Digital Signage Trends for 2021
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“Can we all agree that in 2015 not a single person had the correct answer to ‘where do you see yourself in five years? », Asks a funny meme this was the turn on the Internet.

As the witty meme suggests, Covid-19 has taken virtually everyone by surprise, including gamers in the digital signage space. One of the most significant impacts of the pandemic has been financial, which has forced many organizations to cut spending. For this reason, the overriding objective will be to extract the maximum value from existing installations.

This focus on getting the most out of digital signage means that many companies will be looking for cheaper solutions that integrate well with existing installations. In addition, they will likely prioritize multifunctional solutions and reuse material and content where possible. An increased focus on efficiency and value will also push many businesses to take advantage of the 80:20 rule, meaning they will aim to invest 20% in solutions that meet 80% of their needs.

You are also likely to see an increasing number of businesses signing up for signaling as a service solutions, which require minimal upfront investment and can be scaled up or down as needed. Expect a growing preference for easy-to-use solutions, which can dramatically reduce the time spent on creating and managing content. Here are other digital signage trends to watch for in 2021.

Fewer touch screens

Another digital signage trend that is expected to gain traction in 2021 is the use of non-touch input for screens. This is, in large part, because of Covid-19, which is spread via highly tactile surfaces, but screens can also spread other diseases. Screen makers are likely to take advantage of mature and widely available technologies such as voice and gestures for this purpose rather than developing completely new input methods.

More innovative screens and signage solutions

Digital signage screens have increased in size, resolution, brightness, and innovation over the past few years, and this trend is expected to continue in 2021. Gargantuan screens with resolutions of 4K and above are going to become more and more currents.

Expect to see innovations like transparent screens in areas where the use case and potentially positive ROI make cost of ownership worthwhile. Concerns about operating costs, environmental impact and climate change will continue to fuel a growing preference for more energy efficient display technologies, such as OLED and QLED. Companies are also likely to avoid proprietary hardware and software for more generic products, which often integrate better with existing systems and processes. Even as businesses invest in ever-larger, higher-resolution displays, they are likely to purchase smaller displays and aim to create personalized and intimate experiences.

Better interactivity

Richard Malton, Marketing Director of Ocean Outdoor Group, which managed the LED signage refresh for Piccadilly Circus, presents it as the most advanced advertising screen on the planet. The reason? The facility has an advanced system which can tell if the majority of passing pedestrians are male or female, young or old, angry or happy, etc. The system combines this information with data such as ambient temperature and time of day to determine which advertisement to display. For example, if the weather is hot, the system may choose to show ads on convertible cars. Expect to see more of this kind of interactivity in 2021 and beyond.

Interactivity will also continue to be the killer app of many smaller screens as businesses push for more intimate experiences to better connect with customers. For example, you’ll likely see smaller screens serving as digital assistants in hotels, stores, and other areas, reducing the need to hire an army of assistants.

Growing integration with other platforms

Another digital signage trend that is expected to accelerate in 2021 is the integration of the platform. By showing the same ads on Facebook, YouTube, and digital signage, for example, brands can create or improve consistency. The ability to create a cohesive brand image is essential as information silos increasingly become one of the defining features of the information landscape.

Better privacy and security

Interactivity and integration, the two trends we looked at above, involve storing and moving a huge amount of data from one platform or system to another. Some of the systems involved are linked to sensitive corporate networks – which makes digital signage systems a target for hackers. To alleviate this concern, companies in this space have made significant investments in information security, a trend that will continue, if not intensify, in 2021. In addition to protecting valuable information, investing in security of data is essential to meet regulatory requirements and earn or maintain customer trust.

This list of digital trends for 2021 is, in a sense, a reflection of lingering societal anxieties – the risk of contracting disease, worries about budgets, concerns about environmental impact, thirst for a more personal connection with brands, data literacy and security and privacy. As this list shows, those in the digital signage space are recognizing these anxieties and rising to the challenge – not just today, but in the years to come. This relentless sensitivity to the needs of society and the desire to find a suitable solution is perhaps the best proof that digital signage still has a bright future.

Need help with your next digital signage campaign? Let’s talk! We are more than happy to help you achieve your advertising goals and grow your business!

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