Five Signs it’s Time to Upgrade your Convenience Store Signage
By Carol Wade
Technology is evolving at a rapid pace. We see this every day in ever-more powerful cellular phones and electric, self-driving cars. The same can be said for the electronic sign industry, which is experiencing advances in technology that allow c-store operators to install better displays that deliver superior results.
Outdoor digital signage has evolved over the last five years to provide crisper graphics, more colours, more flexible software, and higher energy efficiency. In the same time span, indoor digital signage using LED technology has become more affordable and more reliable, making it an excellent choice for use within your facility. These improvements provide a more cost-effective and convenient signage solution for indoor and outdoor use, that draws more attention to your location.
If you haven’t yet incorporated digital, or if you currently have a digital sign that’s more than seven to 10 years old, it may be time to upgrade your signage package. Here are five indications that your facility signage needs to be replaced:
1 Graphics aren’t as crisp as your content. Outdoor LED signs made seven or more years ago were at the forefront of LED technology, but times have changed. In 2011, 16mm (meaning each pixel is 16mm from its neighbor) digital signs were the newest innovation. Today, higher resolution 8mm and 6mm models are available that deliver high-definition graphics at closer viewing distances. This means that your video content looks crisp and clear even when viewed up close. If your audi-ence is near to your display, or if you use your display to show detailed graphics, it’s time to offer a crisper picture and consider replacing it with new technology.
2 Software isn’t keeping up with the times. Advertising technology has changed as our use of media has transitioned to digital. Sign management software can help you maximize your digital ad strategy and provide other important benefits, including the ability to day-part messages and integrate real-time data. New cloud-based software allows for easy updates from any location, and connected signs include automated diagnostics to provide early notification if something is awry. For fuel price signs, modern POS integration means your prices will be seamlessly updated from the pump to the sign to the register.
3 Desire for more energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is perhaps the most practical reason to up-grade your sign. It makes sense to rethink your pylon sign to incorporate LED for backlighting and a digital message center. LED components are more efficient than they were a decade ago, so you may see savings if you replace an older digital sign. A UL Green Leaf certification indicates that digital sign products meet the highest energy efficiency standards, and include features such as ventilation, automated brightness control, and communication options that use significantly less power than older units and have a reduced impact on the environment. If you still have a manual reader board, add up the hours your staff spends updating messages to calculate savings potential. You may even be eligible for energy rebates for replacing an old bulb-based sign.
4 Parts and service limitations. Depending on where you purchased your old sign, you may find it hard to obtain parts or find a service provider. Many so called display “manufacturers” did not survive the tumultuous times of the pandemic, leaving sign owners in the lurch without options for support. Consider that a broken or malfunctioning sign can impart a bad impression with your customers, actually harming your business. Be sure to work with a reputable manufacturer and sign company for installation and service after the sale. Digital signage should never be a DIY project.
5 Multiple platforms and providers. Five years ago few businesses were incorporating interior digital signage. Today, savvy operators know the benefits of engaging with customers once they are on-site and are deploying both LCD and LED display solutions indoors. This can mean multiple man-ufacturers and service providers, and a web of connection points, disparate software suites and complicated content creation needs. As you consider incorporating indoor digital displays, it’s a good time to seek out a signage provider who can supply and update both indoor and outdoor displays. You’ll benefit from consolidating your platform to one single solution and your customers will be greeted with eye-catching displays from the street to the pump to the retail interior.
Upgrading your c-store campus signage may be a smart move that can grow your business and provide access to innovative features that aren’t available on older models. You’ll project a clean and modern appearance and have the flexibility to add interior displays within a single platform.
Carol Wade is the senior director of marketing at Watchfire Signs, a leading manufacturer of exte-rior and interior LED signs and video scoreboards.
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