What is going to happen in Digital Signage in 2021?

Many of the predictions we made for digital signage in 2020 have been overshadowed by the seismic changes borne out of the pandemic. Lockdowns forced the retail and hospitality industries to shut and travelling was cut down dramatically, which had a significant impact of footfall and visibility.

However, despite the pandemic, there’s positive forecasting as market researchers estimate that digital signage is expected to reach $26 billion by 2027. There are also great opportunities for digital signage applications in other industries that grew exponentially in 2020, for example healthcare.

This year offers the chance of a reprieve as we slowly start to return to normal. As industries adjust to the new normal and travel returns to previous levels, digital signage will again have its purpose. So, what is next for digital signage? Here are our predictions for the industry in 2021.

Working from home won’t be forever

Lockdown created a shift to home working unlike anything we have seen before, but as we start to see a future without restrictions, we will also see a return to offices.

People find that working from home blurs the line between work and leisure and many are now favouring a return to the office in some capacity. Whether that is a part-time split between working from home and the office, or a return to full time office work. This will mean a boost in travel and retail as regular routines return and digital signage will reap the benefits with businesses looking to invest in new technology.

Experiential retail gathers pace

Retail has always been a big part of the digital signage industry and before the pandemic it was one of the biggest growth markets, and that will also be the case in 2021. In retail, it is time for brands to get truly creative with their smart signage. This year, we are going to start seeing them being used in a much more experiential and personal way. Great examples are emerging from Harrods and Burger King.

To draw consumers away from the lure of online convenience, larger brands with the square footage to do so will look to create more open and expansive retail experiences for their visitors. But there is also an opportunity for smaller retailers too, supporting click and collect services, wayfinding and enhancing the connection to the online experience.

Moving into the future it is important that digital signage does not stagnate as a technology. In order to compete with the lure of online shopping, brick and mortar retail must focus on creating a positive consumer experience and innovative and interactive digital signage can be at the heart of it.

Healthcare boosts for the industry

Digital signage in the medical setting can take a range of forms, from interactive touchscreen kiosks that allow patients to check-in and schedule new appointments at the GP surgery, to digital video screens displaying important safety messages throughout a large hospital. Digital signage solutions can bring many benefits, not just for patients, but also for medical staff. With restrictions set to continue someway into 2021, digital signage will be a great asset to organisation as a means of sharing public information and enabling self-service options.

2021 will in many ways see the return to a normal landscape for the digital signage industry as we emerge from the pandemic. The industry, however, must be careful not to stagnate and maintain an innovative approach to create success.


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