Best Digital Signage System Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right Solution for Your Needs

  • By Danielle Dixon
  • Mar 14, 2024
  • Establishing Your Business

Digital signage has become an innovative and powerful tool for communication and engagement. However, it goes beyond being just cool new technology; it’s a fantastic opportunity for businesses to connect with their audience in fun and creative ways.

With panels making an appearance everywhere, from shopping malls to small-town bakeries, the question isn’t whether to adopt digital signage, but how to do it right.

It’s also not just about choosing the most aesthetically pleasing or feature-rich solution, but the digital signage system that aligns with your goals, budget, and the unique aspects of your business.

In this comprehensive buyer’s guide, we take a deep dive into the crucial steps for selecting the best digital signage system tailored to your business needs.

Understanding Your Needs

First things first, make sure you know your usage context and goals. Digital signage has many uses, so figuring out your specific needs will shape all your future choices.

Content & Display Goals

Begin by figuring out what you want to accomplish with your digital signage. Just ask yourself:

  • What type of content will you showcase – videos, images, text, or interactive elements?
  • What message are you looking to communicate – inform, advertise, entertain, or some combination?
  • How many screens do you need to effectively deliver your message to your audience?
  • Where will the screens be located – indoors or outdoors, in public or private spaces?

When you answer these questions, you’re laying the groundwork for the system you require, whether it’s just one or two screens in the local convenience store or a bunch of displays spread across a big city.

Budget Considerations

Knowing your financial limits is key. Your budget needs to cover the following costs:

  • Hardware – including the displays, media players, and any additional equipment like mounts and cabling.
  • Software – which can range from one-time licensing fees to monthly subscriptions.
  • Content Creation – whether you’ll manage in-house or outsource to agencies.
  • Installation and Ongoing Maintenance – consider all potential hidden costs, such as additional staff training.

There are ways to save on costs. Cloud-based software typically requires a lower upfront investment than buying software licenses. You can also explore creating your own content using templates or free design tools, although this might require more time on your end.

When choosing, remember that going for the most expensive option might not always match your needs. It’s wise to strike a balance between what you wish for and what your budget allows. It’s essential to consider both aspects to ensure a decision that satisfies your desires without straining your financial resources.

Choosing Hardware

Selecting the right digital signage hardware is crucial because it directly affects the appearance, performance, and lifespan of your digital signage system.

Digital Signage Displays

Different display types have their own perks and work better for specific needs.

  • Commercial-Grade TVs: A budget-friendly choice made for indoor use, giving businesses top-notch display features for vivid presentations, digital signs, and more.
  • Professional-Grade Displays: Excel in high-demand environments where top-notch performance and reliability are supreme, making them the ideal choice for businesses seeking exceptional visual solutions.
  • Tablets and iPads: Provide a flexible platform for interactive and touch-screen apps, boosting user engagement and improving the overall experience with user-friendly interfaces and smooth operation.
  • Video Walls: Offer a cool way to create immersive large displays that grab attention with stunning visuals, perfect for events, retail spaces, and eye-catching ads.

Additional Hardware

In addition to the screen, you’ll need media players, mounts, enclosures, and potentially other accessories to create a comprehensive and well-equipped setup for your multimedia needs. Each component plays a crucial role in ensuring a seamless and efficient multimedia experience, allowing you to enjoy your content.

Choosing Software

The software you choose will play a critical role in shaping the functionality and versatility of your digital signage system.

Features to Consider

When you’re looking at software options for the best digital signage system, make sure to pay attention to these key factors:

  • Check out content creation and scheduling tools that not only have user-friendly interfaces but also pack a punch in features to meet your needs effectively.
  • See remote content management solutions that let you update and tweak things seamlessly without having to be near the screens, so you can control your content like a boss from wherever you are.
  • Dive into different playback options, like single-screen, multi-screen, and playlists, to craft engaging visual experiences that keep your audience hooked.
  • Keep user access control and top-notch security features in mind to protect your content from prying eyes and security risks.
  • Also, think about software solutions with great integration capabilities to ensure smooth connections with other systems, boosting the efficiency of your digital setup.

