Shihas Kizhisseri, the Chief Executive Officer at Pixcom Group of Companies, speaks about the state of digital signage industry in the region
In terms of signage and digital signage which products and solutions are your focus areas this year?
Our primary focus for the next two years will be on big events which are happening in the Middle-East region such as Expo 2020-21 and the FIFA World Cup 2022. There will be an influx of tourists and visitors which means that it will be an explosive year for the digital signage industry.
We are expecting digital signage to grow over 20% by 2022 in the UAE. It is being predicted that the Middle East and Africa digital signage market is going to register a compound annual growth rate of over 6% by 2025. Our focus going ahead remains on outdoor LED Displays but our solutions are focused on improving interaction and online integration. We also are working on rolling out smart retail solutions this year.
How are digital signage products being used these days?
In both the private and the public sectors, digital signage has grown rapidly. This is largely due to the prevailing circumstances and the shifting consumer preferences which more and more businesses are adopting and deploying. The disruptive trends of using artificial intelligence, automation, and Internet of Things (IOT) has already been impacting the industry and region rapidly.
What do you see as some of the key trends right now in the digital signage/interactive experiences market?
We at Pixcom predict that Internet of Things (IoT) AR and AI are among the key trends that are likely to influence the industry. As AI, AR and IOT further develop and merge with technology like digital signage, the level of personalization will grow to a great extent. Productivity will increase as a result of Artificial Intelligence.
Artificial intelligence and augmented reality are rapidly becoming household names as companies, ranging from big retailers to small restaurants, embrace these Technologies.
How can retailers use these technologies to guide the customer journey?
With digital signage already making customer experiences in retail more comfortable, once AI, AR and IoT are enabled, this will push the customer journey even further. The ease with which consumers can find the products and the speed with which they become aware of products suited for them will grow, as well.
AI in particular will have a deep impact on the customer journey. What customers want is the next level of personalization. Multiple digital agencies are already talking about the hyper-personalized future of retail. Retailers are trying to understand and retain individual customer preferences, behavior, tastes, and needs. Predictive analytics, intelligent in-store experiences, chat bots, etc are all technological advancements that have been used by retailers already to enhance and personalize the customer journey.
What is changing about the way customers interact with technology?
Brands are listening and learning from customers and are adapting their offerings to match the demands. Customers want a more frictionless experience where they can do everything seamlessly.
Customers want an omnichannel service experience where they can engage with brands through a variety of digital mediums. With remote working becoming the norm, face-to-face video communication is seeing a spike. Just like with human interaction, even in video comms, eye contact is a must. Video will probably kill the audio star.
Customers are also now accepting the fact that self-service will be an important part of safety. And now buying decisions will be more data-driven. The importance of good contactless visual communication cannot be overstated.