Signage – hot topic for laundry owners. How much? Do customers even read it? Signs for rules, promotions or tips on how to use our precious machines? Etc. Regardless – as more and more laundromat owners modernize their stores to improve customer experience, digital signs are on the list of improvements they could make.
There’s a multitude of options out there – including putting some images on a thumb drive and plugging it in to the TV and running a slide show. But I believe that falls short because every time I want to update content, I don’t want to get on a ladder to get the drive and upload new content for the thumb drive for each screen. In fact, I don’t even want to
There are many digital sign solutions and most have their roots in big corporate environments so their functionality and complexity and pricing may be overkill for a laundromat looking for a simple solution. I looked at 5 of them through the eyes of laundromat owners and frankly they all compare pretty evenly when it comes to look at a checklist of features. You can count on any of the 5 options in this article to -
Work with a variety of “physical” setups – wired/wireless, players plugged directly in to the screen, players that work thru an HDMI switch or splitter that feeds all of the screens, etc.
Be managed remotely
Have templates for you to start from and widgets to bring display info like local weather or time of day
Allow you to make playlists of your content and schedule them to play at different days/times
Enable you to use most files like PDF and Microsoft Office or online content from Google Workspace. Sometimes they do the conversion for you and sometimes there are a couple extra steps…but if you are comfortable designing your content in those formats, you will be able to make it work.
So then if they are all so similar, how does one decide? I think it comes down to monthly cost, what it takes to create content and if you have strong preferences and/or options for the player hardware device(s) you want to use.
If you don’t care about the details and just want a decision -- I have been using Yodeck in my store since July 2021 Initially I chose it because of cost and because it automatically converted PowerPoint slides in to files that worked on the digital sign player. I also liked the fact that I could buy the hardware directly from them so I know there wouldn’t be finger pointing when it came to technical support problems. After doing this evaluation in April 2022 I still feel good about my decision but the advanced content editor from Optisign has me considering the switch.
Yodeck offers the lowest monthly cost and is free for 1 screen. If you connect that player to an HDMI switch/splitter you can power multiple screens w/o paying a monthly cost. Yodeck supports a wide variety of content and even offers a design service that will make digital signage for you starting at $20.
Xogo costs a little bit more than Yodeck, but supports a wider variety of hardware – so even if you have an old tablet lying around, you can probably turn it in to a Xogo signage device. Their free pricing tier limits you to 15 items in your content library, so you may find yourself deleting content to make space for new stuff. They also offer a design service and have a pretty impress list of clients including Microsoft.
Optisign is competitively priced to Yodeck and Xogo but doesn’t offer a free tier. It supports a wide variety of devices and operating systems. The Optisign content editor was the richest in functionality and when combined with their templates could make anyone a decent digital sign designer.
Novisign and Screencloud have their roots in the corporate environment and will support just about any content you throw at it, has advanced security and collaboration features. So for a few dollars more a month, you can get lots of advanced functionality – so if you are a multi-store owner or have more complex content display needs, Screencloud and Novisign are definitely worth a look.