With the UK gradually reopening after the extended lockdown we’ve been in, and non-essential shops and other businesses currently set to be allowed to open their doors from 12 April in England, now is a good time to make sure your retail outlet is ready to welcome customers back.

Although people have undoubtedly got used to shopping online, that doesn’t mean there aren’t many who will be looking forward to returning to real stores.

Digital signage will not only be useful in terms of advertising and attracting people into your store in the first place, but also for directing them once they are inside and ensuring that shoppers comply with social distancing guidance.

An article for 365 Retail recently explained why digital signage is a better option than traditional printed signage. The first reason it cites is that they are so much more versatile than print-based options.

It’s possible to change the messaging you display easily throughout the day, or to cycle through multiple marketing messages, as there are no limits on how much content you can share through digital mediums.

In addition, the dynamic nature of digital signage means that it’s much more eye catching and is therefore likely to attract the attention of more of your customers than a static poster.

The news provider also noted that, in the long run, working with digital signage companies to install such systems is often more cost effective than continuing to design, print and then put up physical signage.

Of course, as the publication notes, it costs more to install digital signage than to put up a poster, but after the installation many of the other costs associated with traditional marketing, such as production, distribution and placement of printed materials, are reduced or removed altogether.

Another way in which to maximise your digital signage is to use it to display social proof to your customers. This could be in the form of customer reviews or social media posts about your products, services or business as a whole.

Being able to show these on screens around your store will serve as another nudge to encourage them to make a purchase.

Love Belfast also recently highlighted some of the top benefits of using digital signage in your business once it reopens following lockdown. Among them is the ability to share time-sensitive information quickly and easily with both your staff and customers.

You can also use these systems to display interactive content that can get your customers to engage with your brand on another level. This could involve asking customers to leave their feedback of their experiences, for example.

In retail settings, it might also be a handy way to showcase product demos and really highlight the benefits that certain products can bring to consumers, which might not always be immediately obvious in a store setting.

The pandemic has been challenging for many businesses, and it would be easy to consider an addition like digital signage as an unnecessary expense. However, there are many benefits and although it might involve some financial investment up front, it will likely pay dividends in the long term.