Digital Signage Solutions for Businesses

By James Betts 

There is no denying that the Coronavirus pandemic has brought about a ‘new normal’ – with working from home, an increased need for online visibility taking front and centre and social distancing still very much part of our lives for the foreseeable future.We have seen the country buckle down to prevent the spread of the virus. One of these ways we have seen this is that businesses now have strict measures in place to reduce physical contact with others through social distancing floor signage, Perspex screens at checkouts, and PPE is a requirement for staff and customers. As the need to communicate more information to customers/consumers in a clear and safe way has increased, many businesses have begun to adopt the use of Digital Signage in order to display reminders about COVID-19 regulations, such as graphics telling customers to stay socially distant, to use hand gel when entering the premises, and listing symptoms.

Digital signage offers a wide host of benefits, not least the reduced risk of contact which would have traditionally been present through handing out flyers, offers, and pamphlets to customers. It can also be very cost-effective, especially for small businesses that need to save money now more than ever. In this blog, we will break down the basics of digital signage including how it works, what the benefits are, and the best hardware and software for displaying your content.

What is digital signage?

Digital signage is almost everywhere you look and uses LCD, LED & OLED displays to show images, videos and information such as menus, discounts, and COVID-19 health reminders. Chances are you have seen some form of digital signage recently if you’ve been to a fast-food restaurant, cafe, bank, shopping centre, and even a doctor’s surgery.

How does digital signage work?

Digital signage displays work by using content management systems/apps installed on PCs and media players to present information. This information can be edited with ease either on-site or within the cloud, so if you need to change the information you display, such as moving from a breakfast to lunch menu, the graphic can be removed quickly. One such media device, the MINIX X68-i, is a mini Android PC device that can be run as a computer. The device typically sits in a bracket behind the LCD screen (usually a TV) and uses apps to display the content – there are lots of great ones available which we will list further on.

Why digital signage is important?

Not only is digital signage an effective and clear way to present information to your customers, as we have discussed it helps to reduce physical contact with others and can be changed remotely with ease. Even before the pandemic, Parotec had seen a huge increase in sales of our digital signage hardware solutions such as the MINIX X68-i and MINIX NEO X39. Amongst other customers, we have supplied large numbers of these devices to a leading retail bank over the past 18 months, as well as in various locations of a large bookmaker.We also see this rapidly expanding into schools. Many schools are already using this technology to showcase the work of their pupils and display daily messages, however regular reminders about COVID-19 precautions will be necessary.

What are the benefits of digital signage solutions for businesses?

There are many benefits of digital signage solutions, including: Very cost-effective: all you need is a compatible screen and a media box such as the MINIX ones we previously mentioned. In the long run, this will probably equal the cost of a couple of print runs for traditional printed advertising forms. If you need to change anything there is also no charge, unlike the cost that would come with paper flyers. Reduces the need for single-use paper: if you are simply operating on digital signage, you won’t need to be wasteful with single-use paper anymore. Easy to update: Instead of spending money on a new menu design if you need to change prices, simply change them on your digital menu. Attention-grabbing: you can really go to town with your use of graphics and videos, which are much more engaging than a simple poster.

What is the best digital signage software?

We have a few recommendations for digital signage platforms as below:TrilbyTV: TrilbyTV works largely with schools to display their student’s work, as well as messages and important updates. The TrilbyTV Player app works on any platform including Android, iOS, Windows or Mac. There is also an unlimited screen subscription service available for those who operate using many different screens.ActivDS: active DS is a digital signage solution for small, medium or enterprise class businesses and can be used on any media capable device. The software is very easy to use and combines cloud based content build and publishing tools with their media player app.Signage Live: Signage Live has over 20 years’ experience in providing Enterprise-class Digital Signage Software, Services and Support that enable you to create and publish engaging media and apps. They have served over 2,000 customers in 46 countries and have the know-how to help you create your vision.

Where to buy digital signage media players?

Here at Parotec we are a signage accessories supplier and sell MINIX media players that can be used as part of your digital signage solution. We also sell media hubs, adapters, wireless air mice, Bluetooth headphones and more – enquire today and get started with your digital transformation!