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Digital Signage: A Game-Changer for Small Businesses

Struggling to catch the eye of potential customers and boost engagement? Digital signage might be just what your small business needs. This article delves into how digital signs can solve the visibility and interaction challenges businesses face every day. By the end, you will understand the basics of this technology, its practical uses and strategies to integrate this powerful tool into your marketing arsenal. 

Keep reading to discover: 

What is Digital Signage?
Benefits of Digital Signage for Small Businesses
Digital Signs Basics 
Choosing the Best Digital Signage Software for Small Businesses
Real-world Applications of Digital Signage for Small Businesses 
Measuring the Success and ROI of Digital Signage 

What is Digital Signage?

digital screen advertising in crowded spaces

They are everywhere. From the waiting hall inside your doctor's office to the central bus station, digital signs are taking over the city with eye-catching designs advertising everything you can possibly think of. 

Digital signage refers to a visual medium for conveying information that uses screens to keep people engaged. These screens come in all sorts of sizes and types, making them a suitable option for any budget

Benefits of Digital Signage for Small Businesses

Digital displays can improve the communication strategy of any organisation. Contrary to printed advertising, they are easier to work with because they can usually be operated remotely, meaning content can be updated effortlessly within minutes

Using screens to advertise makes it easier for people to retain the information they see. Moreover, we are used to interacting with screens in our everyday lives. Adding them to your marketing strategy can make your business stand out from the crowd as digital screens can elevate the message you would convey using a printed poster. More vibrant colours, dynamic images and the possibility of integrating videos into your content plan all represent a significant step up from outdated means of advertising. 

When working in a small to medium-sized business, budget constraints usually dictate what can and cannot be achieved. This means that sometimes it can be difficult to convince everyone in the team to see things from your perspective and agree to purchase the items you need. 

Here are some useful statistics about digital signs that you can use to advocate for your project. 

  • Recent data suggests that digital signs can reduce perceived wait times by more than 35% and improve queue management. [1]
  • A significant proportion (65%) of end-users plan to direct a more substantial portion of their digital signage budget toward acquiring new displays. [2]
  • Studies indicate that digital screens’ average attention span is 2.8 to 8 seconds. [3] 
  • Digital screen advertising boasts an impressive recall rate of 83%, nearly twice as much as the retention rate of traditional advertising. [4] 


Digital Signs Basics

Learning the basics of this technology can be quite challenging. There is a lot of jargon one must first understand before being able to make decisions about hardware and software. Let's go over the key components of a digital signage installation and cover the different types of digital signs out there.

1. Digital Displays

The most visible part of your installation is the screen. The market is abundant with different types of displays, each with its use case. Here are some examples:

LED/LCD Screens 

Most commonly chosen, LED/LCD displays have been brightening spaces for more than a decade. There are some slight differences between the two and LED screens have been growing more in popularity over recent years. On the other hand, a good LCD can elevate your business strategy too, especially when on a tight budget. 

Kiosk Displays

These standalone, interactive displays provide businesses with a more personalised, engaging and efficient means of communication with customers. They have been particularly successful in restaurants and retail settings, where they enable self-service custom applications. This is to give customers greater freedom and control over their experiences.

Videowalls/LED Walls 

Video walls are another popular option in the digital advertising industry. This is because they are a versatile option. You can use them as a whole, creating one massive display, split it into multiple different screens, or you can create your art wall. It is all up to your imagination. 

It is important to note that video walls are designed for indoor usage specifically. If your project includes outdoor displays, LED walls are a more suitable option. LED walls are made of multiple LED panels, which can be customised by technicians to create a larger wall. You can change the resolution by adding the LED panels the way you want them to. 

LED walls are a nice option when the location of the displays is a little further and when the content you would like to show should be seen from a variety of angles. Also, LED walls have higher brightness and are better suited for outdoor applications.


These are a great choice if your goals include increasing customer engagement. This is because this technology can allow your customers to explore your selection of products on their own time, giving the impression of being fully in control of the purchase. Popular uses of this tech can be found in the retail, QSR and automotive industries.

2. Media Players

Depending on which hardware solution you opt for, you might need to purchase an external player or not. Nowadays it is more common to see the player integrated into the display using an SoC (System on a Chip). 

Opting for built-in players can save you quite a lot of money, especially if the installation requires a high number of displays. Another really good reason to opt for a built-in player is that it looks more aesthetically pleasing to the eye since you get rid of all those annoying cables that can make the installation look quite messy. 

3. Content Management Systems

Often referred to as the heart of your digital signage installation, the Content Management System (CMS) is the software powering your screens and enabling the media player to push content. 

