Who doesn’t like a good song? It puts you in a great mood and often takes you back to the place when you first heard it. So if that’s happening to you, it’s also happening to your customers. When they hear a song they like it triggers a number of positive emotional responses which can be good for business. If you don’t play music in your premises, you should, and here are three reasons why.

1. Build the right atmosphere

Every retailer is well aware that e-commerce has made trading in physical stores more challenging. The quality of a customer’s shopping experience is now one of their most important concerns. You shouldn’t underestimate how big a role music plays when creating and enhancing that experience. Research shows that the music you play affects not only the store’s environment, but also shoppers’ moods and feelings. Think about what kind of atmosphere and customer experience you want to create.

2. Encourage shoppers on the path to purchase

When people enjoy in-store music, they tend to spend more on impulse purchases. What’s more, the same happens even if they don’t notice music is playing, which shows the subconscious (yet very real) effect music has on shopping habits. It has been noted that the type of music played can trigger specific purchases. Classical music, for example, has been found to influence shoppers to buy more expensive items. So if you sell big-ticket items, you may want to consider classical music rather than the latest pop songs. A study in the 1990’s found that French music played in a wine store boosted sales of French wine. Likewise more people bought German wine when German music was playing. This strategy can apply to your store.

3. Increase productivity

Remember that it’s not just customers but employees and managers who will also benefit from in-store music. A thoughtful music strategy is a terrific tool that helps boost staff morale, concentration and productivity. A recent study showed that 88% of people listening to music at work performed better, and more accurately, than those who didn’t. It’s not the only study, many show similar results.

datmedia instore music

Here are a couple more reasons why setting the right mood helps your business.

  • It shortens the perceived waiting time. Smart businesses play good music when you’re on hold because it can affect your perception of time. The same is true in a store. A long queue feels shorter when people are entertained. They are less likely to get bored or annoyed – and are more likely to return.
  • It helps you set the shopper’s pace. Studies repeatedly show that music affects how people browse in a store. When the music is calm and peaceful, so are the shoppers. When it’s loud and energetic, people use the store more purposefully. Interestingly, the change in pace doesn’t affect sales. Therefore a smart music strategy changes styles depending on the time of day and desired goals.
  • It helps create a private space. Because music fills in the gaps, and masks other people’s conversations and movement, it creates an illusion of privacy. People feel more comfortable browsing and talking to family or friends, ergo the store is a more appealing place to shop.
  • It’s all about the brand. What kind of business are you and, more importantly, how do you want your customers to feel about your business? The tempo, volume and style of music you play communicates your brand’s personality. Are you positioned edgy and young, or laidback and family? Tell your story with music.

If you are thinking about how music – an incredibly powerful branding tool – can do the hard work for you, let’s talk. With a library of over 4,500 retail friendly songs ready to go, we’re here to help you add a soundtrack to your business today.

When it comes to wow factor, LED digital signage has got what you’re looking for. Whether it’s something as super-cool as this wave machine in Korea, or a more humble display that simply wraps around a pillar in your store, LED panels give you the versatility to do pretty much what you want.

The thing to remember is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You need some imagination, a handful of LED panels and a content management system (CMS) to drive them. We recommend Laqorr (see below) although other systems in the market are also capable of delivering results.

led digital signage

Take this eye-catching cube effect outside a Uniqlo store in Tokyo. Ingredients:

  • 6xLED panels
  • Content Management System
  • Imagination
  • Milk crate (optional)

It may look complicated in terms of hardware, but it’s not. To create a video cube, all you need are six LED panels and a CMS that delivers dynamic video content. You can use a milk crate to prop up the panels while creating the cube, and afterwards to sit on while admiring your handiwork.

Creating the eye-catching content will require some concentration – this is true for any digital signage deployment – but once that’s in place you can let the software do the work.

By taking digital signage into a more creative space, your store becomes a talking point that drives traffic, and increased traffic drives sales. This is why you have a digital signage network in the first place.

datmedia led digital signage

And as you can see, whether you create a cube or any other form-factor, the setup and installation process is effectively the same, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. The only limitation is your imagination.

