New research from Futuresource Consulting suggests the interactive display market has steered its way through this pandemic far better than anticipated, with year-on-year sales actually up 16%.
“The market has well and truly bounced back,” says Colin Messenger, Senior Market Analyst, Futuresource Consulting. “Particularly when we consider the supply chain challenges that surrounded COVID-19 and the mass pessimism felt across the industry earlier in the year. There’s no doubt that we’ve now turned a corner, with interactive display interactive displays showing a year-on-year increase of 16%.
The PR says:
According to the Futuresource report, almost all countries outperformed market expectations, with China, USA, Germany and many EMEA countries delivering standout performances. This has been driven by a pronounced sales spike from schools in July, as orders that were postponed during Easter and summer half term were reactivated. As a result, the market has been reinvigorated and installations have resumed.
Although the pandemic hit the industry hard in the first half of the year, it has been transformed into an opportunity. Stay-at-home measures have increased the awareness of the displays sector as a whole, created talking points around interactivity and applied upward pressure to sales volumes. In many countries, the majority of schools are now fully open.
“There has been a wave of realization across education about the need to blend classroom-based and distance learning,” says Messenger. “The hybrid learning environment is on everyone’s lips, and school administrators are making sure they have the right equipment in place as the new technological shift comes into play.”
Beyond education, demand is also beginning to return to the corporate market, though at a subdued level, with China leading the way and accounting for 65% of corporate sales in Q3. Long purchasing delays are still expected from companies, as well as the cancellation of many projects.
Once the global workforce does return to the office, many team members will still spend much of the week working from home. This could kickstart the use of interactive displays in the office to improve collaboration and heighten control of video meetings where both internal and external parties are present.
Looking forward, Futuresource expects this groundswell of activity to continue through into Q4, as the backlog of installations continues to be fulfilled. In addition, 2020 full year forecasts are now above original forecasts with a 6% CAGR expected between 2019 and 2024.
This re-confirms how assumptions don’t always play out. It was reasonable to think back in March and April that the pandemic was going to clobber the interactive display business for the simple reason that consumers would not want to touch surfaces that get used repeatedly by others, when those others might be shedding the COVID-19 virus.
But given what’s been learned about the aerosol nature of the virus, self-service screens that minimize the need for person-to-person contact make more sense in health safety terms, particularly if the screens are cleaned after use and/or the users whip out their hand sanitizer.
My travels are minimal these days, but I have seen big box stores and groceries around me having staff dedicated to running around spritzing and wiping self-service checkout screens after every use.