As the pandemic persists, businesses and organizations continue to look for new and innovative ways to target audiences in real-time. Businesses from healthcare and retail to transportation and multi-tenant buildings have embraced digital signage to keep customers informed and drive sales.
This trend is expected to continue beyond the pandemic. According to Reportlinker.com, the U.S. digital signage market is anticipated to reach $8 billion by 2028 and have a compound annual growth rate of 6%.
The time couldn’t be better for traditional sign shops to expand into digital. A receptive market and advancing technology, along with low start-up costs, signal an excellent opportunity to prepare for the future.
Expanding into digital signage
Partnering with a quality digital signage manufacturer often requires no upfront costs for inventory, training, or marketing materials. The right partner will provide free training for sales and service team members, supply a library of marketing collateral, deliver local sales support and demo units, and even send qualified local sales leads.
It’s important to note that whenever there is a fast-growing market, there will be companies trying to cash in. That’s why sign shops need to do their homework when looking for a digital signage partner. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Longevity is important
Look for a manufacturer that has been in business long enough to be trusted and will be around in the future. This is important because you want a partner that stands behind their products. A company with a track record will also have references that you can contact to find out what it’s really like to work with them.
Product innovation is crucial
In the LED display industry, innovation should be ongoing. Seek a company with a wide variety of signage options to meet the varying needs of customers. Look for a company with a robust R&D department that stays ahead of the competition. Also, look for a partner that pairs products with easy-to-use, cloud-based software that allows customers to program their signs from virtually anywhere.
Quality is priceless
Most digital signs look decent the day they are turned on, so it’s important to look for a partner building quality signs that look just as good years down the road. Ask to see working signs in the field and find out how long those signs have been in continuous operation. If possible, talk to the sign owner to determine how the signs have stood the test of time.
Not all signs are manufactured the same way
The construction of the sign and the type of materials used can significantly impact quality and durability. Sign construction can also affect energy usage, the cost of operation, and the frequency of required service or maintenance.
For outdoor displays, look for a partner that uses meticulously-sourced components and cabinets constructed of extruded aluminum with solid welds. These cabinets are lightweight, rust-proof, and easier to install. Ask about energy efficiency and whether the power consumption has been verified by a third-party testing agency like Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Since moisture is the main factor in LED failure, look for sign modules that are fully encapsulated.
Support after the sale is crucial
A solid warranty and dedicated service benefit both you and your customer. If a display needs servicing, having a good warranty and guaranteed parts availability means that the sign will stay operational. Some manufacturers discontinue parts when a model is phased out, which makes repairing the sign difficult and results in unhappy customers. Look for a partner with a dedicated support line based in the United States. Ask how long they stock replacement parts and how quickly parts can be shipped. It’s also helpful to have a partner who keeps detailed service records, which can save you and your customers time and hassle.
Interview the factory representative carefully
This representative will be your partner as you grow, so you want to work with someone responsive and helpful. Look for a partner who will not cut you out of deals and sell directly to your customers. Network with other sign dealers in your region to get a true sense of what it’s like to work with the factory representative.
Digital signage can be a lucrative addition to the products offered by traditional sign shops. With an investment of time, sign shop owners can find a trusted digital signage partner to help them grow into the future.