Implementing digital signage solutions is one of the best decisions you can make for virtually any industry. Their incredibly dynamic nature makes them some of the most useful tools to come out of the digital era. Businesses of all types are implementing them with great success.
That’s because digital signage’s uses are almost unlimited. They help customers connect with businesses in new ways, and can take on a wide variety of shapes and forms—from self-service touch screens at McDonalds to huge LED ads in New York City’s Times Square.
The benefits of these diverse tools are plentiful, allowing businesses to increase operational efficiency, engage customers, and ultimately increase their revenue. Digital signage not only has the power to drive sales for businesses, but it can even be used to help retain customers by improving customer experience. For example, studies have shown that the perceived wait times in queues when digital signage is implemented can be reduced by up to 30%. Since perceived wait times are directly associated with customer satisfaction, this is huge.
Put simply, it would be silly not to consider digital signage for your workplace. So, let’s take a look at the options out there and the various benefits they offer.
How to Get Setup With Digital Signage
To get started with your digital signage setup, you’re going to need a few basic pieces of hardware as well as a Content Management System (CMS) to manage and create your content. You’ll also need a media player and a solid internet connection.
The most important piece of hardware is your screen. You’ll need something commercial grade, either LED or LCD, that has an HDMI or VGA input so that you can connect a media player to play your content. The size of the screen you need primarily depends on where the customer will be when viewing your signage, but a general range tends to lie between 42” and 70”. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule and some businesses can have even larger panoramic LCD video walls – like the one put together by Mountain America Credit Union.
There is a wealth of different types of hardware and software out there to run your signage. Here are some of the most popular options:
There are multiple hardware/media player options out there to help display your digital signage. A great option to consider is Chromebit.
It’s essentially a dongle which can be easily plugged into your TV screen. You then simply integrate your preferred digital signage app ad you’re good to go. It’s a great way to simply plug in and play, and works for most of your digital signage needs. The only downside of these is their lack of memory. Chromebit’s only come with a 2GB RAM and if you’re looking for a little more performance you may find a Chromebox is a more suitable media player. Other options can include Chromecasts and even Amazon Firesticks.
ScreenCloud is a market leader when it comes to digital signage and has clients including Amazon, Uber, and Dropbox. It’s a cloud-based CMS that comes with the ability to integrate with over 80 other apps. It’s compatible with most media players including Firestick, Chromebox, and Chromecast, and has a monthly, per-screen subscription option.
2. Chrome Sign Builder
Chrome Sign Builder is the perfect free software solution for creating your digital signage, especially if you’re not the YMCA and are unable to use the Open Y platform, but aren’t in a position to pay for a service such as ScreenCloud. You can schedule your content to appear at certain times/days of the week. It’s ideal for businesses like cafes or restaurants that want to showcase their daily specials. It is basic, but it’s an ideal starting point for small businesses.
Open Y Platform with Digital Signage for YMCA’s
Although ScreenCloud is considered an affordable CMS , when you’re a non-profit organization, the costs of such a tool can quickly eat into funds, which is why some members of the YMCA launched the Open Y Platform to allow YMCA’s to have the opportunity to create a digital presence without the added cost.
Open Y is built with Drupal 8, which is open-source software that has allowed developers to modify the features of the Drupal CMS system to help it align better for YMCAs. Features of Open Y include the ability to list upcoming events, alerts and push notifications, amenity filters (so visitors can filter a location based on its amenities), regular content management tools, and much more – which you can find out about here.
Open Y can easily be integrated with third-party applications too, including Daxko, Personify and, ACTIVEnet. You can then use the likes of Chrome Sign Builder to simplify your content delivery.
In this article, we covered only a few of the digital signage solutions available for your business. If you need further help or have any questions specifically relating to your industry, the team at Five Jars would love to chat with you. Whether it’s digital signage or other digital solutions you’re looking for, reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have.
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