If you’re interested in exploring new ways of reaching customers without reinventing the wheel, talk to us about the power (and wow-factor) of LED digital signage

The days of making a menu in power point and pinning it the wall of your cafe have long gone. Technology has made it easy to put your menu on digital signage, and update it on demand. But like other upgrades, most restaurant owners wonder how fast they can achieve a return on investment. Apart from easy scheduling, digital signage offers many benefits like improving visual appeal and enabling remote management, all of which has proven effective in increasing sales.

Convenience

The most powerful thing about digital menu boards is how convenient they are for you and your customers. A paper menu is only as good as the last time you printed it. As soon as something changes (the price goes up, you run out of stock), it’s out of date. Because a digital menu board can be updated on demand, it’s always current. You can also run several types of menus – in addition to your rump menu you can show specials, lunch, brunch, dinner, desserts, drinks – and you can choose what time of day you want any or all of them to appear. A traditional printed menu simply isn’t that convenient.

Appearance

With digital signage, a world of design opportunity opens up. Visually appealing menu boards make all the difference to customers, their retention and their repeat business. Animated graphics are suddenly possible (try that with a printed menu). The better impression you make, and the clearer your information is presented, it’s more likely people will remember your menu. And that makes a difference to your return on investment. 

indoor digital signage

Hardware

Choosing the right hardware is critical. Most screens simply can’t handle the rigours of a restaurant – whether that’s kitchen heat, cooking grime or accidents caused by careless patrons. Significantly, a lot of hardware won’t have a warranty that covers use in this kind of environment. You also need to consider how customers view the screen – will they be bright enough, can they be used in portrait mode (surprisingly, many can not) – and you need to consider how you’ll update your menus. Which is where your content management system (CMS) comes in.

Software

It’s clear that you’ll want to update your menu at some point. How often you do that, on what screens and – for those who have a network of stores – in what location will determine the kind of CMS you should get. There are many in the market, some will be over-engineered for your needs, some will be difficult to use, others will be totally inadequate. It pays to window-shop and find one that works for your team, and for your customers. We recommend Laqorr, and are more than happy to show you under the hood. Ask us about it when doing your research.

When running a cafe or any kind of quick service restaurant, you cannot ignore the importance of digital menu boards. They help when your customers are making their decisions, they help boost sales, customer retention and help improve your bottom line.

Outdoor digital signs look great and can attract a lot of eyeballs; after all, that’s what they’re there for. But before you plunge in and make a decision to take your digital communication outdoors, there are a couple of things you should consider.

The Benefits

Outdoor digital signage is a powerful communications tool that engages audiences (potential customers) and saves on operational costs (like printing and compliance).

It offers significant visual appeal in places where you can’t normally focus your customer’s attention Because of the dynamic exchange afforded by video or social media content as well as real-time scheduling, you have the opportunity for truly meaningful interaction. 

While you can coordinate your marketing strategy both indoors and outdoors, you have the opportunity to make a point of difference. 

The Purpose

Deciding what you want to use your screen for will help you decide what type of screen is right for you. Ask yourself what sort of content will you be running, how complex will it be, do you want customers to engage with that content directly?

LCD are great for dynamic brand messaging with fine, detailed artwork. There are limitations about size, scale and brightness. LED screens can be significantly brighter and more flexible (you need to wrap your display around the side of a building? No problem). Touch screens offer the ability for customers to interact directly with your content (which is ideal for wayfinding, for instance).

The Challenges

Location is the most obvious challenge. You’ll need placement that meets the following requirements:

  • VISIBILITY – can customers see the screen, are they able to engage with its content?
  • BRIGHTNESS – is it bright enough for them to read in even brighter, direct sunlight?
  • WEATHER – an IP rated enclosure increases safety by managing rain, snow, dust, heat and bugs.
  • TAMPER PROOF – accidents happen. Your display will require strong housing to mitigate damage or vandalism

You must also consider power and data – can you get these services to your ideal location, safely and efficiently?

In short, outdoor digital signage significantly increases your ability to reach customers in new and exciting ways. It allows you to expand your network and take your marketing into new territory. If you’re ready to talk to someone about your plans, get in touch with our team.

