It is not hard to understand why LCD displays screens are rapidly being adopted by retail stores and restaurants. InfoTrends conducted a digital signage study where they polled consumers and found that “digital signage displays have a 47.7% effectiveness on brand awareness, increase the average purchase amount by 29.5%, create a 31.8% upswing in overall sales volumes, generate a 32.8% growth in repeat buyers and generate 32.8% more in-store traffic”.
LCD display screens are being used by restaurants for displaying the menu and entertainment, by garment and clothing retail stores to show videos of fashion shows and to showcase various products, and by automobile dealers as video walls to provide the feel of the car on the road and to keep the customer occupied as they wait for sales agent or other people.
LCD Display Usage in Restaurants: When visiting KFC Hyderabad (India), what grabs your attention is not so much the smell of food but the vibrant colours of the four 42-inch LCD display panels which serves as the overhead menu board. KFC Hyderabad sought the help of Sharp Business Systems India to set up the digital signage solution. LCD digital menus can be maintained from a remote central location or a local PC set up in the store. The benefit of remote central management is that menu, promotions, video, pricing and other items displayed on the LCD displays in the retail outlet can be managed from one central location to provide consistency and to make sure that the changes are made consistently across all stores at the same time. Consumers receive dynamic previews of the offering with potential for positive impact on sales. If restaurants have the networked point-of-sale cash registers collecting time based purchased data, marketing can get instantaneous feedback on how different promotions and pricing are having impact on sales.
Restaurants are also using LCD displays as televisions to spruce up the restaurant atmosphere. It is now a common expectation to have LCD TVs in restaurants that show the local sports or the news.
LCD Display Usage in Showrooms: Whether it is women clothing store, automobile showroom, convenient store or a department store, LCD displays are appearing in all these locations. A typical store has up to four LCD displays per site. InfoTrends study showed that business that had installed displays in their showroom, predominantly expected the display usage in their showrooms to increase. To grab and hold consumer attention, retailers are using LCD displays in a video-wall format or in a daisy chain format along with stand alone units. The content could be a mixture of video along with text or a combination. The goal is to target specific customers with specific information and this information may change with the time of the day – creating a retail company-owned, closed-circuit television network that runs nothing but the retail company programming.
Why do Retail Businesses Select LCD Displays vs. Plasma Displays?
There are a number of reasons why retailers and restaurants are selecting LCD display over plasma displays.
· Fan-less Architecture of LCDs: LCD displays do not have a fan potentially resulting in less noise and distraction. This is less of an issue with newer higher end plasma displays, however it is worthwhile to keep track as you evaluate the two options.
· Rugged Design of LCDs: LCD displays are closed-box units and more rugged. There is less chance of oil fumes, dust or other elements getting into the unit and reducing the life of the unit.
· Resolution and Picture Quality: (A) Video resolution on LCD displays and plasma display are comparable but computer data is better observed on LCD displays. (B) LCDs are better to view in ambient light or in brightly lit rooms. As businesses usually work during the day in ambient light, LCDs are more desirable for most business applications. (C) Plasma manufacturers have made much of their viewing angles. However with new LCDs the view angles are 176°. There is not much difference between the two technologies in viewing angle. (D) There have been concerns with burn-in for Plasma screens especially for static images. However, many Plasma manufacturers have improved their anti-burn in technology. There are no burn-in issues with LCD screens.
· Life of the Display Unit: LCDs can be operated 24×7 for 50,000+ hours equivalent to 5+ years of continuous viewing. Plasma, on the other hand, typically has a half life of 30,000 hours. At half life, the phosphors in a plasma screen will glow half as brightly as they did when the set was new. There is no way to replace these gases; the display simply continues to become dimmer with use. An LCD TV will last as long as its backlight – and in many models the backlight bulbs can be easily replaced!
· Power Consumption: Plasma TVs use more power than LCD – twice as much
Technology for both plasma and LCD display continues to change. Be sure to check updates to the technology for apple to apple comparison.