Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
The Retail & Hospitality industries are taking a hit harder than expected, especially knowing that such interactive experiences are no longer taking place due to the effects of COVID-19, in working to keep people safe from the virus. Such active business environments are operating in different pattern now, in order to minimize human-to-human interaction. In this thought, Digital Signage is becoming an increasingly critical aspect within various vertical markets, especially as businesses sit down to address a plan for safely reopening their doors to the general public. Many have found that customers will interact with a digital signage space or kiosk, if there is some personalized portion to experience and a lot of that can be done in accommodation mobile devices.
A One & Done Solution
You might notice that your favorite grocery store looks a little different in its layout as we all return to shopping in-person, for there are stickers on the ground notating where to stand in line, and other social distancing guidelines to follow while navigating your way through the shopping trip. Digital Signage kiosks and installations can help to keep this flow moving swiftly and efficiently, while we are all living in a COVID-19 run world. Retailers can benefit from these devices and their ability to maintain access control, interactive way-finding, temperature checks via thermal scans, and so many other smart practices. These systems can be utilized to greatly improve the flow of traffic, so if there is a clutter of shoppers standing around a certain display, the kiosk can communicate with employees through sensors to help mitigate the growth of crowds.
Such detection also comes in handy when it comes to monitoring shoppers who come through the entrance and whether or not they are wearing a mask or facial covering. To overcome the struggles of a post-pandemic, there is much to be considered when it comes to revamping your standalone kiosks and digital signage stands, for they can be reconfigured with touch-free navigation, multi-user recognition, helpful and informative communication centers, and even simply just a map to help shoppers navigate their way to their destination. In a time where human to human contact isn’t as encouraged as it was in previous years, so in order to get around that road bump, there are several ways to introduce kiosks that double as thermal scanners. This way a highly trusted temperature can be calculated, relieving a physical human employee from completing the task for every customer that rolls in through the doors. In high traffic environments, this has always been rather difficult, if a queue line is not enforced to some capacity.
100.4 is the Magic Number
To help users combat the coronavirus pandemic, we collaborated with several vendors and software companies to showcase several solutions that can help stand up for COVID-19 prevention and survival efforts. Our full list of solutions ranges throughout the Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Office, Supply Chain, and Government industries, to help fight the spread of the virus. Samsung worked to introduce a Temperature Taking Kiosk solution that offers quick and easy screening for all those who come into contact with the screen. Available in a floor-mount, counter-mount, and a wall-mount, this kiosk is designed to instruct customers where to position their head in order to obtain an accurate temperature scan. Once this instruction is followed, the customer is then prompted with next steps; if a fever is recorded, they will likely be sent home, but if not, they can go on about their business.
Mobile Technology is another critical feature to consider with these kiosk applications. Retailers can leverage unique QR codes to help shoppers locate items, coupons, or even just their way to a specific aisle. Presuming that the shopper shares a basic knowledge of smart phones and smart mobile devices, its user would just need to point their device’s camera at the designated code to collect their desired information. To simplify intents even further, kiosks can work in conjunction with shoppers’ mobile devices to deliver way-finding maps, inform them of deals and current sales, and then deliver that data via text message, so everything customers need can found in the palms of their hands.
Touch-less interactivity is definitely here to stay and probably will continue to linger, long after the COVID-19’s contagious behavior has been long gone. These types of mobile experiences can help to formulate a better relationship with customers everywhere and with a meaningful touch (or lack thereof). These personalized gestures are exactly what customers want out of their experience, whether they are checking into their hotel room or trying to complete their weekly grocery shopping trip.
Plugging into the Podcast
To expand on how important Digital Signage experiences are for customers, we thoroughly touched upon this subject back in October of 2020, when we logged onto a call with Elo’s Sr. Channel Manager for Interactive Solutions, Kristin Roubie for our TEConnect Podcast. We hear host, John Martin ask the question on everyone’s minds, “How has Digital Signage helped businesses during COVID-19?” Roubie responded with a perfect and totally relatable response.
“This Pandemic has really shaken our world, and there is a sense of insecurity and fear put in place. Digital Signage can provide us with the communication that we need and it is more important now,” stated Roubie. She also goes on to explain that customers want to be reassured during these times of uncertainty. The “Make me Understand” and “Where am I?” and the “What are your procedures?” questions are likely to run through everyone’s minds. Not all regions have implemented the same mandates and guidelines in restaurants and hospitality environments; such rules vary per state and portion of the country. In one state, it might be required for you to never take off your mask, but in another area, you might be allowed to remove your mask during meals at a restaurant. “Understanding the rules that are implemented, not only from a Government-based mandate, but also from the individual requests and preferences of each business is essential, if we are ever to work together to beat this virus, “she followed up with.
From kiosks to mounted way-finding signage, and even mobile solutions, there is much value in communicating safety protocols and procedures to a facility’s visitors. COVID-19 has introduced many road bumps for people throughout the United States, especially when it comes to a logistical standpoint. One thing remains true, through and through, adapting to new technologies and solutions offerings to ensure both the health and safety of businesses, organizations, and people is the key to battling the spread of this deadly virus, regardless of what the future brings.