort", included in that statement is the effort to generate advertising revenue.

Now, not every retail store has advertising relationships with other local--and non-competing--businesses, but for those of you that do, displaying those ads on your in-store digital signage will benefit both you and the advertisers. When you offer advertisers static billboards, i.e. printed ones, then they only have one display option, meaning they will provide you with the graphic they want displayed and you will put the printed ad up in your store.

Alternatively, if you have digital signs in your store, you can now offer advertisers many more options, such as high-traffic locations, content rotation, and select time slots, and that's just the beginning. If your business is within another industry, such as restaurant, education, hospitality, private practice, or some other niche industry, then you can offer demographic targeting that will be very attractive to advertisers. This makes advertising profitable, nearly effortless, and your advertising becomes diversified and multiplied, which your customers will appreciate in the long run, because everyone likes being exposed to the deals around town.

EFFORT-SAVING TIP: When it comes to tackling your brand-new digital signage displays on the back-end, the Venn diagram rule will apply--those two overlapping circles that create a third oval in the middle. Venn diagrams are meant to remind us that two elements can be combined, but never all three. What does this mean in terms of implementing digital signage? If you want "fast" and "cheap", you won't get "good". If you're aiming for "good" and "cheap", you won't get it "fast". To eliminate wasted time and effort, determine your goals before you sit down at the computer software. If time is your most valuable asset, then accept that you will design and schedule your digital content quickly at the expense of either cost or quality. Maybe you're willing to pay more in pre-made designs or hiring an intern in order to retain quality while saving you time. Ultimately, you're responsible for the effort you put in, and you're also responsible for the pros and cons that result.

If that last "tip" hit you like a sobering splash of cold water in your face, don't get all sour on us just yet. There are digital signage solution providers that offer the holy grail trifecta of "good", "fast", and "cheap", and we're one of them. Of course, rather than "good, fast, cheap", we prefer to call it FasTrax's high-quality, user-friendly, and competitively-priced Digital Signage packages.

We're so proud of our digital signage, in fact, and we're sooo 100%-confident that any business owner that tries it will love it, that we're just crazy enough to offer AdPro FOR FREE! No, we haven't been drinking… any more than usual… To sign up for your FREE TRIAL click here, and if you'd like to learn more about AdPro and its vast library of ad templates that can easily display to your in-store digital signage, we invite you to check out another blog post, AdPro Free Trial.