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The Importance of Store Signage and Visual Merchandising
  • 27 May 2019
  • Leo Covey

The Importance of Store Signage and Visual Merchandising

For thousands of years, store owners have used signage to draw attention to their businesses and help differentiate them from the competition. While small businesses have changed a great deal over the centuries, the power of what great signage and visual merchandising can do has not. It is never a bad time to look around your store and ask yourself, “Are my signs, banners and posters working as hard for me as they should be?”


Effective signage can tell a story. It can tempt customers to buy something they did not even know they were shopping for. It can command attention from afar, organize your wares and even bring shoppers inside your store. It may not have a touch screen or tap into the latest technology trend, and it most certainly just kind of … hangs there. But that is the benefit of signage. It is simple, effective and proven.

Signs of an effective small business

Think about the journey of your shoppers. Put yourself in their shoes as they walk by your business and perhaps stop in to look around. Similar to road signs helping them to navigate the streets, signage and visual merchandising are there to help them make the shopping journey as quick and efficient as possible. This is the essence of a successful zone merchandising strategy.

  • Exterior signage and displays: Outdoor signs featuring a special offer like a “Buy 1, Get 1 Free” can welcome people from afar and tempt them to come inside your business. The same goes for a dynamic front-window display with a selection of seasonal items laid out to tell a relevant story.
  • Interior category signage: Large, elevated signs with big, bold lettering can call out specific store sections and categories. Now your shoppers know where to walk to find something specific.
  • Interior displays: Displays are powerful devices that create in-store drama, but they certainly do not have to be complicated. Picture a printed foam core backdrop, with small supporting posters or signs, setting the stage for a selection of your most popular items.
  • Small shelf signage: As shoppers get closer to the products, signage becomes smaller in size but no less important. From signs that invite your customers to “Shop local” to signs that introduce “Employee favorites,” these options help make products stand out from the crowd.


Making your signs work harder

When faced with an abundance of choices, the right sign can tell a story about a product that makes it feel special and irresistible. Here are some tips for making your signs as effective as possible:

  • Unified color and typography. Stick with your business’s core colors and fonts to create consistency and generate impact. When your business’s look and feel are mostly defined by the merchandise you carry, signage can help tie everything together.
  • Teach your brand values: Take a page out of these top businesses, and articulate the values that drive your brand and your business. More than a catchy slogan, these are words that you should do business by. When you commit them to a sign, you give them power and permanence in the eyes of customers.
  • Add some romance: You are probably familiar with the little signs in wine shops that include tasting notes, awards and reviews. Each little bottle has its own special story. There is no reason why you cannot create signage that applies this same storytelling approach to your small business.
  • Recruit fans: Let your shoppers know you’re online and active on their favorite social media platforms. A small sign near the register is the perfect place to include your relevant hashtags and handles.

Still curious about what’s possible in your small business? From designing to printing, our pros at The UPS Store are always ready to help you create a more dynamic shopping experience for your customers.

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