Software Types

There are significant differences between cloud-based and on-premise digital signage software:

  • Cloud-Based: Known for its high flexibility and user-friendliness, cloud-based software is typically subscription-based. It suits businesses looking for a straightforward, ready-to-use solution that requires minimal IT support.
  • On-Premise: Provides full control and can be more cost-effective over the long term for larger deployments. It’s the choice of businesses with specific security and operational requirements.

Deployment and Installation

The success of your digital signage deployment largely depends on its installation and subsequent content management.

Installation Considerations

Consider the logistical challenges of your installation, like these:

Power and Network Connectivity

It’s key to have enough power outlets for the displays and any extra gear needed. For remote management and content updates, make sure the network connection is good. Think about using surge protectors or UPS to shield the system from power changes.

Mounting and Securing the Displays

It’s crucial to choose the right mounting hardware depending on the size and weight of the best digital signage displays for your business. Ensure the displays are securely fastened to the mounts to prevent accidents or theft. Also, make sure the mounting spot offers the best viewing angles for the audience.

Cable Management for a Clean and Professional Look

It’s smart to use cable management solutions like cable trays, raceways, or cable clips to tidy up cables. Planning cable routes to reduce visibility and tripping risks is key. And don’t forget to label cables for easy identification during maintenance or troubleshooting!

Content Creation and Management

Content creation should be an ongoing process. Consider the following:

Tips for Designing Engaging and Informative Content

When creating content, consider using eye-catching visuals, compelling storytelling techniques, and interactive elements to captivate your audience. Incorporating relevant data and insights can also enhance the informative value of your content, making it both engaging and educational.

Remember to tailor your content to your target audience’s preferences and interests to ensure maximum impact and relevance.

By implementing these strategies, you can elevate the quality of your content and effectively connect with your readers on a deeper level.

Scheduling Content Updates and Managing Playlists

Elevate your content strategy by meticulously planning the timing of updates to ensure they resonate with your audience.

Additionally, craft curated playlists tailored to keep your viewers captivated, encouraging repeat visits and prolonged engagement with your content offerings.

Costs and Pricing

Understanding the costs and exploring ways to manage them is an essential part of the buying process.

Breakdown of Costs


The initial costs of displays, media players, mounts, and any additional equipment you may need will vary depending on the quality and specifications of each component. It’s important to consider factors like durability, compatibility, and scalability when budgeting for hardware expenses.


This category encompasses not just the initial purchase cost but also any licensing fees or subscription costs associated with maintaining and updating the software over time. Consider the features, support, and integration capabilities of the software to ensure it meets your business needs effectively.

Content Creation

For many businesses, creating compelling visuals might require an investment in software, training, or professional services. Explore different content creation tools and techniques to enhance the visual appeal and effectiveness of your displays.

Installation and Ongoing Maintenance

Budget for setup and anticipate ongoing costs like device monitoring and remote troubleshooting. Prioritize regular maintenance to prevent downtime and ensure the seamless operation of your digital signage system.

Cost-Saving Strategies

To keep your investment in check:

  • Consider used or refurbished equipment with proper due diligence and warranty.
  • Explore open-source software options, keeping in mind that they might require more technical expertise to use effectively.
  • Learn basic content creation skills within your team to reduce dependency on external services.

How to Choose the Right Digital Signage Solution


Choosing the best digital signage system is a significant decision that should not be rushed. By understanding your needs, assessing your budget, and carefully evaluating hardware and software options, you can ensure that your investment pays off in terms of engaging content and positive customer experiences.

While it might seem overwhelming at first, particularly for those new to digital signage, this guide provides a strong framework to simplify the process. Take your time to research, compare, and, if possible, test different systems before making a final decision.

Remember, in the world of digital signage, customization is key, and what worked for another business might not be the best fit for yours.

Make the jump from traditional to digital signage a breeze with FTx Digital Signage, our one-stop-shop that will quickly kick-start your journey.

You can showcase your business with eye-catching digital signs with 1,000s of free digital signage templates to choose from! You can also easily create real-time promotional messages in stores or schedule them ahead for days, weeks, or even months.

Explore our digital signage system using FTx AdPro, our graphic design tool. Effortlessly create and modify professional designs with our intuitive drag-and-drop interface, vast stock photo library, and more – all included at no additional charge!

