On the surface, digital signage and kiosk technology might appear to be completely different and separate devices. Digital signage is often thought of as a means to advertise or provide information, while kiosks are interactive devices that usually provide a service or product. However, as the demand and application for both digital signage and kiosk technology continues to grow, the lines between these seemingly unrelated devices are becoming more and more blurred. Just how much common ground might these technologies share? We’re taking a look at these distinct, yet related devices and discussing the ways businesses are integrating these technologies, both alone and together, to add yet another digital layer to the customer experience.
Digital Signage vs. Kiosk Technology
Historically, digital signage was displayed via a mounted screen and did not include interactive content, communicating with a wide audience in a one-to-many format. Content was usually prescheduled and managed centrally through a software program. Kiosks were thought to provide much of the same information as digital signage, but with an additional layer of engagement, operating in a one-to-one format for a more personalized interaction. However, as digital displays and kiosks become more commonplace in the market, we are seeing a blurring of lines between these technologies that make it difficult to fit either of these tools into one category or another.
Today, most of the digital signs we come into contact with are capable of so much more than simply displaying a one-way flow of information. We are seeing additional technology features being integrated into these displays, making for a more interactive exchange between the signage and the consumer. For example, touch overlays, motion sensors, cameras, and beacons can be combined into your digital signage strategy to make for a more interactive customer experience. This is where the lines become blurred – if a digital signage display has interactive capabilities, is it also a kiosk? Even for those well versed in the industry, distinguishing between these lines can be difficult. But the technicalities of each are unimportant. Instead, companies should be focusing on how they can use both technologies to their advantage.
Companies do not need to choose one technology over the other. Rather, kiosk and digital signage applications may be seamlessly deployed side-by-side and work closely together to stimulate consumer behavior. Digital signage can provide branding and messaging to attract consumers’ attention, drawing individuals to interact with the device. Kiosks with digital displays that serve quality content beyond just the services provided are more useful to the user. The kiosk can provide the primary service, while the digital signage supports that service with additional information. Together, these technologies can help build brand awareness, provide the user with additional and relevant information, and serve as a means to generate revenue through advertisements. For example, a screen could be displayed on top of a ticketing kiosk at a stadium to promote future games to an audience who would likely be interested in such an offer. It could also advertise nearby restaurants, offer insight into player statistics, and display directions around the stadium. To attract and hold the attention of today’s tech-savvy and information hungry consumers, companies need to take advantage of these emerging levels of interactivity.
For digital signage and kiosks to work together in harmony, they must move in one direction towards the same goal. The key to successfully implementing these technologies into your business strategy is less about the device itself and more about how you will use this technology to create a solution that improves the overall customer experience, leaving them happy and wanting more.
As these technologies continue to grow in popularity, companies should start considering how they can use digital signage and kiosks in conjunction to help guide their customers through the purchase journey. After all, both of these technologies share a similar goal: attracting, engaging, and communicating with today’s high-tech consumers. Adding yet another digital layer to the customer experience is a way to increase the opportunity for engagement. And by giving consumers the opportunity to engage with your message, they are more likely to remember you in the future.