Once you’ve decided to invest in a digital signage network, you’ll need to make a number of decisions about how you’ll run it. Although even a little bit of research can overwhelm someone who is new to content management technology, you’ll soon start to make sense of the project once you ask yourself these basic questions:

  • What are the objectives, and how will we measure success?
  • How many sites are there? Where are they?
  • Which department will be responsible? Do they have resources available? Is this budgeted?
  • What does the content look like, how much of it will be needed, and how will it be produced?

It’s about planning, collaboration and assigning responsibility. When everyone knows how they’ll be engaging with the digital signage network, the characteristics for the most appropriate content management system (CMS) will become evident.

A good CMS like Laqorr * is the glue that holds a digital signage network together. Some are sold on an enterprise basis — meant to be installed and managed by a larger customer’s IT team. However, the majority of CMS are cloud-based platforms, with multiple end users accessing a shared set of servers and databases.

So what does a good CMS need to do?

1). It needs to work at scale. Whether you’re updating content on 1 display or 100 displays, you need a CMS that makes that process easy. You don’t want to have to update each display separately, you need to be able to issue one command that sends every screen new content at once.

2). It needs to play still images and video. There’s nothing as captivating as the moving image to tell a story, sell your brand or inform customers. Yet there are times when a still image is more appropriate, or legally required. Therefore your CMS must be able to play both, and play them seamlessly.

3). Don’t stop there. While images and video are the bread and butter of digital signage, it’s just as important to be able to bring up html files, websites and run apps on your network. You need a CMS that can do all that while also being able to assign different elements to different areas of the screen.

4). It needs to be web-based technology.  No one wants to have to visit the office at 10pm because a player in the network is not running the correct video. However, few of us mind logging in on a browser to load a file, or make a simple adjustment to a playlist. It takes seconds, not hours.

5). Most importantly, it needs to be secure. It is critical that your CMS does not compromise the data security of your company. You need complete confidence that no one can hack your CMS and burrow further into your organisation’s IT network, nor compromise your digital signage network itself.

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Choosing the right platform can be perplexing, but there are a few main factors to help you get started.

Budget

Most cloud-based systems charge by the device, per month, similar to wireless phone plans. On-premise systems usually have front-loaded one-time costs, which can work better for some companies if the system is funded as a capital cost, as opposed to an ongoing operating expense.

Operating style

Cloud-based systems leave the IT demands to the software as a service (SaaS) provider. Most end users now are opting for SaaS — outsourcing the system (and sometimes even operating tasks like scheduling and monitoring) to a service provider.

Content

Ultimately, the biggest influencer on CMS selection is what will be on the screen. For example, a platform designed for finance services may not suit the needs for retail marketing. A CMS that is incredibly robust and powerful might be over-engineered for the task at hand (and that brings you back to budget).

Laqorr * does all this and more.

Download our cheat-sheet to see how easy it is to load content, build a playlist and run media content on a national (or international) network of displays.

If you’d like to learn more about how Laqorr is the perfect fit for a digital signage network, get in touch with one of our subject matter experts today.

*Many people ask. Laqorr is pronounced La-Core

We used to have a client who drove across Sydney once a week with a pocket full of USB sticks. He’d visit one of his company’s offices, insert a stick in their digital signage screen then drive on to the next location and do the same. That’s how he updated his network. Actually, this was before he became our client. We made sure he didn’t need to do that anymore.

Yet if you’re doing a similar thing, there are a number of reasons why it’s time to retire your fleet of USB sticks (apart from the considerable inconvenience and parking hassles). Here are three of them.

Security

Most IT teams are wary of staff using USB sticks and with good reason. The opportunity for malware to infect systems is incredibly high, and it’s nearly always done without the user of the USB having any idea of the pain they’ve inflicted. Unless

Efficiency

Our client wasted an entire day updating his network with new content via USB. The same outcome takes minutes using a cloud-based content management system like Laqorr. He did it because it was the only way he could be confident the right content was on the right screen (something Laqorr now does for him simply and efficiently from the cloud).

