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Retailers are one of the biggest markets for digital signage, but that doesn’t mean every retailer or supplier uses it correctly. Even while going shopping, I regularly run into these issues with both interactive and normal displays such as broken or malfunctioning displays, bad attract screens and poor content. But thankfully, these can all be fixed with a little bit of love and work.

Broken displays

I regularly run into displays that are malfunctioning. Their screens might be blank, or the touchscreen might not be working. Or even worse, I might see a normal desktop pulled up on the display, which allows anyone determined or mischievous enough to do a lot of damage.

Worst of all, I almost never see any sign anyone is working to fix the issue. At best, the retailer might tape a handwritten note to the display.

An easy way to fix this is to use digital signage software which monitors the “health” of the display. In other words, it checks to make sure the display is operational and everything is working smoothly. This can help speed up response time from a repair service. Also, the vendor can supply the retailer with tools to use when the display goes down, such as a branded “out of order” sign.

Bad attract screens

I have seen a variety of attract screens used with kiosks and interactive digital signage, which just don’t do the job. I’ve seen some that are just a bit boring and others that are downright disturbing. For example, I saw one kiosk that featured virtual people staring directly into the passerby’s eyes, with a soulless expression and a strange smile. It made me want to run away from the display, not to it!

Attract screens need to offer a clear and concise motivation to draw in the user. It could be something like local artwork that draws a customers’ eyes, or it could be an advertisement for a discount. It could even change based on the customer’s demographics or where the customer is standing.

You can also use analytical tools to test the effectiveness of the attract screen, and switch out the content accordingly.

Poor content

In many ways, this is the worst and most damaging issue for a display. If the content doesn’t work, the entire display becomes worthless. I’ve seen many displays that deliver boring or poor content, such as a mall display that used pixelated images or a gas station display which was still advertising warm weather products on a cold day.

Developing and maintaining effective content is certainly difficult, but you can make it a bit easier by using three tools:

  • Use a good content management system that allows you to easily swap content in and out.
  • Put someone in charge of content creation and management. If someone doesn’t “own it,” it won’t be as effective.
  • Consistently use analytics to test the effectiveness of the content.

Content is a continuous investment, and you can’t afford to fall behind.

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