How to Choose and Source the Best Digital Screens for Your Business
Not all that long ago, digital screens were more of a novelty item, used by only a handful of businesses with deep pockets. However, they’re quickly becoming ubiquitous, with experts predicting a compound annual growth rate of 8% from 2019 to 2025.
Digital screens have a myriad of applications for enterprise companies, finding uses in offices, workplaces, retail shops, banking centres, healthcare facilities, and more. But with all of the different possibilities on the market these days, the initial implementation of this technology can feel overwhelming.
And that’s the purpose of this post — to help you get your bearings and figure out which specific solutions are right for your company. So let’s get right down to it. Here’s how to choose and source the best digital screens for your business:
The Two Main Types of Displays
First, let’s review your core options. There are a wide variety of displays to choose from with screens of all sizes — everything from small format tablets for customer check-ins, to medium-sized screens for meeting rooms, to massive digital signage for storefronts.
But when you break it all down, there are really just two main types of displays available — consumer screens and commercial displays.
Consumer screens are screens that can be found in any electronics store and are less robust and secure than commercial grade displays. They’re sometimes less expensive than commercial displays, making them ideal for enterprises that just need basic digital screens and who aren’t worried about IT security and longevity.
Consumer screens aren’t typically built for long hours of usage, and — generally speaking — shouldn’t be on for more than eight hours a day (with an average of 4 hours).
They’re often a good choice if:
- You don’t need a secure solution that’s protected from hackers and the like
- You don’t plan to keep your digital screens on for more than 4-8 hours a days
- You simply want to test the waters of digital signage
- You don’t have a requirement for your screen to be displayed in portrait orientation
- You don’t require a video wall
As the name implies, commercial displays are specifically built for business usage, and they come with features such as remote management, a content management system and 4k display.
“They are built for long hours of use and they include additional hardware like heat dissipation plates, electronics, and cooling fans that allow them to operate in commercial environments for long periods of time with economical power usage,” explains a guide from HubSpot. “These displays are built for businesses that run for 16 to 24 hours a day.”
Digital Screen Solutions
Research by InfoTrends found that digital signage can have a massive impact on retail stores. In fact, digital displays have been found to:
- Increase in-store traffic by 32.8%
- Increase customer browsing time by 30%
- Raise the average purchase total by 29.5%
Based on these figures, it’s easy to see why so many enterprise brands are scrambling to implement digital signage. Some specific options that fall under this umbrella include:
- Indoor displays
- Outdoor displays
- LED displays
- Window displays
- Matrix screens
- Menu boards
- Custom video walls
How to Source Digital Screens for Digital Signage
Once you know which display types are best suited to your needs, your next step is to figure out how to source them.
Basic, consumer grade indoor displays can be found through most electronics providers. For small-scale, consumer grade solutions like a single digital screen, you may be able to turn to a preferred electronics retailer. For commercial grade or larger-scale standard displays, you may want to approach an integrator.
For more robust digital signage that’s unique and tailor-made for your organisation, you’ll want to work with a partner that specialises in commercial displays. Engagis, for example, offers a variety of digital signage solutions, including indoor displays, outdoor displays, and custom video walls. This is also the better option if you’ll demand a lot of your digital screens — some of the options we offer can be run 24/7.
Digital Screen Usage in Modern Workplaces
The shift to a more tech-centric, modern workplace has been happening for a while. We’ve known for years that a balance of remote and in-office working can help improve employee productivity and business performance, reduce costs and overheads, and has generally helped companies run more efficiently.
COVID has further accelerated the implementation of workplace technology, and it’s unlikely we’ll see this shift reverse as we move into a post-COVID world. Accommodating a remote workforce, in addition to optimising commercial real estate for staff social distancing, will continue to be priorities that may require thinking about digital screens in a new way.
First, consider some common solutions that are available to enterprise companies, which include the following.
Digital screens can be used for:
- Presenting communications related to Covid and/or other emergencies
- Making staff announcements, such as staff recognition, safety messages, or the promotion of social events
- Sharing photos from social events, offering company updates, displaying welcome messages, and celebrating employee birthdays
- Displaying key performance indicators (KPIs) on a ‘hero board’
The meeting room has evolved dramatically over the years, offering enterprise companies the ability to leverage cutting-edge technology for streamlined communication.
And with COVID forcing many workplaces to adopt a work-from-home model, meeting room technology offers an adaptive framework for more fluid communication. It will also be integral to creating a smooth transition as workers return back to their on-site jobs.