Compliance

Which brings us to compliance. He could have posted the USBs but, assuming they arrived on time, could he be confident that staff would update the screens correctly? We’re all busy people and what was his priority might not be theirs. He couldn’t afford to take the risk of running old, outdated or possibly illegal content.

The USB had run its course. He moved into the cloud.

There are plenty of reasons why so many businesses now work in the cloud. Getting rid of USB sticks and managing content online is one of them.

Because cloud devices are the most affordable they have ever been, equipment failure rates are much lower than ever before and if you are currently refurbishing or renovating, it makes perfect sense to include cloud-based tech in your budget.

If you’ve had enough of USBs and are ready to move into the cloud, give us a call. We’ll talk about what’s best for your business and help you achieve an outcome that adds real value.

More and more companies have recognised the value of digital signage and kiosks. Among many benefits, it allows real time messaging that keeps their customers, and their staff, better informed. It also facilitates socially distanced engagement which is extremely important to many businesses.

In this space, old information is worthless, therefore it’s just as important that digital signage displays and kiosks are always on, always connected. You can’t afford to be one of those businesses that is so focused on placement that overlooks crucial issues regarding connectivity, security and compliance.

Consider this

There are numerous considerations when planning a digital signage or kiosk deployment: the number of displays, the types of displays, their location, installation, shopfitting, budget. Here are some others that are just as important.

touch
  • Connectivity. Without reliable, ‘always-on’ connectivity, your smart network quickly becomes a group of dumb screens. To ensure the network is functioning properly and your messaging strategy is always up to date, make use of all the technology available to you. For example, a wired line can provide a primary connection with failover to a second wired connection or a cellular 4G connection. Network design should always aim to locate 4G modems where they get the best signal (not just in the comms rack) then connect devices (routers, switchers, media players) by ethernet rather than WiFi.
  • Hardware. Indoor locations can challenge network design where it’s essential to provide a quality signal in dense buildings and through obstructions like walls and pillars. A trend toward outdoor settings (such as fairs or pop-up stores) also requires reliable connectivity and ruggedized, hyper-specific deployment of hardware.
  • Security. The larger your network, the greater the opportunity for cyber-attack. Routers that support digital connections must be “secure by design” with built-in security that’s thoroughly tested and manages multiple levels, from secure boot to encryption and authentication of passwords and data.
  • Device management. As data travels between applications and end devices, it’s critical to integrate a management solution that monitors data communication between devices and configures those devices to quickly identify and respond to potential issues and cybersecurity threats.
  • Cost. Always thoroughly evaluate the full setup costs before starting your deployment. With digital signage and kiosks, the costs of operations and ownership can be complex, spanning hardware, software, connectivity, deployment, management applications, security monitoring and support staff.

If you’re ready to begin planning your network strategy, or would value some guidance on best practices to ensure a good connection, please get in touch.

Omnichannel retail has transformed traditional ways of shopping, and ways of reaching consumers. Digital signage has been a major factor in that transformation, becoming central to marketing strategies for most bricks-and-mortar retailers. Yet despite the important role it plays in reaching consumers at a pivotal moment in their journey to purchase, some retailers are failing to get a good ROI from their digital signage network.

We sat down with our Enterprise Account Manager Matt Crawford to get his take on some of the common mistakes he sees, and how you can avoid them.

“It’s not as simple as putting up screens and removing all the posters in-store,” he said. “That approach misses what digital signage really has to offer. It’s not a stand-alone solution. It’s an important part of a strategy that connects the online presence and extends all the way to the physical stores”.

But what works online isn’t necessarily going to work in stores. Matt believes that you need to tailor creative as part of an overarching communication strategy. The messaging could be uniform, or it might be specific to every retail touch point from digital signage to touch screen kiosks or tablets like a Chrometab used by frontline workers. You’ll need a robust, carefully planned network to achieve that outcome.

Here are four of Matt’s pet peeves, mistakes made by those who haven’t thought very hard about their digital signage strategy.

right wrong post-it

1: The screen is an endpoint, not a starting point Don’t start with the screen, start with the strategy. It is important, obviously, but it comes much later in the list of decisions to be made.  “Before you carve out budget for equipment,” said Matt, “ask how will the ROI be measured? Will it be by sales-uplift, brand awareness, by enhancing customer or employee experience, or all of these? It’s important to work out who’ll be doing the creative and the scheduling and who will take ownership for digital signage for the organisation. Once that and many other things have been established, then and only then is it time to start thinking about the types of screens you want, and where they’re going to be located.”