Ready to get started with us? Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation and experience a demo!


Reduced Costs for Printing and Materials

One of the major benefits of digital signage is the substantial reduction in costs associated with traditional printing and materials. By eliminating expenses for printing, distributing, and replacing physical advertising materials like posters, menus, and flyers, businesses can experience cost savings that contribute to overall efficiency and sustainability.

Boosted Sales and Revenue

Digital signage provides a platform to effectively promote products, special offers, and upselling opportunities. By leveraging visually engaging content, businesses can capture the attention of customers and influence their purchasing decisions positively. This targeted approach to showcasing promotions can lead to increased sales and revenue generation.

Stronger Customer Engagement

Engaging customers through dynamic content is key to building brand loyalty and recognition. Digital signage allows businesses to create immersive experiences using videos, animations, and interactive elements that resonate with their target audience. By enhancing customer interaction, businesses can establish a deeper connection with customers, driving brand engagement and loyalty.

Improved Customer Experience

Enhancing customer satisfaction is crucial for fostering long-term relationships with customers. Digital signage plays a vital role in improving the overall customer experience by providing real-time updates on wait times, product information, and service details. This level of transparency and convenience contributes to a seamless and positive customer journey, ultimately leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty.

How well it works really comes down to how it fits your business and target audience.

Start by doing your homework. Look into how digital signage is used in your industry online. Consider who your audience is and how they like to see content to figure out if they'll like visually engaging stuff.

Also, see if your competitors are using digital signage and how well it's working for them.

Here is a breakdown:


Low Budget

  • Tablets or iPads for indoor signage
  • Low-cost monitors can also serve as a good choice for basic indoor signage

Mid-Range Budget

  • Commercial-grade TVs

High Budget

  • Professional-grade digital signage displays (great for demanding applications, like outdoor signage or large indoor displays)



  • Tablets, monitors, commercial-grade TVs, and professional-grade digital signage displays


  • High brightness displays that can endure weather conditions
  • LED video walls for large outdoor displays

Desired Features

  • Commercial-grade TV to showcase static images, videos, and basic animations
  • Touchscreen display or tablet for interactive use
  • 4K resolution display for high-quality visuals and text
  • Integrated digital signage software for remote content management

What you need all comes down to your specific goals. However, it’s important to focus on these key features:

  • User-friendly interface for seamless content creation and editing
  • Drag-and-drop feature for efficient content assembly
  • Scheduled delivery for timely content distribution
  • Centralized content library for convenient access and version control
  • Multi-screen compatibility to customize messages for diverse audiences
  • Offline playback for displaying content without an internet connection
  • Remote monitoring and control for centralized display management, issue resolution, and content updates

Even if you're not a graphic designer, you can whip up cool content for your digital displays.

Here are some tips to jazz up your content and catch your audience's eye:

  • Keep your messages short and sweet to make it easier for your audience to get the gist.
  • To ensure folks can catch your message from afar, go for big fonts and eye-catching visuals.
  • When it comes to visuals, stick to images and videos that tie into your message.
  • Mix it up! Combine still images with captivating videos and animations to hold your audience's attention.
  • Get to know your crowd. Tailor your content to what clicks with them. Think about their demographics, interests, and what matters most to them.

Beyond the initial cost, it's important to consider the ongoing expenses linked to running a digital signage system.

These may include costs for content creation and management, software updates, maintenance, technical support, and potential upgrades to keep the system running smoothly and effectively.

Considering these factors will help you plan and budget for the long-term success of your digital signage deployment.

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Business Experts & Contributors

A New Solution Coming To FasTrax

Danielle is a content writer at FTx POS. She specializes in writing about all-in-one, cutting-edge POS and business solutions that can help companies stand out. In addition to her passions for reading and writing, she also enjoys crafts and watching documentaries.

Danielle Dixon

Content Writer
A New Solution Coming To FasTrax

Matthew Davis is a content marketing specialist for FTx POS. With experience in marketing, brick-and-mortar retail, and ecommerce, Matthew enjoys writing about strategies and technology retailers can use to grow. Previously, he managed retail operations for a sports/entertainment facility and worked in marketing consulting.

Matthew Davis

SEO Specialist/Content Writer

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