5 Digital Signage Trends to Watch For 2024
The digital signage landscape has seen countless trends come and go over the years. From the “3D” signage craze, to transparent LED screens stores placed on windows, many trends fizzle out without making a massive impact. Despite this fact, businesses must keep a keen eye on the future. Most businesses cannot afford to be blindsided by trends that can completely shift the paradigm and alter how they operate.
As we embark on the journey of a new year, we wanted to highlight some signage trends that are likely to stick around for the long haul. Join us as we walk through the five most critical digital signage trends your business should monitor for 2024 and beyond.
Our first of five digital signage trends relates to interactivity. Improved interactivity is not a new trend in the signage world, but continues to barrel forward at a rate that was inconceivable 20 or so years ago. Businesses are consistently reinventing the way people interact with their signage, and a logical next step in this progression is robust integration with the “Internet of Things.” Imagine telling a screen what to do using voice-activated or remote-controlled sensors, pointers, or beacons. This isn’t as far away as you think. Customers can already communicate with interactive digital signposts and perform activities using Bluetooth or IoT sensors.
The next level of interactivity is already here, and will only become more prevalent in the future. One of our clients is currently experimenting with an “interactive scavenger hunt” that uses augmented reality from an app on the viewer's phone to help the viewer interact with their signage. This brings their signage to life and creates a truly unforgettable experience for viewers that all businesses should strive for.
From augmented reality, to touchscreens, to gesture recognition, we encourage businesses to explore the capabilities of their signage technology and evaluate what makes sense to test for their business. You’ll never know what can be a big hit with your customers if you never experiment. Keep in mind, the goal of your signage is not only to drive more sales in the short-term but to create a truly unforgettable customer experience. Investing in interactivity is an excellent way to foster that experience and stay ahead of the curve.
In 2024, digital signage is expected to continue to move further beyond static content and continue to embrace the power of dynamic population (for more information on the power of dynamic signage, check out our recent guide on that topic!). In the coming years, tailoring on-screen content based on real-time data and customer preferences will become the norm, resulting in a more personalized and immersive experience for your customers.
The emergence of artificial intelligence and its impending integration into signage management is something to keep an eye on, and will likely usher in an era of unprecedented personalization. AI algorithms may soon be used to analyze viewer demographics, behavior, and preferences in real-time, allowing your business’s signage displays to tweak themselves and deliver content tailored to the individual viewer.
For instance, imagine standing in front of a digital menu board at a fast-food restaurant. AI, paired with facial recognition embedded in the signage, may be able to detect your previous orders and dietary preferences, and even consider factors such as the time of day. The signage would then present you with a personalized menu. This menu would highlight your favorite items and suggest new ones that align with your taste. It would also have the ability to spotlight any deals or promotions that are likely to interest you. This high degree of personalization enhances the viewing experience and increases satisfaction by presenting relevant content that resonates with each viewer on a deeper level.
This is what the next generation of digital signage looks like: machine learning and AI-fueled by real-time data, optimizing your displays based on who is viewing them.
Despite the “AI-powered” generation of signage likely being years from widespread mainstream adoption, machine learning and artificial intelligence are already helping businesses optimize their signage displays behind the scenes, optimizing content playlists to showcase the imagery that drives the most revenue. Integration with point-of-sale technology, and of course, cloud-based signage management are critical tools fueling this process. These integrations enable businesses to leverage sophisticated data-driven dayparting and change displays across hundreds of locations with the push of a button, all while tying particular ad creatives to actual revenue generated to measure campaign effectiveness.
DEEL’s Carbon™ content management system makes even the most complex signage management projects simple, and is a perfect solution to ensure your business’s signage strategy stays competitive in the years to come. If your business isn’t satisfied with its current signage management solution, we encourage you to check it out!
Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Signage
The print-ship-hang model of old is not only outdated but incredibly wasteful. Organizations that have not made the switch to digital signage not only lack the flexibility to pivot their displays (let alone do so at scale) but are wasting tons of resources creating traditional signage and shipping it out to its locations.
One major QSR chain we’ve worked with in the past is a great example of this. This brand used to ship out all of its signage prints for the entire business to all of its locations because doing so was more cost-effective than painstakingly identifying what locations needed what specific signage. The result? Restaurants receiving signage materials promoting menu items that they didn’t even sell at their location, and having to throw out the excess signage immediately upon receiving it. This is not a sustainable way to run any business, and caused a great amount of headaches both for corporate and individual stores alike.
Although the widespread shift to digital signage has reduced wasteful practices, many digital signage providers are making efforts to further minimize the environmental footprint of their signage.
Screen manufacturers like Phillips are developing signage that consumes less electricity and are building their signage using more sustainable materials such as recycled plastics and energy-efficient LED components. Many hardware manufacturers are even making efforts to package their products more sustainably, capitalizing on another opportunity to cut down on the environmental impact of their operations.
Expect the shift to more energy-efficient digital signage hardware to continue in the coming years. After all, signage that consumes less energy results in less overhead for businesses. Although it may seem minute, micro-level optimizations like this add up in the long run to support a profitable business.
In the world of drive-thru menu boards, keep an eye out for solar-powered signage to move further into the mainstream. Kentucky Fried Chicken has recently rolled out a solar-powered drive-thru that is expected to save one particular location $400,000 over its lifetime.
