It’s been eight weeks since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. With the number of new cases dropping steadily, public health offices around the world are gradually lifting restrictions on businesses and public places. Slowly the economy is starting to reopen. But, no, it’s not at all business as usual.
In the wake of the Coronavirus’s devastating first wave, and in light of the fact that there is still no vaccine (as of May 2020), it is becoming clear that business owners around the globe need a new playbook in order to survive and to compete effectively in a post COVID-19 world. This post explores the role digital signage can play as part of that playbook to ensure a hygienic and safe customer experience, and to increase revenue.
Digital signage is already well known as a proven effective way to engage audiences in public places. It’s used to influence buying decisions, lift sales, and help make the most of every single customer visit. However, in the wake of COVID-19 business owners are discovering a second vitally important reason to use digital signage in their place of business – satisfying a need for a touchless form of communication that reassures employees and customers that their entire operation is safe and healthy.
As employees and customers begin to make their first tentative steps back to your shop or office, the need for a robust and effective on premise communication tool has never been greater. Known as germ carriers, printed materials such as pamphlets, brochures, magazines and menus are out. Digital signage is the greener, more hygienic alternative to print that is required for a safe environment and it happens to come with several additional benefits.
Here are the top 5 ways digital signage can help you to reboot your business in the age of COVID-19.
Top 5 ways digital signage can help you to reboot your business in the age of COVID-19
5. Your business is changing, keep everyone informed of those changes.
As more non-essential services are being allowed to reopen, public health offices everywhere are imposing new requirements on businesses and public institutions. From plexiglass barriers to one way shopping aisles to new capacity restrictions on elevators and other small spaces, it’s hard to think of a time when the workplace and the retail environment had to endure this much change this quickly. Businesses everywhere are being forced to adapt and adjust their services to the realities of a new and safety conscious world. Restaurants are being forced to change their methods, their menus and their floor plans. In order for customers to understand these changes they need to be educated. To properly orient your customer to your new operation and to help ensure that visitors themselves comply with new regulations, having an engaging, touchless form of visual communication on premise is now essential. Video and digital imagery is the most effective way to educate your stakeholders and digital signage is the key solution for delivering those messages reliably on premise.
4. Reinforce healthy practices with your guests and staff
Are your employees washing their hands regularly? Do your customers know it? Are they avoiding touching their face? Are your customers required to wear a mask while on premise? Are they allowed to bring their own bags into the store? If you want people to perceive your operation as being well managed and in compliance with the latest recommendations coming from public health offices you have to find ways to reinforce new best practices for health and safety. Tactful reminders, delivered through rich visual messaging posted to digital signs that are strategically placed throughout your operation, are the new and best way to promote good hygiene and physical distancing among your guests and staff.
3. Improve communications while saving printing costs
Printed materials like pamphlets, brochures and menus aren’t just unhygienic, they’re also very costly. Printed materials can go missing. They can be easily destroyed. And of course they need to be reprinted every time something changes. The costs of print and static signage really add up over time, especially when your business is changing fast. If you’re running a regional network or chain of stores the effort to keep your printed materials updated across multiple locations can be very costly and time consuming. It’s nice to know that with digital signage you can change up your messaging, across any number of venues, through a digital channel, without having to pay for another print run, and without having to go out and visit every location where the messaging needs to be updated.
2. Demonstrate your good corporate citizenship
In spite of the unprecedented times they are facing, business owners are often among the first to respond to tough challenges. Instead of cowering or accepting defeat they are choosing to step up. They step up by offering their time, by donating money, and by promoting good causes that are helping with the relief and recovery effort. In fact, good corporate citizenship has never been more important than it is now, in the wake of COVID-19. Even though many business owners are often quick to deflect the credit, never seeking praise, it’s important they let people know the great work they’re doing in the community. They should post that picture of the boss giving a check to the local food bank. They should promote the local meals on wheels program that is delivering healthy food safely to seniors. They should praise the volunteer efforts of staff, and so on. Digital signage is a perfect medium for business owners and managers of public facilities to tactfully demonstrate their selfless support for their community. It can have a profound impact on the way both employees and customers see their business.
1. Influence buying behaviour and lift sales
The economy is finally restarting. Businesses that have been shuttered for two months or more are making adjustments and reopening their doors. But what will business look like in a post-COVID world? How does a business owner prepare for a long and slow recovery? Going back to the way things were before the pandemic is simply not an option. A new playbook is needed. That new playbook has some elements that are completely new such as physical distancing guidelines and new safety measures. And it has some elements that are tried and true and as old as retail itself: increasing visitorship, increasing speed of service and throughput, increasing basket size, and so on.
Digital signage is a touchless visually-rich communication tool that is now essential in the new workplace, the new retail store, and all public venues. Digital signage is the critical piece of communications technology that every business needs in their playbook to welcome guests to their physical locations in the post-COVID world, and also to tactfully influence buying behaviour, lift sales and make the most of each and every customer visit.
To a safe and speedy recovery
On behalf of the management and staff of ScreenScape we would like to congratulate all business owners and all managers of public facilities everywhere on their return to business. We salute you for your tenacity and strength at this difficult time. We stand with you as you face down the challenges ahead, and we wish you all a safe and speedy recovery.