It’s no secret that outdoor digital signage has always been an important tool for businesses, but the current state of the world has made that fact increasingly true. With many health recommendations providing insight that anything outdoor is for the best of the general public’s health and wellbeing, businesses are trying to adapt as quick as they can to attract customers and help streamline processes.
Two facets of business that have been quick to embrace new tactics for outdoor signage are restaurants and retail/grocery establishments. With many of these businesses being deemed essential, or at least allowed to stay open if certain guidelines are followed, there are ways outdoor signage—whether it be for wayfinding, menus, and beyond—can help these corporations thrive in a COVID world.
The Digital Signage Event gathered AV professionals to connect, collaborate, and discover the ever-expanding world of digital signage. Read our in-depth coverage of the day's panel discussions.
The ongoing pandemic has placed an increased importance on distance, which has led to more takeout dining via drive-thrus or curbside pick-up areas. With many wanting to stay at home while still enjoying their favorite meal, this has been a quick way to gain more normalcy in dining. With this switch in our habits, many QSRs and Fast Casual restaurants are investing in innovative, digital menu board and signage solutions.
Digital menus can be changed in real-time as specials become unavailable or available, they can adapt to the time of day and the items being served at the hour, and can even be installed both inside and outside, whether behind a counter or in a drive-thru lane. Many of the latest solutions are not only all-weather rated but are truly universal solutions that are able to easily accommodate 55-inch outdoor displays.
Who would have thought the grocery store or shopping would become a place of respite to get out of our homes? To meet the demand of ever-changing health protocols, digital signage in grocery and retail settings need to have the capability to be updated easily with the latest news and even technologically advanced enough to provide occupancy control. COVID-19 alerts can be easily displayed on kiosks in malls or grocery stores and, these kiosk solutions can even help with wayfinding so that customers can find new routes to avoid crowds and properly social distance.
In addition to in-store shopping, many customers prefer to order online and pick up their orders curbside to avoid coming in contact with too many crowds or people. Digital signage has become advanced enough to where software can now be incorporated into store-side kiosks and pick-up zones to ensure that a quick phone scan alerts employee of arrivals for those looking to pick up orders.
As the pandemic changes and health solutions like vaccinations and more are introduced, digital signage, especially in outdoor settings, will continue to be prevalent. Who knows—perhaps soon we will see kiosks that track more than just a temperature reading, such as health progress and stats of individuals as they pass through! But, for now, companies can look to digital signage to help adapt and grow their various QSR, food service, and retail businesses.
Megan Zeller spoke at The Digital Signage Event on the "Opt Outside: Digital Signage Heads Outdoors" panel.