Once you’re at that point you’ll need to think about size, brightness, visibility and rotation (landscape or portrait). If you have a mix of rotations, it will make your creative and scheduling processes more complicated. Is that ok, have you budgeted for the extra cost that may incur?

“When thinking about what your digital signage network will finally look like, put yourself in your customers shoes. Is it attractive, is it engaging, would it add value to your experience? If ‘No’ is the answer to any of these questions, then the strategy needs a bit more work”.

2: Location, Location ”That’s a mistake I see time and time again. It’s not good enough to put a screen in a window facing a busy road, run some ads and hope people will respond. What if the window doesn’t get enough foot traffic, or it’s not bright enough when flooded by afternoon sun? If the audience can’t read what’s on the screen, the whole thing ends up being a waste of time and money.”

You need to think about customer dwell time. The most sensible location might be the window, but it might actually be near the counter, or the sale items, or the dressing room (if you have one). If you can only afford one screen, make that location count. If you can afford more, make them all count as well.

3: Let’s Get Creative “Get creative with the creative,” says Matt, “and always tailor for the moment the  consumer is engaged with it. What works online may not work in-store. And what works on one screen may not work on another. External facing messages should encourage a visit to the store, while an indoor screen should help guide customers along their path to purchase”

Many retailers forget about how digital signage can be used for all kinds of messaging: informing shoppers about promotional offers, payment options, social distancing, and loyalty programmes. If you have tablets or kiosks, those messages can be even more targeted as these interactions tend to be personalised.

“Above all, the creative needs to be constantly adding value.” said Matt. “If not, what’s the point? If the screen content is static and just showing one image – not displaying engaging video, thought provoking ideas, or helpful messaging – you’re better off with a lightbox.”.

4. Content With Your Content? The content management system (CMS) that runs your digital signage network is the most powerful tool in your marketing strategy. A good system such as Laqorr allows you to place your creative exactly where you need it, exactly when you want it.

“I often refer to one of our clients who has a chain of stores that, among other things, sells umbrellas. Near train stations, stores push a bucket of brollies to the front when the trains arrive and they quickly run an umbrella promo on their screen. Not every store does it (there’s no point trying to sell an umbrella when the sun’s shining), just where it’s raining. And when the weather clears, they’d turn off that promotion. They almost always sell out of umbrellas. That’s the power of targeted, personalised digital marketing”.

Make sure you use all the power that the CMS offers, and a good CMS will make that easy for you. Complex scheduling requirements don’t have to be difficult to manage, but you do have set them up thoughtfully and you do have to manage them. Assigning resources to create the right content and implement a marketing strategy is crucial. And as the umbrella shop knows, the effort pays dividends.

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Last Words

“Digital signage works,” said Matt. “Whether that’s an internal display, a video wall, a kiosk, a tablet. Because you get to decide what plays where and when, you shape the conversation of your marketing in a very specific, very targeted way. When it’s done well, it connects online and physical environments, enhances customer experiences and helps drive sales.”

Learn more about how datmedia can help your business utilise digital signage. Contact us now, and ask for Matt.

Anyone who has done even the slightest research when choosing a screen for digital signage knows that not all displays are created equally. There are many factors that need to be considered carefully when making your choice. Sure, price is an important one, but it’s how you spend your money, not how much money you spend, that really counts. Here are a few things to think about when shopping for a display for your business.

Buy Cheap Buy Twice

Your grandmother knew what she was talking about on this one, and the same applies to digital signage. Some cheap displays are perfectly fine when used for a couple of hours at home. Try that in a commercial or retail setting and it’s a totally different ball game. Use a cheap screen for ten hours a day, every day, and they simply won’t last. You may even void your warranty, and that’s without the inevitable damage from knocks and bumps they’ll get in a busy store.

