Over the past several decades, innovative technologies have been transforming industries across the globe, and nearly every aspect of running a business has been impacted by technology in one way or another. In both the hospitality and healthcare industries, digital signage is transforming how businesses communicate and engage with guests, patients, and staff.
What is Digital Signage?
Digital signage refers to an electronic display of information either on a single screen or spread across multiple screens. It is often used to advertise content, broadcast data, share messages, etc., to a specific audience. The most common types of digital signage used today are posters, free-standing advertising displays and kiosks, and ceiling-mounted screens. This technology is used for a variety of purposes across industries. Here are the most common ways businesses use digital signage today:
- To provide public information
- To provide internal information
- To provide product information
- To advertise and promote products or services
- To assist with brand building
- To influence customer behavior
- To influence product or brand decision-making
- To enhance the customer experience
- To assist in customer navigation
- To allow reservations
Digital Solutions Transforming Hospitality and Healthcare
Customer care is critical to maintaining a business, and this applies equally to hospitality and healthcare settings. Both industries have turned to digital signage solutions to improve their guest and patient experience. Here are some of the most popular reasons why businesses are turning to digital solutions today:
The most common use of digital signage within any business setting is for advertising. Specific media, including still images and video content, are displayed on a screen to help promote a specific service or product. It can be used to help hospitality providers and healthcare facilities promote specific offerings. However, digital signage can also help business owners advertise alternative products or services, providing them a unique source of revenue.
Occupancy control helps businesses understand the number of visitors at a specific location at any given time and provides analytics regarding occupancy rates and traffic patterns. By tracking visitors entering and leaving a location, businesses within the hospitality and healthcare industries can ensure compliance with occupancy regulations, optimize staff planning, and increase revenue during peak times.
Additionally, occupancy control leverages digital signage to ensure transparency with guests and patients. Hospitality companies and hospitals can use digital signage to inform people about the number of occupants within a specific location. This can help ensure everyone feels safe within the establishment and offers insight into how a location complies with occupancy regulations. It also allows guests and patients to understand their prospective wait time, when applicable.
Occupancy control solutions, such as Ombori Grid, offer benefits to the establishments as well. They allow hospitality providers and healthcare organizations to reduce costs via staff and operational demand analysis and adjust their processes accordingly.
Promoting Visitor Health and Safety
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, digital signage became more popular in the hospitality and healthcare industries, and businesses turned to Ombori digital signage to offer guests and patients insights into how their establishments were meeting health and safety standards. However, digital signage solutions are moving beyond the pandemic and becoming a critical aspect of how organizations communicate with guests, patients, and staff.
For example, a hospital might use a warning sign to let visitors know they are approaching the COVID ward. The information on the digital sign will change as patients move in and out of the ward. Within the hospitality industry, hotels can use digital signs to educate guests on daily cleaning standards. Using digital signs allows management to change the information as needed while optimizing the location’s available space.
Offering Guests Directions
Wayfinder, an Ombori Solution, has transformed the digital signage industry. Wayfinder is an interactive map that can run on any size screen and is touch-sensitive or voice-operated. The most common use of Wayfinder is to help guests and visitors locate where they are going. For example, a patient at a doctor’s office can ask, “Where is Dr. Herman’s office?” The digital sign will display where the office is on a map. This offers insight into where to go. In addition, it ensures patients are not wasting time searching for a location, thereby decreasing their level of frustration.
For businesses, Wayfinder ensures the following benefits:
- Fewer lost sales from customers who can’t find what they’re looking for,
- Faster throughput of customers resulting in shorter wait times, and
- Fewer missed or delayed appointments.
Improving Communication with Guests
Overall, one of the greatest attributes of digital signage is improved communication with guests, patients, and staff. Digital signs can be placed throughout a facility and used to educate people on specific information.
In healthcare settings, digital signage is often used to do the following:
- Welcome patients and visitors: Healthcare facilities can create a positive first impression by greeting patients and visitors upon arrival and providing information about physicians and staff.
- Inform patients of upcoming events: Departments can promote upcoming classes, including important information about the topic, time, location, and cost, as well as how to register.
- Offer patient notifications: In surgical waiting areas, staff can provide updates without compromising patient privacy. Family members can see when a loved one goes into the operating room, how long they’re in there, and when they move to recovery.
- Entertain visitors in waiting areas: Children and guests can enjoy a much-needed distraction from their worries by watching cartoons, news, sports, weather, or even a movie.
- Display cafeteria menus: Cafeteria staff can quickly update daily specials, remove sold-out items, alter prices, and make other adjustments to menus, and visitors can receive real-time information.
In the hospitality sector, digital signage is often used to do the following:
- Welcome guests: Hotels and spas can provide real-time welcome information, including check-in waiting times, restaurant hours, local travel updates, and even available upgrades.
- Assist with check-in: Guests can avoid long lines at check-in by using an automated touch-screen at a kiosk. This expedites the check-in process, leaving more time to start exploring.
- Share information on local happenings: Local restaurants, bars, and attractions can share information about upcoming events, special offers, and other entertainment-related information.
- Provide directions to events: Guests can access directions to local events or secure rideshare services.
- Display menu boards: Hotel restaurants can showcase daily specials, lunch and dinner menus, happy hour offers, and more.
- Provide multilingual assistance: Hotels can create a more friendly, customizable, and accurate experience for international guests by offering multilingual assistance.
The Impact of Digital Signage in 2020
As the use of digital signage has increased, data shows how it actually improves the bottom line for businesses. A 2020 analysis revealed the following information:
- Of brands that use digital signage, 80% have recorded a substantial increase in sales – up to 33%, with a greater appeal toward epicurean product purchases than planned purchases.
- Digital signage has resulted in a 46% increase in customer satisfaction and has raised the average purchase amount by 29.5%.
- Digital displays can create a 31.8% upswing in overall sales volume and result in 32.8% growth in repeat buyers.
- Digital signage raises brand awareness and complements a company’s marketing strategies. More than 40% of buyers say that digital signage can influence their purchasing decisions.
- Nearly 70% of Americans have paid for a product or service because its signage caught their eye.
- Customers spend 30% more time browsing products in stores featuring digital signage.
Taken together, these statistics clearly demonstrate the value of investing in digital signage. Both hospitality providers and healthcare facilities can benefit from adopting this innovative technology.
The Future of Digital Signage
Digital signage solutions are playing a larger role in all industries, including hospitality and healthcare, and this trend is likely to continue. Although the state of technology is constantly advancing and organizations must try to keep up with its fast pace, the advantages of adopting such solutions are real. Hospitality providers and healthcare facilities cannot afford to ignore this powerful new tool for building stronger relationships with guests, patients, and staff.
Rui is COO of Ombori Grid. Before joining Ombori in 2017, he worked in Beijing, Tokyo, Silicon Valley and Zagreb before ending up in Stockholm. He previously spent nine years in R&D at Ericsson as Operative Product Owner, and is a highly skilled leader in IT and communications with a successful track record of working closely with both stakeholders and management.