Longtime digital signage solutions provider Freshwater Digital has a good little post up on its company blog, and Linkedin, about the emerging utilitarian aspect of digital signage displays in retail.
I’ve been doing a lot of moderating on web video panels, or talking on them, and often mentioning how retailers have been resorting to rough-looking, unsustainable hacks to communicate circumstances at stores.
I have seen lots of examples of hand-written whiteboards and signs taped to windows and glass doors laying out the rules and limits for entry, and trying to communicate stock levels on high demand items like sanitizing liquids and wipes.
In the first weeks of the pandemic, retailers who stayed open were doing whatever they could to update customers. But given that this situation is likely to persist for many more months, better digital solutions are making sense for businesses that are not going to be able to just go back to pre-COVID-19 operations.
Lots and lots of solutions providers can deliver on the need, but I like what Freshwater is showing here – the hack version, and the digital fix. The good news is that when the contagion has a vaccine and things are way less weird, these screens can have other useful purposes like promoting specials and new products and services.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.