The Transformational Impact of Exterior Digital Signage on a Small Business

June 11, 2024

Today, exterior digital signage has evolved to the point where it offers a reliable way for small businesses, in particular, to use external digital signage to increase visibility, build their brand, and offer real-time communication.

It has the potential to be ruggedized in such a way that it can withstand outdoor elements and offer a much more reliable and long-term tool for engaging with customers and sharing real-time information.

Exterior digital signage is changing the way small businesses communicate with their customer base by catching their attention early. It offers opportunities for engagement through features like QR codes that customers can scan as they walk or drive by a sign to learn more information. Real-time updates and promotions also increase impulse purchases. All of this builds sales and loyalty.

Key Benefits of Exterior Digital Signage for Small Businesses

So, what are the key benefits of exterior signage systems for small businesses?

Increased Visibility

The biggest is increased visibility. One of the previous drawbacks to marketing efforts for small businesses was a more limited budget compared to larger corporations. This meant that the cost of physical signs, banners, posters, and even billboards might have been out of reach.

However, the investment in exterior digital signage is much more approachable for many small businesses across multiple industries. This is also a one-time investment in the hardware needed to sustain long-term visibility efforts. All of this helps small businesses make the most out of a limited marketing budget.

More importantly, digital signage can capture more attention than traditional signage, as modifications can be made and dynamic elements such as videos, graphics, and other moving pieces can be incorporated.

Brand Building

In addition to increased visibility, the use of exterior signage systems provides small businesses a chance to enhance their brand identity and presence with dynamic content. This could be something as simple as:

  • Daily puns 
  • Quick facts about a product
  • Quirky jokes related to a service
  • Graphics 
  • Videos

For example:

A small store could use a digital sign to show pictures of the sheep and the farm from which they generate their wool products. In supporting sustainable efforts, they can also use exterior digital signage to provide key statistics about the need to support local products and sustainable farming practices. That sign could increase brand visibility by offering linked video content through things like QR codes and social media with more information about the sustainability of their products.

Real-Time Communication

External outdoor signage provides a means by which small businesses can quickly update promotions, events, or a change in service. 

For example:

A Greek restaurant whose employees are going back to Greece for the summer might need a digital sign to quickly update reduced hours of operation for the summer with a note about how the family is going home for a reunion, but they will be back to full staff in September.

A company that is switching their inventory might provide a change to the exterior digital signage that lets people know all of their wine is $10 per bottle and everything must go by the end of the week. 

exterior digital signage

Strategic Placement and Design

Exterior digital signage has the potential to provide a brighter display that remains visible long term, unlike other exterior displays which weather with time, becoming dull and unreadable. However, the success of your external digital signage is based in large part on where you strategically place the signs. 

Tip: Exterior digital signage should be placed in the most high traffic areas where it can grab the attention of those who are walking or driving by. This might be at a busy intersection closest to your storefront or along the sidewalks in a shopping center.

Your goal in placement should be to optimize visibility and impact. Below are some guidelines:

  • Place your exterior signage systems in the most high traffic areas which might include directly outside of your front doors, on the street, or in a shopping center.
  • Where you place your exterior digital signage should be somewhat protected against direct sunlight as much as possible. If it's impossible to avoid extreme heat exposure, you can invest more money in protective kiosks inside of which the digital display can rest.
  • Make sure that you consider the height and angle adjusted for optimal visibility based on where you have your digital signage installed.

Tip: Consider areas that have limited competing elements, like an empty wall against which you can place your sign. Your goal is to have at least 5 feet of empty space around the entirety of your display screen so that it optimizes the attention-grabbing capacity of your content. 

If you install your external screens in an area that's already overcrowded with other advertisements it can make it more difficult to reach your target audience. 

You also have to consider the design of what you are promoting. Make sure that it's easily readable and measure the average distance that someone will be walking or driving, considering when the sign comes into view and how many seconds they have to read whatever you are displaying before they walk or drive by it.

Create content that uses high-quality graphics or animations to quickly grab attention. If there is promotional information or real-time data, make sure the font and colors used are minimal so that you can encourage more impulse decisions.

Enhancing Customer Experience 

The right exterior digital signage systems can improve the customer experience from the moment they approach your business to the actual point of sale.


  • For some customers, digital signage showcases sales and quick products that are discounted for a limited time. 
  • For some customers, digital signage directs them to a store they are looking for, which is already in a crowded shopping center or busy street corner.
  • For some customers, digital signage lets them know more about the quality or competitiveness of a company, by displaying key stats about what is or isn’t in a product or how eco-friendly a manufacturing process is. 

How is this achieved?

In small part thanks to interactive elements like QR codes that customers can scan as they walk or drive by to get more information. Such elements make customer interactions more engaging and personalized.


The right exterior digital signage systems have transformative potential for small businesses. They can enhance the customer experience, increase visibility, and build your brand successfully. Consider digital signage as a strategic investment for growth and customer engagement.

Get Started

Ready for the ultimate credit card processing experience? Fill out this form!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
engage your Customers with ease
Simple, One Click  Sign-UP
Try Free
14-day Free trial
It’s So Easy, Anyone Can Do It.
Delight & engage customers, visitors, & employees with your customized content
Get a Demo