Without going too much in-depth for now, bear in mind that the hardware and software need to be compatible. This usually means choosing the same software provider as the hardware provider, but in case that is not possible, look for adaptable software. More information about choosing the best software for your displays can be found in the next section. 

Types of Digital Signage

digital kiosk screen in the lobby

Now that we have covered the basics, we can begin exploring the different types of digital signs and how to leverage them for your small business. 

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Indoor digital signs are perfect for controlled environments like offices, retail stores and restaurants. These displays do not need to withstand harsh weather conditions and can focus on delivering vibrant, high-quality visuals without worrying about durability.

Outdoor digital signs, on the other hand, are designed to endure various weather conditions. These displays are ideal for advertising to passersby in busy streets or providing information in public spaces. They typically offer higher brightness to remain visible even in direct sunlight and are built to be weather-resistant.

Interactive vs. Non-Interactive

Interactive digital screens invite customers to engage directly with the content shown, whether through touchscreens, motion sensors or QR codes. This type of signage is excellent for small businesses looking to create a dynamic and immersive customer experience. It is particularly popular in settings like museums, retail stores and trade shows, where customer interaction can provide valuable feedback and data.

Non-interactive displays are more traditional, focusing on delivering content without requiring user interaction. They are useful for conveying information quickly and efficiently, such as in digital menu boards, directory signage or promotional displays. It is a straightforward way to enhance visual communication without the added complexity of interactive features.

By understanding these types of digital signage, you can better choose the right kind of display to meet your business’s specific needs and enhance your overall marketing strategy.


Choosing the Best Digital Signage Software for Small Businesses

To maximise the potential of digital signage, it is crucial to choose the right software and tools. Whether you are looking for robust commercial options or flexible open-source libraries, understanding the features and comparing available solutions is key.

Popular Software Options 

When it comes to selecting the right software for your screens, it can get very overwhelming very fast. Smaller businesses do not always have the in-house expertise to make fast decisions and without a clear overview of what is on the market, the project can easily get side-tracked. 

To help avoid this turning into reality, the team at MagicInfo Services prepared an in-depth comparison guide covering the top 5 most popular options on the market

Top 5 Features to Look For

When selecting a CMS, one must consider several key factors with equal importance. These factors include the team's ability to quickly adapt to the software, how well it integrates with your existing digital setup, the simplicity of scaling it to meet future needs, the quality of customer support, and the overall excellence of the services provided. These considerations are essential for making an informed decision.

1. Ease of Use

User-friendly interfaces simplify content creation and management. Look for drag-and-drop functionality, intuitive dashboards and easy-to-navigate menus that allow anyone on your team to manage content without extensive training.

2. Scalability

Ensure the software can grow with your business needs. Choose a solution that can easily scale from a few screens to a nationwide network to support your expansion without significant additional costs or complexity.

3. Content Management

Robust CMS capabilities for scheduling and updating content are crucial. The software should allow you to manage multiple displays from a central location, schedule content in advance, and update displays in real time, ensuring that your messaging is always relevant and timely.

4. Compatibility

The software should work seamlessly with various hardware and operating systems. This flexibility ensures that you are not locked into a single vendor and can integrate new technology as it becomes available, maximising your investment.

5. Support and Updates

Reliable customer support and regular software updates are essential. Ensure the provider offers comprehensive support, including troubleshooting and training, and that they frequently update the software to incorporate the latest features and security enhancements.

By considering these features, you can select digital signage software that not only meets your current requirements but also adapts to your future needs. It provides a robust and flexible solution for your business.


Real-World Applications of Digital Signage for Small Businesses 

Digital signage offers numerous benefits across various industries. Small businesses, in particular, can leverage this technology to enhance customer experiences, promote products and streamline operations.

Digital Signage in Retail

LED Screen advertising retail

One of the most popular applications for digital screen advertising is in retail stores. Known to improve customer satisfaction, enhance the shopping experience, and highlight promotions and special offers, digital signs are a game changer for small retail businesses. 

Enhancing Customer Experience

In the retail environment, digital advertising significantly enhances the customer experience. Interactive displays can guide shoppers through a store, showcase product information and provide engaging content that keeps customers entertained while they shop. 80% of customers are more likely to check out a store that uses displays. [5] 

These displays can also offer personalised recommendations based on customer preferences, creating a more tailored shopping experience. By integrating this tool, retailers can reduce perceived wait times to make the shopping experience more enjoyable and efficient. 