Commercial Warranty and Certification

Spend a little more for a screen that comes with a commercial warranty and Australian certification and you’ll be covered for anything between 16 and 24/7 use. This is especially important in a heavy duty location like a quick service restaurant where high temperatures and industrial grime can also take its toll.

Orientation

It’s important to know that domestic screens aren’t made to be put on their side. If you want to run portrait content on a landscape display (which all domestic models are), turning it on its side may void the warranty. It will probably shorten the life of the screen as well. A commercial grade display is built for mounting in both orientations.

brightness

Brightness

This is the big one. Think very carefully about how people are going to view your display, and don’t under estimate the importance of making it easy – customers are not going to squint at your screen just to see your content. Check if there is any ambient light where you’re planning to mount the screen. Will it be in a window, facing the footpath? Are your windows tinted? Do they get a lot of direct sunlight? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you’ll need more than a standard screen.

NIT is a measure of brightness and a standard domestic model is around 300nit. If you want your message to jump out on an indoor display, you’ll need at least 450nit. If the screen is facing a window, make that 700nit. If it is in high ambient light, you’ll need upward of 2000nit. Not surprisingly, the brighter a screen is, the more expensive it becomes. This is especially true for larger format displays, those upward of 55” are noticeably pricier than the cheap domestic model we first spoke about. But remember, even if you spend just a few hundred dollars on a display but no one can read it, it’s still a waste of money.

The benefits of a commercial graded high-bright display speaks for itself. You won’t be wasting money on a display that hasn’t been designed to do the job and isn’t going to last. You’ll have the confidence that comes with a commercial warranty and above all, your digital signage will cut through for everyone to see. Which is the point, right?

datmedia partners with VUNO to supply clients who need well priced, high-bright screens. Their displays are excellent value for situations where high ambient light is an issue. Contact us for more information.

In any business, every task has a champion: the person who takes charge and makes sure the job gets done. Digital signage is no different – if you don’t have a champion to take care of it in your company, you’re in trouble.

You’re probably aware of the importance of digital signage or else you wouldn’t be reading this article. And you probably know that not all signage is created equally – there’s the good, the bad and the astonishingly ugly. Making sure you’re in the first category, not the last, is where your Champ comes in.

She or he is the person responsible for campaigns from start to finish. They own it. They coordinate with marketing to determine what the campaign looks like, the content strategy, and they make sure the design team pulls it together. The Champ will manage the approvals process and ensure media files are loaded to the Content Management System correctly and on time. They also make sure that the display units are running properly and show the right files on the right screens at the right time to the right audience. They’ll collate any run-data, oversee reporting and ensure all stakeholders get the information they need in a timely fashion. Then they’ll repeat the process for the next campaign.

If that sounds arduous and all a bit unnecessary – perhaps you’ve only got two screens on a single site – think again. No matter how small or how big your company may be, to do digital signage correctly you need to do all of those things. Chances are you’re doing them already and don’t even realise.

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In a small company the Champ is going to be multi-tasking and probably wears several of those hats. She or he could be the owner and the marketing person who also designs the artwork in Powerpoint, exports a few JPG’s and loads them to the screen via a USB. They’re in touch with their customers every day, so they know what works, and what doesn’t work. Using that feedback, they amend their files and rerun them until they get the results – the Return On Investment – that they’re looking for. A multi-national corporation will have more people involved but the process is exactly the same. And keeping it all together is the job of the Champ.

Consequently, digital signage is only as effective as the person running it. How good they’ll be comes down to training. You wouldn’t let someone who can’t drive behind the wheel of your car, so don’t let an untrained colleague drive the digital signage. Make sure your Champ understands the customer, knows how to build a campaign, how to design effective artwork, understands how your technology and software works, how to read the results. Training is critical, as is retraining. It shouldn’t be a one-time lesson but something that evolves along with the business.

Above all, the Champ must become your digital signage expert. They need to find an answer for any and all questions put to them by customers, clients, internal and external stakeholders. Because if they can’t do that, they can’t do their job. Digital signage turns into a wasted opportunity, your ROI goes through the floor and your once valuable network becomes a pointless, and expensive, group of TVs on the wall.

You don’t want that. You want results. So. Who’s your digital signage champ?