Digital Signage vs. Print Signage in Retail

Digital Signage Display showcasing products and promotions in a retail store Product

Print signage in the form of posters, pamphlets, vinyl banners, cardboard standees, etc. have been ubiquitous in the retail space for decades. However, this landscape is soon changing as more and more retailers are opting for digital signage solutions. Here are some of the most important reasons for the popularity of digital signage. 

Cost Effectiveness of Digital Signage

In the short term, printing posters certainly sounds cheaper than getting a digital signage display. However, in the long term, it is the digital version that will turn out to be more cost effective. Print signage requires investment in design, printing, distribution, setup and admin. Think about all the different prints you are going to need every season, year after year, and the costs for print signage start to add up. On the other hand, digital signage requires some upfront investment in terms of smart TV, monitors, or displays and an ongoing subscription with a cloud-based service provider. 

Customer Engagement with Digital Signage

It is easy to turn a blind eye to a poster that is hanging in the corner of a store. But, it is not easy to ignore a lit up screen, with constantly moving images, that is placed directly in your line of sight. Digital signage is much better at not only attracting your customers’ attention, it is also very effective at keeping them engaged with ever-changing content. The more engaged your customers are with your signage, the more likely they are to view your offers, discounts and other promotional messaging. 

Real-time Updates

One of the biggest challenges of print signage is that it takes anything from days to weeks to go through the entire process of designing, printing, distributing and setting up these signs. On the other hand, digital signage offers you the opportunity to create updates to your messaging in real-time. Especially if you are using cloud-based digital signage systems, you can have your updates up on the displays in a matter of moments. 

Environmental Impact of Digital Signage

Whether you realise it or not, print signage comes with a huge environmental impact. From printing to delivery to disposal, print signage leaves a trail of large quantities of chemicals, solvents and toxic substances that pollute the environment. As mentioned above, a retailer would go through a large number of print signs year after year, exponentially increasing their carbon footprint over time. On the other hand, digital signages are far more energy efficient and can be made to run on clean energy. Thus, upgrading from print to digital is often seen as an environmentally responsible step. 


This reason dates back to the beginning of competition. If your competitor has an environmentally-responsible, cost-effective and user-friendly method of attracting and engaging customers, and you do not, your competitor will have an edge over you that you will find it hard to compete against. As more and more retailers switch from print to digital, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stay competitive in the retail space without a digital signage system of one’s own. 

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