Promoting Sales and Offers

Digital signs are an effective tool for promoting sales and special offers in retail settings. Dynamic displays can highlight time-sensitive promotions, flash sales and new product arrivals, capturing the attention of shoppers and driving impulse purchases. Research shows that over 40% of customers think that digital displays can affect their buying decisions by offering them relevant information near the point of purchase. [6]

Retailers can easily update content to reflect current deals, ensuring that the promotions are always relevant and enticing. Additionally, digital signage can be used to cross-promote products, encouraging customers to explore a wider range of offerings. 

Retail Case Study: Schutrups–A Century-Old Business Innovating the Retail Experience with MagicINFO

Schutrups case study - why MagicINFO was the right choice

Schutrups, a century-old shoe store in the Netherlands, specialises in custom-fit footwear. They expertly blend traditional shoe crafting with modern orthopaedic support, ensuring every customer enjoys comfort and style in their perfect shoe. 

As Schutrups experienced remarkable growth, two major challenges emerged: enhancing the in-store customer experience and effectively showcasing its diverse product range. With an expanding customer base, Schutrups faced longer waiting times and the need to keep customers engaged and informed during their visit. 

By integrating the MagicINFO software with Samsung displays, they created interactive and visually appealing content that captivated customers. This setup not only showcased their products effectively but also effectively allowed customers to manage their appointments. The result was a significant boost in customer engagement and sales, demonstrating the powerful impact of well-executed digital signage in the retail industry.

This case study illustrates how digital signage can transform the shopping experience, making it more dynamic and customer-centric.


Digital Signage in Restaurants and Cafes

samsung digital signage restaurant

Another industry that embraced the use of digital screens to drive sales and enhance advertising is the restaurant industry

Digital Menu Boards

Digital menu boards in restaurants and cafes provide a modern and flexible way to display menu items and promotions. These boards can be easily updated to reflect changes in the menu, special offers and new items to ensure that customers always have the latest information. 

With digital menus, businesses can also include high-quality images and videos, making the food look more appealing and enticing customers to try new dishes.

Promoting Daily Specials

Restaurants and cafes can use displays to promote daily specials and limited-time offers effectively. By highlighting these specials prominently, businesses can drive interest and increase sales of featured items

Selecting the ideal outdoor and digital signage important menu boards for your restaurant can be a game-changer. It can help to boost sales by up to 38%, enhance customer experience and streamline operations. [7] 

Digital displays can also be used to showcase customer reviews and testimonials, adding an element of social proof that can encourage new customers to try the specials. This flexibility in content management helps restaurants keep their offerings fresh and engaging.


QSR Case Study: Five Lakes Coffee 

digital menu outdoors

Five Lakes Coffee is a family-owned and operated company founded in Michigan, USA. Initially, Five Lakes Coffee worked with external marketing agencies that helped them with their business goals. However, the company was opening a coffee house at a new location and decided to change directions. So, Five Lakes Coffee hired a marketing specialist internally who is also in charge of their digital signage network.

The company owner needed a solution that is extremely user-friendly and intuitive. Five Lakes Coffee wanted to take advantage of a fast setup and get everything up and running for the new coffee house as quickly as possible. 

Five Lakes Coffee uses MagicINFO to encourage customers to follow them on social media, sign up for text alerts, subscribe to their newsletter, visit their website, and order DIY coffee direct from their roastery. All of this and more is in addition to the fact the company uses MagicINFO for their menus so they can update images, text and prices remotely.

When asked if MagicINFO met their expectations, Corey Kline replied: “Yes, there is more we can do with MagicINFO and we plan to explore all of the capabilities in the coming months.” Furthermore, using MagicINFO has proven beneficial for Five Lakes Coffee which is why the company is interested in continuing our partnership. The brand plans to incorporate more video content and is interested in using a video wall. Five Lakes Coffee is happy with MagicINFO and the expert support we provide.



Digital Signage in Offices

digital signage in corporate and office  (1)

Screens can also be used in corporate-like settings. Known to improve internal communication, highlight employee recognition, and offer effective means to schedule meetings, digital signs can elevate any office

Internal Communications

Utilising displays in office environments improves internal communications by providing a centralised platform for sharing important information. This can include company announcements, upcoming events, employee achievements and key performance metrics. 

By displaying this information on screens throughout the office, businesses can ensure that all employees are informed and engaged, fostering a more connected and motivated workforce. ​​

As per recent statistics, 56% of internal communication teams are in the process of evaluating the potential expansion of digital signage as part of their team’s operations. [8] 

Meeting Room Schedules

Digital signs are also useful for managing meeting room schedules. Interactive displays outside meeting rooms can show the current schedule, upcoming meetings and room availability. This helps to streamline the booking process and reduce scheduling conflicts, improving overall efficiency. Employees can quickly check the status of a room and book it as needed. It ensures that meeting spaces are used effectively.

