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Evolution of the Digital Signage Industry Due to COVID-19

Evolution of the Digital Signage Industry Due to COVID-19

Coronavirus has had widespread impacts on arguably every aspect of everyday life, and the digital signage industry is no exception.

At the start of the outbreak, the main impact felt by most digital signage companies was supply problems caused by halted production in China. Allsee Technologies hold large quantities of stock in the UK and so could be relied upon to fulfil orders without long and often indeterminate delays, but for many companies this was not the case.

As the virus spread to the rest of the world, the impact on the digital signage industry only worsened. At the same time that manufacturing began to recover and so supply started returning to normal levels, many countries were forced to implement lockdown measures. Non-essential businesses closed, schools and universities sent students home, offices shut, and travel ground almost to a halt. The result was a drop in demand for digital signage across almost every sector.

Although we have seen significant recovery in sales over the past few weeks, the government and private businesses alike are feeling financial strain after weeks of closure and there is still uncertainty about when restrictions will be fully lifted. Consequently, while many companies have recognised the benefit of digital signage in helping their business to get back up and running, some have postponed certain digital signage projects for the time being.

The impact of this on the industry as a whole is evident. In January 2020, Allied Market Research predicted that the global digital signage market would grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 8.1% from 2019 to 2026, reaching a value of $32.12 billion by the end of this forecast period1. Comparatively, in June 2020 Meticulous Research predicted that due to coronavirus the global digital signage market would reach just $19.44 by billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 4.3% between 2020 and 20272. Furthermore, 2020 is expected to be the first year that the digital signage market experiences reverse growth, breaking the trend of continuous annual growth that has been seen until now3.

It’s important to remember that these doom and gloom predictions aren’t set in stone. If the digital signage industry can evolve quickly to meet the changing demands of the market, there is great potential for the market to bounce back even stronger than before, as was the case after the 2007-2008 global recession.

One way that this can be achieved is by developing new solutions to directly combat recent challenges faced by businesses as a result of coronavirus. For instance, to prevent the spread of the virus businesses need to provide people with a way to sanitise their hands regularly, yet many locations do not have the necessary hand washing facilities for this. From shops to schools to offices, this issue will be prevalent in all sectors. At the same time, businesses will also need to keep people updated with important but rapidly-changing information about coronavirus, such as government guidelines. To solve both of these problems with one cost-effective solution, Allsee developed our new Hand Sanitiser Android Advertising Displays, which combine an instantly-updateable LCD screen with an automated hand sanitiser dispenser. During an online webinar that we hosted to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on the digital signage industry, we asked our network of partners how long they thought these kinds of product would remain popular. These digital signage experts, many of whom have decades of industry experience serving a variety of end users, agreed that there would still be demand even after the main threat of coronavirus has passed due to ingrained fears and habits. (Read more about this webinar here)

Furthermore, to ensure safe conditions, businesses will also need a way to set entry requirements that people must meet before being allowed inside, such as having an acceptable temperature range or wearing a mask. After listening to feedback from partners about this challenge, Allsee launched our new 8” Facial Recognition Thermometer Displays. This all-in-one hardware and software solution not only checks body temperature with an accuracy of ±0.3oC, but also has an optional mask detection system. Thinking beyond the current pandemic, this product has been future-proofed by also incorporating facial recognition technology, which can identify faces with 99.7% accuracy. This means that when high temperatures and face masks are no longer a concern, businesses will still be able to use these displays as a high security check in/out system.

However, it’s not all about coming up with new solutions. Another way in which the digital signage industry can evolve is by finding new purposes for existing products, such as Allsee’s Android Advertising Displays and Freestanding Digital Posters. Previously these displays were popular for their attractive giant tablet aesthetics, but our partners have relayed that recently the dynamic messaging benefits have become the main selling point. End users are finding that being able to update content instantly using either plug and play or online CMS software has been really useful for making sure messages about coronavirus are always up-to-date. Even small things like the fact that these displays have a glass front over the LCD panel have become key features as it means that they can easily be wiped clean.

Outdoor Battery A-Board used as a COVID-19 solution outside a retail supermarket store

We’re also seeing businesses find new uses for less traditional forms of digital signage, like our Outdoor Digital Android Battery A-Boards. People are taking advantage of the fact these displays provide an instantly-updateable mobile information kiosk that can be used indoors or outdoors to inform people about social distancing guidelines, direct them through one-way systems or used as part of a customer counting system.

In conclusion, by listening to market feedback about how businesses’ digital signage needs have changed, the industry can stay relevant and boost sales by developing new products and adapting marketing strategies of existing products. Through taking this kind of innovative, pro-active approach in identifying and solving problems, the digital signage industry can flourish through and beyond coronavirus.


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