Selecting the right digital signage isn't a one-step process, it requires a good deal of planning and thought at every stage. End users typically spend a lot of time finding the best display, but they also need to carefully consider what software to use for the display.
First, you need to consider what your overall goal is for your digital signage. From there, you can determine what key features you need to accomplish your goal. If you are planning an interactive display, for example, you need to find software that can support a variety of features.
Geoffrey Basin, brand evangelist for Intuiface, recommended that users look for software that can handle touchscreens, RFiD/NFC, beacons, speech, internet of things, Web triggers and other features.
Basin said specifically users should look for software, "with the ability to create – without coding – sophisticated workflows and behaviors in response to interaction."
Another key consideration is whether your software can handle a demanding workout. Can it easily deliver content and react to changes in real time? John Jordan, chief customer officer at Total Wine and More, pointed out the importance of having a robust solution.
"With four screens in each of more than 190 locations, we have a range of material that we want to display, depending on time of day and whether or not we are featuring a particular product or region," Jordan said in a story.
Basin also encouraged end users to invest in software packages with analytics features, so they can know if all that content is actually reaching their customers.
When looking at a list of software solutions, it can be easy to get overwhelmed, especially when the digital signage budget is tight.
There are several ways to save money on digital signage. One is to make sure you pick one solution that can handle all your digital signage needs, rather than trying to split between two or more solutions. You should also pick a solution that is simple to use.
"Ensure that [the] solution is easily adopted by non-tech employees while enabling power users to stretch their wings. No specialists or expensive service engagements required!" Basin said.
Pitfalls to avoid
End users can fall into many pitfalls when selecting a software solution, such as purchasing an expensive solution that takes up all the budget for content creation.
Basin recommended that end users, for example, be wary of template customization. He said it can often lead to paying for expensive professional services to handle the templates. Other considerations included:
- Staying clear of software with infrequent release cycles.
- Watching out for poor support or training materials.
- Being wary of software that is packaged as a commodity.
- Keeping the customer in mind.
A final consideration is that you keep your eyes on the prize: the customer. Your software should ultimately improve the customer's experience.
Basin said your software should help create, "experiences that exceed/differentiate from what is available in phone/tablet apps or on the website."
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