According to all predictive models, digital signs will be a mainstay of modern retail business by the year 2031. They will be just as common in stores as digital card readers are.
photo credit: Sinkdd / Flickr
What is odd is that most predictive models prior to the 2020 pandemic showed an equal mix of mobile shopping and digital signs. But since the pandemic, digital signs are predicted to be even more popular than any form of mobile/smartphone wallet payment service. This is because digital signs proved very useful for remaining contact-free during the pandemic.
Since most predictive models now assume that more pandemics are coming, it is safe to say that digital signs are here to stay.
The Rest of the Business World
Of course, the retail industry is not the only place where digital signs will exist. It is just that the retail industry is where digital signs will dominate.
We already see many areas where digital signs are proving a valuable tool. The blog.kitcast.tv shows several cases of call centers using them to great success, malls and theme parks using them to give directions, and festivals using digital signs to direct people to events.
There are many areas and business sectors where digital signs are being put to good use, and it really depends on the health of the businesses themselves as to if digital signs will surge in popularity in those sectors. For example, in the pre-woke, pre-ME2, pre-pandemic days, comic stores were still pretty popular.
Shows like the Big Bang Theory and the rise of Marvel movies had made comic bookstores even more profitable than they already were. They were starting to use digital signs because audio visual content was plentiful (mostly Marvel content with a bit of Nolan Batman). However, these days comic bookstores are mostly extinct, and all their digital signs are on eBay.
The Economics of Digital Signs
Since China is going to keep churning out super cheap electronics, it is fair to say that digital signs will not suddenly become very expensive. This is not a blanket statement since we have seen computers and games consoles go up in price significantly thanks to a chip shortage due to the pandemic and the surge in cryptocurrency mining.
Yet, ex-president Donald Trump has proved that even if China were to suddenly start charging high prices for its exports, it can quickly be replaced by countries like Taiwan, or even places like Japan and India. Ergo, the chances of digital sign hardware becoming expensive is very unlikely.
They are mostly plug-and-play these days, the hardware is overly easily to purchase, and they are very effective in communicating with people, especially as it speaks to their “Digital screen” addiction.
Content is only as good as its creator, and the companies who mess up their content are going to damage their reputation and even their sales. Some trends for digital innovations are sometimes targeted by social media, and digital signs may become as unpopular as Segway and paid DLC loot boxes.
Drawing people away from the Internet in order to make their purchases is a big deal, and digital signs may help bridge the gap. People figure they shouldn’t bother asking the sales staff if they can look it up on their phones. Perhaps people could simply look at digital signs and have all their questions answered without needing to use their phones.
There is a chance that online eCommerce will destroy most of retail, leaving only the walk-in services like barbers, and clothing retail (because of the sizes problem). If that happens, then digital signs will be less popular. Even places like call centers are less popular, and they too are big users of digital signs.
Demand Will Not Peak in 2031
Since we do not know the fate of the offline retail sector, and since we have seen massive retail brands and malls fall, it is unknown when the digital sign trend will peak. Nevertheless, despite how much the digital sign industry is booming, it is fair to assume the peak will not happen before 2031.
Digital signs are too adaptable and exist in too many business sectors to peak as soon as 2031. The chances are they will peak around 3070 when digital signs start being replaced by holographics on a wider scale and digital sign popularity starts to slow.