The Benefits of Digital Signage for Coffee Shops & Cafes
For many businesses in the food industry, digital signage has become a harbinger of success. There is a good reason for this. In such a competitive industry as the food industry, it is absolutely essential that your establishment stands out from the competitors.
Of the businesses in the food industry, coffee shops and cafes are in a position to make some of the best use of digital signage and reap the most benefits. People go to cafes and coffee shops for food and drinks, but the establishment's atmosphere is almost as important.
In this article, we will go over some of the most significant benefits of digital signage for coffee shops and cafes. However, before we jump right into the benefits, we will give a little primer on digital signage: what it is and what it involves.
What Is Digital Signage?
In short, digital signage is the use of digital displays to show content. But digital signage is so much more than this simple description suggests. The digital signs used in digital signage are many and varied, including smartphones, tablets, televisions, LED displays, and even billboards.
Next, there is the digital signage solution. These typically include digital signage software or digital signage hardware (such as a digital signage player) which provides users with templates and the functionality to display videos, interactive apps, social media feeds, images, graphs, infographics, text, animations, and so much more.
When compared with a traditional sign, digital displays paired with a digital signage solution are infinitely more versatile and effective, enabling users to produce eye-catching, entertaining, informative, and easily understandable content with ease. So what components do you need to get a digital signage system set up in your coffee shop or cafe?
Necessary Components of Digital Signage
The first thing that you will need for your digital signage system is a digital signage display. For a smaller space like most coffee shops and cafes, you may not need many screens, it can be helpful to purchase multiple digital displays of varying sizes. Since digital signage software can work on tablets, TV screens, LED walls, and much more, you can choose the right displays to strategically deploy throughout your space.
The next thing that you will want to do is to get wall mounts for your digital signage displays. These can typically be purchased for reasonable prices on websites like amazon or in specialty technology brick-and-mortar stores.
A mall mount is very important because it allows you to put your digital signs in places that are more visible than if they were on the ground. Moreover, mounting your digital displays on walls frees up floor space and simply looks more professional than digital displays on the ground.
The final thing that you will need to invest in is a digital signage solution. There are two types of digital signage solutions for you to choose from. There are cloud-based digital signage solutions, with which you would do content management and content design on a server provided by the digital signage solution provider and require excellent wifi connectivity. These services will typically require you to pay a monthly fee.
On the other hand, there are hardware-based digital signage solutions, where you receive a physical digital signage player that you will hook up to your digital displays with cords like HDMI cords. These solutions will typically come with all of the software that you need for content management and content design.
Moreover, you are less likely to have to pay a monthly fee with these types of solutions. When setting up your digital signage system, you will have to decide which type of digital signage solution best fits your needs and your financial capabilities.
Once you have the digital screens, wall mounts, and a digital signage solution, you will be all set to take advantage of the templates provided to create eye-catching, informational, and entertaining digital content.
Digital Signage Benefits for Coffee Shops and Cafes
1. Increase Foot Traffic
With a saturation of businesses, static signs placed outside your business with the goal of attracting potential customers into your store simply will not cut it anymore. When people see static signs, they will be much less likely to notice your store and much less likely to remember it.
Fixing this problem is one of the things that digital signage is best at. With digital signage, you can create eye-catching signs with many different types of media. Instead of a static image, you can use videos, animations, and so much more. This will make your business look more attractive and will help with the memory retention of your business.
Another great tool is the ability to switch your messaging depending on the month, day, time of the day, and weather. When a big holiday is coming up, it is common for businesses to put up signs that are based on the themes and imagery associated with that holiday.
But digital signage allows you to do this on a much more micro scale. For example, you might want your sign to say something different in the morning than in the evening or the night. You could even change your messaging depending on the weather. If it is a sweltering day, you might invite customers in for a refreshing iced beverage. If it’s cold, you could invite them in for a beverage to warm their bodies and spirits.
It might seem like the biggest benefit of digital signage is to do what we have been talking about: driving foot traffic into your store. And while this is a major benefit of digital signage, you will see in the rest of this article that digital signage has a huge role to play in the rest of the customer journey.
2. Digital Menu Boards
Digital menu boards have many advantages over traditional menus and paper menus. The first benefit we will talk about is that it makes your menu highly visible and appealing. Aside from the menu items, you can have images or videos of mouthwatering drinks or dishes that customers can get at your establishment.
