The COVID-19 pandemic forced companies around the world to adapt their operations to ensure the health and safety of employees and customers. Lockdowns, social distancing and hygiene measures became the norm, which also had an impact on the way companies communicate with their target groups.
Digital signage proved to be an invaluable tool in this new normal. Here are some key trends and developments that have emerged in the industry during the pandemic:
1. Contactless interactions
The fear of infection led to an increased interest in contactless technologies. Companies began to integrate touchless screens, gesture control and voice control into their digital signage systems to make interactions safer.
2. Real-time information and health protocols
Digital signage became an important source of information for the dissemination of real-time COVID-19 updates and health protocols. Supermarkets, airports, hospitals and companies used digital signage to inform customers and employees about safety guidelines, protective measures and current infection figures.
3. Remote management and remote maintenance
The pandemic forced many companies to send their employees to work from home. As a result, remote management of digital signage systems and remote maintenance of screens became important skills for system administrators.
4. Adaptable content
Uncertainty and constantly changing circumstances required flexible content. Companies began to quickly adapt their digital signage content to current information, whether to update opening hours, advertise delivery services or communicate safety measures.
5. Automation and AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation became increasingly important as they offered the ability to adapt content to the needs of the target group in real time. For example, a store could use AI analytics to monitor the number of people in the store and automatically generate alerts and ads based on this.
The Importance of Digital Signage in Healthcare
In the healthcare industry, digital signage became particularly crucial during the pandemic. Hospitals and clinics used digital signage to provide information about COVID-19 guidelines, waiting room management, treatment protocols and even vaccination campaigns. This helped to reduce waiting times and provide more efficient patient care.
Digital transformation in Retail
The retail sector was heavily impacted by the pandemic. Stores were faced with reduced opening hours, capacity restrictions and increased online shopping. Digital signage helped retailers to adapt by using it in different ways:
Click-and-Collect: Retailers implemented digital menus and billboards for ordering and picking up goods to minimize contact.
Queue management: Digital signage systems were used to inform customers about queuing arrangements and give them estimated waiting times.
Product application: Retailers adapted their digital signage content to promote online stock and special offers to boost online sales.
The future of digital signage after COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that digital signage is more than just an advertising medium. It is a critical tool for communicating information quickly and effectively in an ever-changing world. As we recover from the effects of the pandemic, digital signage will continue to play an important role in shaping the way we interact with our environment.
We can expect the integration of AI and automation to continue to increase in order to provide personalized and relevant content. Similarly, the need for contactless technologies and the provision of real-time information will remain. Digital signage will play a crucial role in healthcare, retail, hospitality and many other industries in the coming years.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for the digital signage industry, but also new opportunities. Digital signage has proven to be essential for providing real-time information, keeping employees and customers safe and enabling businesses to adapt. The developments that have occurred in the industry during the pandemic will continue to shape the future of digital signage and change the way we interact with information in the physical world.