Some of the newer meeting room solutions now available include:
- Enterprise grade hardware
- Digital screens that support unified communications or collaboration platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams
- Analytics to gauge meeting room performance and team productivity
First impressions are everything when visitors, customers, and guests arrive on-site. Creating a positive experience from the start goes a long way towards building rapport.
One way enterprise companies can do this effectively is with a visitor check-in system operating through either a tablet or kiosk. This allows visitors, customers, and guests to conveniently check themselves in, eliminating friction by automatically directing people where they need to go.
Screen-based check-in systems can also help free up internal resources, as they decrease the headcount required to handle the check-in process.
You’ve probably seen wayfinding kiosks in large malls and shopping centres that help you quickly find the store you’re looking for. Often, they look something like this:
But these digital screens can be beneficial in a variety of enterprise settings as well — essentially, wherever there’s an expansive or complex space. Wayfinding devices can be customised to the individual needs of your organisation, and can even be configured to provide relevant information like news, special promotions, and advertising.
Sourcing Digital Screens for Modern Workplaces
Consumer screens may be adequate if you don’t need managed support or commercial grade and these can be sourced through an electronics provider or wholesale distributor.
However, if you’re looking for products with a plethora of commercial grade capabilities under a support contract or if you need specific digital screens for visitor check-in or wayfinding, commercial displays are likely to be your best bet.
Engagis, for example, offers a wide variety of staff communication solutions, including LCD screens and LED displays. LCD screens are one of the most commonly used and can be placed in either a landscape or portrait position with the option of joining multiple screens together to create a ‘video wall’.
LED displays — on the other hand — are extremely vivid, can be fully customised to your unique workspace, and can even be curved. They’re also known for their long lifespan, with many lasting 100,000 hours, or up to 11 years. If you’re looking for a product that will be around for the long haul, an LED display is a great choice. It’s important to note, though, that this might not be the best solution if you’re looking to display detailed text, as the pixel size can impact the display of small text.
In addition, Engagis has a full range of enterprise-quality meeting room solutions. Our team can help you identify and deploy digital meeting room screens, whilst utilising high-quality A/V components to help both your on-site and remote employees communicate and collaborate fluidly with one another.
When it comes to visitor check-in and wayfinding, Engagis can take care of that as well. Visitor Manager is our one-stop visitor management solution that streamlines visitor management and enables real-time information updating.
And finally, there’s Compass by Engagis, a comprehensive wayfinding solution that enables visitors, customers, and guests to navigate more efficiently in your most complex spaces.
How to Choose Digital Screens for Queue Management
One final digital screens application is queue management, which involves using digital screens to prioritise customer service by assigning customers into a queue or appointment.
As an example, once implemented in your retail facilities, queue management solutions let you leverage tablet or kiosk displays to allow customers to sign in and join the queue, either through self-service or staff-assisted setups. A dynamic display screen can let them know what position they’re in and how long of a wait time they can expect.
Besides improving the customer experience, queue management makes things simpler for your staff as well, thanks to real-time tracking, notifications, and events integrations.
Generally speaking, there are a few types of screens that can be used for queue management — handheld tablets or kiosks for your employees and/or customers and wait time display screens for your customers.
Successfully implementing queue management requires determining the right combination of screens. For instance, your organisation might elect to incorporate tablets that allow visitors to self sign-up, in addition to portrait wait-time display screens that make it easy for customers to see where they’re at in the queue.
In most cases, basic tablets and other quality tablets are adequate for assigning customers into a queue. If you simply need a few tablets, they can be purchased from electronics providers (or, if you want them professionally mounted, installed and serviced under a support contract then, you can work with a partner like Engagis to source them).
As for wait-time display screens, you’ll likely need a commercial display that offers a full range of capabilities and software features. If you’re looking for a one-stop solution, Engagis can handle all aspects of queue management, including not just tech selection and implementation, but in-depth reporting as well.
Adding Digital Screens to Your Business Game Plan
The digital signage market is predicted to grow from just under AUD$28 billion in 2019 to nearly AUD$40 billion by 2024, as more and more enterprise brands leverage these solutions to improve everything from productivity to customer satisfaction.
There are countless creative ways to use and source digital screens for your business. Selecting the right path for your organisation comes down to identifying the right application, choosing the optimal types of digital screens, and sourcing them from the best possible provider.
If you’re looking for commercial grade digital displays for your organisation check out what Engagis has to offer. Or, reach out to our team directly for assistance selecting the right digital screens for your needs.