Moreover, you can update this menu depending on the time of day. If you are a cafe that serves different food for breakfast than for lunch, it is incredibly easy to set your playlist to change what is displayed on the menu board when the change in time comes.
One of the great upsides of digital menu boards is that they can greatly improve the customer experience by reducing real and perceived wait times.
The real wait time is the amount of time that occurs from the time the customer gets in line to the time that they make their order or receive the food or drinks that they ordered. Perceived wait time is the amount of time it feels like has passed during that same time frame.
Digital menu boards can reduce perceived wait times because, with entertaining and visually appealing graphics, customers will be more entertained while they are waiting in line, so the time in line will feel like it is less than if there were no digital menu boards.
This really does matter because people simply do not like to feel like they have to wait in line for a long time. This is especially the case in a cafe or coffee store because people are waiting for the caffeine that often helps give them the energy for the day.
In addition to reducing perceived wait time, digital menu boards can reduce real wait times by making the ordering process more efficient. When there is a highly visible digital menu board people can make the decision about what they want to order before they get to the register.
That means they can input your order and you can get to work making their drink right away. By reducing the amount of time the customer spends at the register, you reduce the overall amount of time that people have to spend in that line.
Finally, digital menu boards are great for highlighting special offers. If a business has a special offer, it is more than likely that they actually want people to take advantage of the special offer. With a digital signage menu board, you can easily communicate these special offers to the customers in line or even those sitting down and eating.
2. Increase Customer Engagement with Social Media
For improving the customer experience and fostering loyal customers, customer engagement is absolutely essential. One of the best ways that customers can get engaged with your cafe or coffee shop is through social media.
Of course, creating a great online presence is a huge way to reach customers and keep them engaged, but with digital signage, you can bring social media right into the physical space. Digital signage allows you to show live feeds of social media posts about your store or brand.
In this way, customers who have had good experiences can do some of your marketing for you. Moreover, if people see the social media feed, it is more likely that they will take pictures at your establishment and tag your store or brand, a digital age version of word-of-mouth marketing
You can also promote your social media accounts on digital signage so that customers can keep up to date on all of the newest goings-on at your establishment. You can also use QR codes that take people to surveys or suggestion boxes where customers can put their own input into the types of food and drinks and other aspects of the establishment that they would want to see in the future.
3. Promote Events
A great way to get new customers and foster loyal customers is for cafes and coffee shops to hold events. Of course, it can often be difficult to get the word out about these events. Digital signage makes it easy with its eye catching graphics. People won’t be able to leave your store without at least knowing that there will be an event, and the more people that know, the more people will show up.
4. Promote Loyalty Programs
Digital signage is a great way to highlight things like loyalty programs. Often, people are asked at the cash register if they want to become a member or join the loyalty program, and they simply shake their head. When people come in to get coffee, they are often in a rush and don’t feel like they have time to hear about what is actually involved in the loyalty program.
However, if the loyalty program is promoted on digital signage along with the benefits that come with the loyalty program, people will see this as they are waiting in line, and instead of the cashier asking if they want to join, they will be asking the cashier if they can join.
It seems a peculiar but very common trait amongst many people that they are averse to joining things like loyalty programs because they feel they are being sold something. However, if the information is simply there, waiting to be read, then the loyalty program seems like a great idea.
5. Create a Modern Atmosphere
For cafes that want to give off a modern vibe, digital signage can be the perfect complement to the interior design. It can lend a space a sense of sophistication and sleekness, especially if the design for the content being shown is well done.
6. Create an Alternative Revenue Stream
When you go with a digital signage solution like loop, you get free content to show, entertain, and inform your customers. Additionally, it will play ads on the screen interspersed with the digital signage playlist.
The great thing is that your establishment can actually make money from these ads being shown in your space, which is a great way for a cafe or coffee shop to establish an alternative revenue stream.
Its Like Giving Your Business a Caffeine Boost
As we have seen, there are countless benefits that can come when a cafe or coffee shop integrates a digital signage system into their establishment. It can improve the customer experience, boost sales, help foster customer loyalty, and encourage customer engagement.
As long as you go with a high quality digital signage solution like that offered by loop, you can be sure to see some promising results.