The Digital Panacea – The Emperor Has No Clothes On


Digital Signage Best Practices, Mistakes, and Disadvantagesdigital signage disadvantages

A digital display or promotional screen that rarely changes its message is an enormous waste.

It might as well be paper.

Yet these are found everywhere — in hotels, pharmacies, school campuses, supermarkets, and department stores.

In some cases, these displays are left unmanaged, displaying errors, or even switched off.

In the constant push towards all things digital, marketers, promotion planners, and retail business owners have begun to work against themselves, driving up their costs of operation for no reason at all, and handcuffing themselves to technologies they cannot drive or manage.

Technology is assuredly a powerful solution for retail stores. Intelligent use of digital solutions such as smart digital signage or electronic shelf labels introduce an incredible amount of control, speed, and consistency to store promotions. These technologies have a positive promotional impact on customers, and lead to an extraordinary return on investment for business owners.

However, ECS Global Inc. provides these digital solutions knowing they are just a piece to the puzzle of store profitability.

While they can be a boon for store performance, technologies like digital signage, electronic signage, and electronic shelf tags can be misused and sink a store’s bottom line just as well.

Recall that over the last decade, IT providers also pushed for a complete digital evolution — to move everything to the “cloud.” Yet, business owners affected by recent ransomware attacks are now discovering their best practices should have still included those physical disks on dusty shelves.

In a similar vein, the over reliance and conversion of all signage and promotional strategies to digital displays is a result of the same lack of critical thinking, creating an expensive lesson for retail stores that fail to also leverage paper signage and labeling.

And so, when you enter a store that is all digital for no reason other than to be digital, it’s true that you may indeed be witnessing the emperor of innovation.

But this emperor has no clothes, and his coffers are empty.

Inefficient Uses of Digital Signage and Electronic Shelf Tags

electronic shelf labels example

It is critical to store success that a blend of technologies including paper, digital, mobile, and display, are used in optimal unison.

ECS Global Inc takes into consideration the most efficient placement and technology for any promotional purpose when implementing the ECS5 cloud solution.

For instance, a digital sign cannot be more efficient, less expensive and more impactful than paper where that paper sign is not highly promotional.

It is impossible when considering the cost of buying the display unit, implementing the unit, and supporting the unit – it just doesn’t add up.

A change from paper signage to digital signage can only be considered an upgrade if the business is driving varied content to that display unit on a regular basis for promotion dependent products.

Otherwise, a digital display that shows a static image for months on end is really nothing more than a very expensive paper sign.

Similarly, the idea of electronic shelf labels may sound like an attractive solution that can be thrown at any retail operation. However, if the price of the promoted goods is not volatile or affected by competitor pricing, these labels never needed to be electronic in the first place.

There is no point in promoting goods such as baked beans, stationary, vitamins, plasters, towels, soap and similar products as they are not highly promotional items.

Paper Has its Place

In these cases of static promotions, a paper sign should always be used, as it is significantly cheaper and, in many cases, even more impactful than a digital display.

A print solution can be highly efficient if you are only printing what is stocked in any store. That means a new sign is only produced when something appropriate changes, such as price, brand elements, or product descriptions.

With the right planogram tool, you can also print paper labels in an efficient store-walk order, minimizing the time the store associate takes to implement the changes by using mobile on-floor printers where operational benefits present themselves.

With a blended solution such as ECS5, you can have one design environment, one instance of content and a central control which is efficient and able to be executed at pace and react to things such as competition activity, market trends, emerging news, and more.

Ultimately, a highly impactful colorful point of sale will always be better than a strictly digital alternative.

Digital Signage and the Trap of a Technology Cul-de-sacdigital signage best practices and risks

A business that is over eager to jump into digital signage without considering an efficient implementation can find itself facing costly consequences.

This can be due to more than just a poor placement of display units.

Often times businesses do not take into account the system needed to manage and drive digital signage displays throughout their store.

For example, when a new promotion needs to be run for a line of products, these stores do not have the means to develop new media content that is both timely and attractive. These businesses must rely on an expensive vendor or studio to create new promotions that are often outdated by the time they arrive. These slow methods of media creation also make it impossible to respond to unexpected events, or actions by competitors.

Without the ability to design and publish new content themselves internally, such as through a blended communications solution like ECS5, these stores abandon the use of their digital displays or simply begin to use them like paper signs. This is an enormous cost waste.

The problem only continues to worsen, as stores that quickly roll out a decision to install digital signage displays may also find themselves handcuffed to their technology.

Media signage that cannot be centrally managed, for example, will require specific hardware from a single manufacturer to run properly.

Display units purchased to run a specific promotion may not be able to run the type of media content needed for future promotions. And further complicating things, other types of displays may not even be compatible with existing setups.

This is not only a significant cost, but it prevents the store from keeping up to date with technology and competitors, restricting them to a cul-de-sac of limited options.

Smart Signage Solutions with ECS5paper signage vs digital signage

Retail stores, pharmacies, department stores, and other facilities should ensure they have a blend of technologies – from high impact colorful point of sale, digital displays and multimedia, to intelligent uses of paper signage and labeling.

ECS Global Inc. provides a cloud solution in ECS5 that blends communication between efficient high-impact digital signage, paper based promotions, and labeling solutions.

With the ability to drive digital signage and electronic shelf tags from a central point and across all types of displays and from many manufacturers, businesses that use ECS5 can dynamically create and manage promotional content that accurately connects to product information, planogram designs, retail mobile devices, and point of sale terminals.

Don’t install expensive display units for the sake of being ahead of the curve. Leverage all aspects that drive operational efficiency and store profitability with a system that unifies communication between everything from label printing to impressive video walls and electronic displays.

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