Consumers love environmentally conscious companies. Research from Accenture shows that consumers are buying 72% more environmentally friendly products than they were five years ago, while IBM and the National Retail Federation found buyers are willing to pay around 35% more money for products from eco-friendly brands. The age of waste is over; the age of responsible business has begun.
Making the switch isn’t always easy, though. Companies have limitless options to reduce their environmental impact. Recycling policies, green buildings, sustainable sourcing — every option looks like a good one.
No one can do everything at once, and many changes for the sake of the environment cost a pretty penny to implement. Moving or building a green office can cost millions of dollars, while adding a recycling bin to the break room might run $50.
In most cases, money spent correlates directly with environmental friendliness, but not always. Digital signage offers one of the most cost-effective methods for companies to reduce their environmental impact, while improving their communications capabilities in the bargain.
The Case Against Paper Signage
Paper signage is easy, but that’s about all it has going for it. The more paper a company uses, the more harm it causes the environment. According to the numbers, that harm has gotten out of control.
Half of all business waste is composed of paper, according to The World Counts. Worse, The World Counts expects paper demand to double by 2030, indicating that companies are not taking advantage of more environmentally and cost-friendly solutions. Gordon Flesch Company paints an even more frustrating picture, claiming around 30% of all print jobs never leave the printer.
Businesses claim to stick to paper for monetary reasons, but those reasons don’t hold up to scrutiny. DataScope reports that money spent on storage, copying, printing and postage can increase paper costs to 3,000% of actual purchase costs. Flyers and posters may seem cheap at first, but the costs add up over time.
Consumers want to give their business to eco-friendly companies. Why not demonstrate a commitment to the world’s future by ditching wasteful, expensive paper products for a superior digital solution?
Benefits Of Digital Signage
Consider the advantages of switching to digital signage from financial, environmental and experiential perspectives:
Personalize messaging to match the audience: Paper signs appeal to wide audiences. Companies usually order massive stacks of signage at once, which means they must water down their messaging to appeal to the lowest common denominator. That approach typically leads to lukewarm success, but in the 2020s, customers expect personalized recommendations and relevant messaging.
Ditch paper and use digital signage to create messages that can change with the touch of a button. The in-store experience has become a vital differentiator in the age of e-Commerce, which means brick-and-mortar locations cannot afford to have their messaging fall flat. With digital signage, stores can update sales on a whim, target more specific customer groups depending on location and time, and maintain more control over their communications.
Create more dynamic visuals: Not even the most eye-popping paper signage can hold a candle to digital alternatives. The human eye looks for bright colors, contrasts, and motion — paper signage can only provide two out of three. Digital signage, on the other hand, can create far more appealing visuals to engage customers and direct their interest in the direction a company wants it.
Because of its customizable nature, digital signage makes it easy for stores to use more vibrant content. Why limit social campaigns to the Internet when digital signage can put user-submitted photos right in the store? Blending the digital and the physical creates endless possibilities for creative engagement.
Save money and save the planet: Digital signs cost more than paper signs — but only once. After that, they continue to work for years, whereas paper products often end up in the trash in a matter of days or hours. Think about how much money goes into paper products, paper shipping, paper storage and paper management. Replace all those recurring costs with a single digital investment, and the move pays for itself in no time.
Just as importantly, that single investment takes paper processes and paper waste out of the environmental equation. Digital signage doesn’t just replace paper signage on the floor: it also removes the need to have trucks deliver more paper and to have landfills accommodate more paper. Removing one paper process creates a chain reaction of environmental benefits.
Big brands aren’t the only ones that can afford to change the world. Small businesses can make big changes too, and switching from paper products to digital signage is one of the easiest changes to make. Give digital signage a shot to reap the benefits of both a better solution and a healthier planet.
Bobby Marhamat is the CEO of Raydiant, a digital signage provider that helps businesses turn their TVs into interactive signs that drive sales, improve the in-store experience, and reinforce brand messaging. Prior to joining Raydiant, Marhamat served as the COO of Revel Systems, where he worked on the front lines with over 25,000 brick-and-mortar retailers. Marhamat has held leadership positions, including CEO, CRO and VP of Sales, at companies such as Highfive, Limos.com, EVO2, Verizon Wireless, LookSmart, ServerPlex Networks, and Sprint/Nextel. When he’s not spending his time thinking about the future of brick-and-mortar retail, you can find him traveling, reading or tending to his vegetable garden.