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A few tips to reduce Digital Signage Costs in Retail

Cost Effective Digital Signage in Retail

Digital Signage in Retail - Mothercare, UK

Digital Signage in Retail – Mothercare, UK

Digital Signage can add a lot to your retail marketing efforts – the ability to target content, ensure compliance, change marketing strategy immediately or reductions in wastage are all great reasons to adopt it.

Digital Signage in Retail is certainly a growing area, and it’s an area Instoremedia have a great deal of experience in. Most of our customers are retailers – who would think with a name like Instoremedia?

One question which any retailer has to address when implementing signage is how to maximise its cost effectiveness.

So here are a few of our tips. We’ve tried to stay away from the obvious (buy cheap hardware etc.). Apart from anything else, initial savings might come back to bite you if your cheap hardware is not fit for purpose.

Digital SIgnage in Retail - Till Video Walls at Marks & Spencer

Digital SIgnage in Retail – Till Video Walls at Marks & Spencer

Our tips for cost effective Digital Signage in Retail:

  1. Consider appointing a systems integrator. If you plan to roll out a large scale Digital Signage network, then this is certain to consist of many component parts, and you may not have all of the expertise in house to integrate everything. A systems integrator should be able to do this for you, and supply everything from hardware to software to installation and after care under a single contract, as well as add value by giving you the benefit of their accrued expertise in an area which may be new to you.
  2. Try to peer into the future. When you scope your project, furnish it with immediate, mid term and long term aims. If you do this, and then use it to inform your choices of hardware, software and other partners, you may avoid expensive U-Turns further down the line. Consider how future proof the solution is, and how easy it is to integrate with your other channel marketing efforts.
  3. Digital Signage in Retail networks have ongoing operational costs. Consider these as well as up front Capex costs. Consider the human resource required to manage the system. If you wish to control large a large number of screens centrally, then ask how easy this is. Does it require you to manage thousands of Playlists and Assets, or is there a simply Rules based scheduling method or similar? Does the CMS have a simple and logical way to manage and deploy assets which you can map to your workflows? Also consider how easy it is to move scheduling downstream, for example to trusted staff at a site, and whether it allows you to retain overall control of this.
  4. Any centrally controlled system for Digital Signage in Retail has to be hosted somewhere, and it is a good idea to look closely at the hosting offered and whether there are any options available to you. You may want to consider whether a cloud based SaaS solution is appropriate. This has the advantage of being easy to set up and the hosting is accessible as a utility, or you may wish to host a solution in your Data Centre. It is a good idea to examine whether a Digital Signage System offers both options, what the cost of each is, and whether the system will allow you to change further down the line.
  5. Relating to operational costs, it is a good idea to examine whether a Digital Signage system is compatible with low impact hardware. There are numerous ARM media players on the market which have very low power use profiles, as well as a new generation of very low impact PCs. One other development in the market is the development of Media Players for Chip Systems which are inbuilt into screens, notably Samsung. These may not work for everything that you want to do, but if your system allows it then considering these options could save you both in terms of up-front purchase price and ongoing operational costs.

So there are a few tips from us on what to look for to make your Digital Signage in Retail more cost effective. It’s a balance between upfront costs and ongoing costs, and to some extent these always offset each other – inexpensive hardware may break more often or run less efficiently than more expensive models, or cheaper software may require more resource to manage than more expensive software and impose other costly constraints.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this blog, and if you would like more updates or to hear more about how we could help your Digital Signage Project in Retail, please get in touch!

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