Are you using MagicINFO to power your screens? Looking for an easy way to manage company meetings? MeetingPoint is the solution for you. Compatible with all calendar apps, this MagicINFO add-on can take your meeting game to the next level. 


Measuring the Success and ROI of Digital Signage 

To ensure your digital signage efforts are paying off, it is essential to measure success and return on investment (ROI). By tracking engagement and analysing data, you can continually improve your digital signage strategy and achieve better results.

Tracking Engagement

Effective digital signage captures and retains the audience’s attention. Here is how to track engagement.

1. Audience Metrics

Use sensors or cameras to measure viewer count and dwell time. This data indicates how many people are interacting with your displays and for how long.

2. Content Interaction

Track how often interactive elements are used. This includes touchscreens, QR code scans and other forms of direct interaction.

3. Feedback Collection 

Implement ways for customers to provide feedback directly through the signage, such as surveys or interactive polls. This provides valuable insights into how your content is received.


Analysing Data for Improvements

Once you have gathered engagement data, it is time to analyse it. Doing so allows you to refine your digital signage strategy easily.

1. Performance Metrics

Review metrics like viewership, interaction rates and content effectiveness to identify trends and areas for improvement.

 2. A/B Testing

Conduct A/B tests on different content versions to see which performs better. Adjust your content based on the results to optimise effectiveness. Just remember each instance is supposed to test one change so do not feel tempted to create completely different versions as this will damage the quality of your insights. 

3. ROI Calculations

Compare the costs of your digital signage (hardware, software, content creation) against the benefits (increased sales, customer engagement, reduced wait times) to determine ROI. This helps justify the investment and guide future budgeting.

By systematically tracking engagement and analysing data, you can enhance your digital signs' impact, ensuring they deliver meaningful results and a strong ROI for your small business.



Digital signage is truly a game changer for small businesses, enhancing customer engagement, promoting products, and streamlining operations. Learning the basics of this technology, such as the different types of displays and their applications in various industries, means organisations can effectively integrate this technology into their marketing strategies. 

Real-world applications in retail, restaurants, and offices demonstrate the versatility and effectiveness of digital screen advertising. For instance, retail businesses can enhance customer experience and drive sales through dynamic promotions, while restaurants can use digital menu boards to showcase daily specials and new items. Offices benefit from improved internal communications and efficient meeting room management.

In conclusion, digital screens are a powerful tool that offers numerous benefits for small businesses. Investing in the right tools and strategies will ensure your business stands out in a competitive market to provide a modern and engaging experience for your customers.



[1] /www.alenkamedia.com/blog/2019/03/07/the-power-of-digital-signage/

[2] https://www.databeat.net/databeatblog/15-surprising-statistics-about-digital-signage

[3] https://www.aiscreen.io/blog/digital-signage/digital-signage-statistics-2024/#id-4

[4] https://display-innovations.com/digital-signage-key-statistics

[5] https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en_us/solutions/industries/retail/downloads/dms_brochure_070

[6] https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/industry-reports/digital-signage-market-101898

[7] https://www.nmrestaurants.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Driving-Sales-with-Digital-Menu-Boards-NWM.pdf

[8] https://www.apollotechnical.com/workplace-communication-statistics/



What are the benefits of digital signage for small businesses?

Digital signs offer numerous benefits for small businesses, including enhanced customer engagement, increased sales through dynamic promotions and improved brand visibility. It allows for real-time updates, ensuring your content is always relevant and timely, which can significantly improve customer experience and retention.

How can I set up digital signage for a small business?

Setting up digital screens for a small business involves selecting the right hardware (like displays and media players), choosing user-friendly software and designing engaging content. Start by defining your goals, then choose a scalable solution that fits your budget. Finally, strategically place your displays to maximise visibility and impact.

What is the best digital signage software for small businesses?

The best software for small businesses using digital screen advertising includes features such as ease of use, scalability, robust content management and compatibility with various hardware, making them ideal for small business needs. Popular options include MagicINFO, NoviSign, ScreenCloud etc. 

How can interactive digital signage enhance customer engagement?

Interactive digital signage enhances customer engagement by allowing customers to interact directly with the content. This can include touchscreens for product browsing, QR codes for additional information, and motion sensors for dynamic displays. It creates an immersive experience that keeps customers engaged and increases their likelihood of making a purchase.

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