It’s comeback time as many industries—such as retail, hospitality, travel and education—return to business as usual with digital signage paving the way. With the AV market rebounding, the time is right for Pro AV professionals to take advantage of the many opportunities ahead.
“There have been a lot of challenges in the past year and a half—everything from the pandemic to chip shortages—but we are starting to see a resurgence in AV projects,” said Sandi Stambaugh, senior vice president, product management, TD SYNNEX. “It’s an exciting time to be in AV as businesses and organizations look at new ways to utilize digital signage.”
After peaking at $259 billion in 2019, Pro AV industry revenue dropped to $214 billion globally in 2020 due to the pandemic, according to the AVIXA 2021 AV Industry Outlook and Trends Analysis (IOTA). The report shows revenue will reach $232 billion this year and grow to $329 billion in 2026. The Americas Pro AV market dropped by 16.7% to $77.6 billion in 2020 but was bolstered in part by a strong first quarter in 2020. A strong recovery is expected with 2021 revenues rising to $83.6 billion.
Digital signage is poised for strong revenue growth specifically with a forecast of $32 billion in 2021, increasing to $44.7 billion in 2026. Riding pre-pandemic momentum, the signage market is expected to continue its success in core categories such as wayfinding and kiosks while new applications like outdoor signage and AI take hold.
“TD SYNNEX is ready to provide the additional layer of support, expertise, and value-added resources to help integrators take advantage of the opportunity,” said Stambaugh.
A New Path Forward
Wayfinding displays continue to be a core category and are playing a crucial role as businesses open back up and look to operate safely.
Virtual receptionist devices at office complexes and corporate lobbies offer wayfinding to guide guests and other occupants to their conference rooms, huddle areas, desks or appointments. What’s more, signage can aid in occupancy counts and traffic flow while allowing for improved social distancing.
In retail, shoppers are enjoying improved experiences from wayfinding to checkouts. Digital signs can show current sales and promotions, product reviews, or even cost comparisons. Additionally, they can offer directions to the bathroom, customer service desk, or where to locate a specific item. Increasingly, kiosks can offer self-checkout, which many shoppers are said to prefer nowadays rather than interacting with an employee.
One of the most prevalent signage options over the last year has been the check-in kiosk. Increasingly seen at office complexes, doctor offices, urgent care facilities, restaurants and retail, these assure occupancy levels are monitored and managed, and that entrants, shoppers and employees can perform temperature screenings.
Touchless Takes Hold
As pandemic issues linger, users remain hesitant about touching interactive displays, which has prompted a shift to minimize physical interaction. The industry game-changer could be autonomous AI. Other opportunities exist with QR codes and outdoor signage as well.
“The new trends we are seeing provide a lot of opportunity for integrators to expand their current business whether selling into a new vertical market or diving into a new technology,” said Stambaugh. “We continue to listen to our Advisory Council to gain a better understanding of the types of services, education and trainings integrators need so we can best support their businesses and help them to operate more efficiently as they grow and expand.”
Restaurants, retailers and others, for instance, are looking to build in mobile connectivity to signage options so people can interact with the information on a display using their own devices.
Touchless solutions are also expanding to include voice controls and gesture commands for simple yet safe ways to access important information.
Increasingly, QR codes are being used to phase out physically engaging with touch-interactive digital signage. By scanning a QR code, customers transfer control of the experience to their phones and can then interact with content as they traditionally would while eliminating the need for physical contact.
Also expected to be a major growth area for digital signage is the outdoor environment. Whether for virtual reception, wayfinding, menus or advertising, external outdoor applications are expected to boom as the public remains on high alert with health, safety and security in communal spaces. Above all, digital signage can deliver peace of mind as people return to places they hope to be comfortable, convenient and easy to navigate.
“COVID-19 has greatly changed the way people consume technology and the experience consumers expect when visiting a store, dining at a restaurant, taking public transportation, and so many other activities,” said Stambaugh. “Digital signage can play a huge role in making the experience both memorable and safe, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for our industry.”
TD SYNNEX VISUALSolv is bolstered by its team of industry-certified and trained engineers to assist with pre-sales design, field services to expand reach, and solutions specialists ready to educate and train talent, making digital signage easy to buy and sell. For more information, contact email@example.com.