Not only does sustainable and eco-friendly signage help improve your business’s operational efficiency. It can also help set your business apart from its competitors and build its brand. Customers vote with their money and have made it clear that they prefer shopping with brands that make an effort to be ecologically responsible. Eco-conscious consumers are likely to continue favoring businesses that invest in sustainable signage and practices, making it both a trend and a statement of corporate and global responsibility.
As technology continues to evolve, expect businesses to get more and more creative with how they utilize digital signage. Unique signage that is more than a simple 16:9 screen tends to be more eye-catching and can create a tremendous experience for your customers when used properly.
A great example is video walls in movie theaters, or, a huge topic of discussion in the industry and beyond, The Sphere in Las Vegas. When you think about it, The Sphere is essentially a $2.3 billion digital signage installation project. The Sphere’s overwhelmingly positive reception is likely to encourage more brands, specifically in the entertainment space (think theme parks), to get more creative with their signage installations and experiment with never-before-seen installation designs. Many more ambitious installations will inevitably fall flat on their face, but when done right, they can completely shift what customers expect from digital signage.
We mentioned it very briefly earlier, but 3D signage, when used properly, can be a great way to provide a unique experience for your customers. Although many factors have prevented 3D signage from truly entering the mainstream (specifically, the fact that it is only truly visible from a specific viewing angle), it can make an excellent addition to venues looking to provide a truly immersive experience. Although a QSR is not likely to benefit from less conventional uses of digital signage, more “larger than life”, experience-oriented businesses like theme parks will and should continue to experiment with any installation that can make someone say “wow.”
The allure of creative installations goes beyond the unique experience they provide; they are a tremendous brand-building tool. After being exposed to unique displays, customers will be more likely to associate your brand with innovation, creativity, and, if your installation works as intended, a high-quality experience.
When it comes to your digital signage, sometimes less is more. This is a lesson many businesses are learning and will be prioritizing in their on-screen content design. Although digital signage provides a unique opportunity to leverage motion and innovative graphics, sometimes the results leave a lot to be desired. Motion must be used strategically on your signage. Excessive use of motion can confuse customers and lead to a more difficult viewing experience.
We see minimalism truly shining in the menu board space. Your customers have only a limited amount of time to read your menu and make their decision. Too much motion or too busy of a design can make it harder to navigate your menu. No one wants to have to struggle to read through a menu with a line of other customers forming behind them. Simple menu designs make it easier for customers to make decisions, and can also improve the speed of service by enabling your team to take orders more quickly, resulting in less waiting time and a better experience for customers.
Be sure that customer experience is top of mind as you design your on-screen content. The best-looking graphics are sometimes not the most effective, and do not result in the smoothest customer experience. Focus on clear calls-to-action and clean imagery moving forward. Your customers will thank you, as will your revenue numbers.
As we step into a new year, we hope your business can capitalize on these five digital signage trends that are set to redefine the landscape in 2024 and beyond. From heightened interactivity and personalized content driven by AI to a growing emphasis on sustainability, creative installations, and a shift toward minimalist design, these digital signage trends promise to reshape how businesses approach their signage initiatives. Remember: as technology advances, so does the potential for dynamic and memorable customer experiences.
If your business isn’t satisfied with its current digital signage efforts, you’ve come to the right place. At DEEL Media, we are a team of artists, technologists, and realists who have delivered comprehensive digital signage solutions and support for some of the world’s most well-known brands. We provide end-to-end signage solutions, from hardware, to software, to installation, If you have a digital signage problem, we assure you we have a solution. If you are interested in working with DEEL Media or learning more about what we do, we encourage you to schedule time to meet with our team or give us a call at 770-619-1225.
Meet The Author
In the 1990’s Bill pioneered the use of Internet technologies in the restaurant industry and in 1996 was cited as “Innovator of the Year” by Internet Week Magazine. Co-founding DEEL in 2009 marked the culmination of years in film, television, audio visual, interactive, Internet and restaurant technologies experience. As President & CEO Bill currently leads DEEL’s blueprint for growth and strategic business partnerships.
What is Digital Signage, And How is it Different From Regular Signage?
What is Digital Signage, And How is it Different From Regular Signage?
In technical terms, digital signage refers to the use of digital displays or screens to present information, advertisements, or other forms of content. It involves the use of technologies such as LCD, LED, or projection screens to display multimedia content, including images, videos, text, and interactive elements. Simply put, it is a more engaging way to display messages than traditional signage.
You can find digital signage everywhere, from retail stores, to airports, to hotels, to restaurants, to schools. It serves as a dynamic and flexible communication tool that allows businesses and organizations to deliver targeted messages to their audience.
The first key difference between digital signage and run-of-the-mill signage is the ability to display crystal-clear, dynamic content. This can completely transform the experience of a shopper, visitor, or whoever is viewing your signage. The bright display is hard to ignore, especially when it is in video format. Digital signage is simply more effective at attracting attention than conventional signage. Think about your personal experiences. Which menu board do you think commands more attention, a chalkboard with the day’s specials, or a visual display with bright colors and real, moving imagery showcasing one of the day’s specials?
Beyond higher engagement, another major difference between digital signage and traditional signage is the flexibility provided by digital signage. Rather than taking down your signage every time you want to communicate a new message or make an edit, digital signage enables you to store all of your content in one centralized location, and make changes to display with the push of a button. This makes life considerably easier for any organization that runs promotions or is frequently making tweaks to its offerings.