The biggest barrier to digital signage isn't a bigger screen, but rather a smaller one: the consumer's smartphone. It's hard for your display to be relevant to a customer when they have a more relevant Facebook page open on their phone. One way, however, for retailers to reach these distracted customers is to integrate interactive elements into digital signage. At that point, digital signage has crossed the border into the world of kiosks. Could kiosks be the future for digital signage?

Big markets

Both digital signage and kiosks are making big money, according to various reports from different research groups. Both digital signage and kiosks are expected to hit more than $30 billion by 2023.

These markets are separate simply because they offer different products. Kiosks are primarily interactive tools meant to draw in customers for a longer time than digital signage. Digital signage, on the other hand, is primarily meant to push messages to customers in a short amount of time, whether it be advertisements or information.

Digital signage only requires a display, a media player and the right software. However, once you add a touch interlay over it, the line between a kiosk and display becomes very blurry. From there, it's easy to add a wireless printer, scanner and other kiosk-like tools.

These kiosk-like elements also help digital signage deliver that truly special element: relevant dynamic content.

Better content

It's not so much that content is king, it's that customers won't pay attention if your content isn't relevant. Many vendors are attempting to innovate with digital signage by enabling dynamic content that changes based on customer footfall, demographics and customer input.

A mall display, for example, could analyze a customer's face to uncover that he is a middle aged man and push out an advertisement for a discount at the sports store.

Interactive kiosk elements can improve overall content for digital signage through several methods. Using that mall display as a example, that same man could come up to the display and touch the screen to receive a coupon to his phone.

If not enough customers come up to interact with the display, however, the mall can take that into account and switch up the content. In essence, the interactive elements adds an extra step of engagement, whereas before the customer would be only a passive receiver of information.

That being said, you don't necessarily need a touchscreen to engage customers