Digital Signage Trends in 2013: What to Expect

Over the past few decades, digital signage has grown into one of the major digital platform in global advertising landscape. Featuring a new way of content delivery with easy management and customization, digital signage is increasingly found in a lot of applications including public facilities and businesses. In a sense, digital signage is considered as a powerful visual communication means among other recent digital communication tool means. In the first place, digital signage allows user to tailor specific content for specific target audience for effective communication. Then, its network-oriented management concept make it easy to integrate it with other IT infrastructures. Finally and the most important factor which drives stellar adoption of digital signage is their flexibility as a more cost-effective device to display information. Despite the high uptake of digital signage in various industries, it also poses some tough challenges in terms of interoperability and relatively high cost installation. All things considered, what are digital signage trends in 2013? What we can expect from digital signage in 2013? Will it become larger than ever or will it cease to be just another digital communication or advertising platform like the rest of the crowd. Only time can tell for sure but for the time being let�s take a quick look at some market overview and key points to watch for digital signage trends in 2013.

Until present, digital signage has enjoyed positive growth all over world with highest penetration in emerging countries in Asia Pacific for they indicate the largest retail boom in the past few years. It is predicted that the global market of digital display to grow multiple and reach US$ 4.5 billion in three to four years ahead. Generally, the digital signage market applications can be categorized into three different areas based on the role it serves: Point of Wait, Point of Sale, and Point of Transit. While all the three segments show the same big potential to expand even larger in the future, it is the point of sale which receives most limelight simply because it seems to offer most tangible advantage for business. Point of Sale can range from product branding, direct or indirect advertising and promotion, to enhanced buying experience. But in 2013, digital signage can expect that the point of sale to extend further because of the trends of digital store as well as back-of-house digital signage for company branding and awareness. However, users may also want to note that content will be the most essential key to determine the existence and development of digital signage in 2013. In such technologically-drive era, content delivery as the most crucial aspect. As such, digital signage should be able to offer greater opportunity in terms of creation, availability, personalization, and delivery of content if it were to survive or progress further. It is even more important with the advances in display technology itself which has promoted interactivity, richness, and super resolution. Now that you grab a slight idea about what to expect from digital signage trends in 2013, let's get down with some future predictions.

Rich Content with HTML5

As mentioned earlier, content will be one of the main focus of digital signage trends in 2013. And since digital signage primarily target digital generation as its audience, rich and interactive contents are more favorable and engaging as compared to static one way communication content. Flash and HTML 5 are among two most common standards for audio visual content development for web, mobile, and advertising platform alike. While Flash has a head start over HTML5, many current developers tend to choose HTML5 over flash due to compatibility and flexibility aspects. Unlike Flash, HTML5 offers extensive supports for interoperability across various platforms and devices including the booming mobile devices which makes it easier to develop contents and deploy them wherever and whenever required. That aside, the cross-compatibility of HTML5 will also ensure uniform and consistent user experience and message delivery of the contents whatever device or platform used by the target audience.

Mobile Devices and Into the Cloud

Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are a huge success in consumer market but what they have to do with digital signage trends in 2013? Today, you can hardly find any digital device which has no whatsoever integration to mobile devices. From computing to audio visual devices, everyone seem to go with the mobile rush and try to make their products work with those digital consumer darling. Digital signage is no exception. In order to drive more interactivity, it is highly possible that digital signage also offer some ways that customers not only allow direct interaction but also interactivity with their own personal mobile devices through universal communication technologies such as Bluetooth or NFC. For instance, a digital kiosk who sells custom birthday cake can let its prospective buyers to try design their own birthday cake on the spot and then beam it to their smartphones via NFC for later viewing or sharing. In a way, mobile devices can act as some sort of extension of digital signage which not only enrich overall user experience but also build deeper engagement while reaching out to wider audience.

On different note, cloud is a far yet near future for digital signage and its trends in 2013. With its integration to various IT infrastructure and network capability, there is high possibility to see cloud-based digital signage in near future. Leveraging on cloud technology, such digital signage will be able to deliver and manage content from the cloud, anywhere, anytime. After all, with the cloud-based digital signage, users may also cut down significant resources for content storage and management. Or, cloud applications can also lead to digital signage with SaaS (Software as a Service) where users relies on service providers to provide and deliver contents upon request and requirements.

The Dawn of Digital Retail Store

For a lot of retail stores out there, winning over consumer attention is often a tough battle. There is no one way to do it no matter how smart your strategies are or how sophisticated your stores look. They generally work wonder for some time and give up to the market demand at the end. But now there is this phenomenon called digital retail store here which refers to retail store which leverage on digital devices to help engage consumers. And digital signage is one way to engage rather catch consumer attention. A basic concept of digital signage in digital store is to deliver different buying experience by offer interactive product experience where customers can do the hands-on on the products and buy it later online or offline. With the applications of digital signage, users can combine product information, branding, entertainment, and interactivity within single package, enabling unique buying experience for today digital-oriented customers. As such, the concept of digital interactive store can also be considered as the future digital signage trends in 2013.

Overall, it is obvious that the underlying big picture of digital signage trends in 2013 remain in the role of digital signage in meeting customer expectation of delivering information effectively and accurately. And with its increasingly wide and easier implementation, it will not be surprising to see another growing market of digital signage in small business medium segment with limited resources which look for seamless digital solution to improve their businesses.

(Date: 02 April 2013; Lidya)

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