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The UPS Store Small Business Blog
  • 19 May 2023
  • Public Relations

Signs of Success: The Critical Role of In-Store Signage and Visual Merchandising + 5 Tips on How to Improve Yours

Online shopping offers customers convenience and speed. However, despite that ease, brick and mortar stores are seeing a resurgence. In fact, last year we saw one of the strongest years for physical retail, with a significant drop in national storefront vacancies. This year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) is projecting an additional 46% increase in overall retail sales, with 70% of total sales occurring in-store.

In store signage

Benefits of In-Store Signage

With more customers shopping in brick and mortar stores than ever, it’s essential to create a space that captures consumer attention, helps customers navigate your store’s interior, represents your brand and drives sales.

Attracts Customers

Signage can be invaluable when it comes to generating foot traffic. Well-placed signage can draw customers into your store—even customers who might have planned on walking past your storefront. By increasing visibility, like by ensuring you have a well-placed, street-facing store sign, you establish an eye-catching visual presence that can help increase brand awareness, drive foot traffic and reach customers who are ready to shop.

Signage has been proven to increase impulse purchasing. With 93% of shopping still occurring in brick and mortar stores, retail signs placed throughout your floor can help drive customers to spend up to 40% more than planned.

Consider implementing a wide variety of signage to capture attention from potential customers and drive impulse purchases.

Exterior signage options, like sandwich boards, can be easily displayed outside your storefront. Sidewalk signs and window decals can call out special sales. And signs placed near the register can help retailers encourage customers to make additional or complementary purchases. 

Guides Store Visitors

So, you've captured customer attention and drawn shoppers into your store. But the job isn't done yet. Now you have to guide your customers to your desired action—the purchase. By positioning retail signage, like shelving signage or retail displays, throughout the sales floor, you can help customers navigate your layout and find their desired items. Leveraging this type of directional signage within your retail store can help make the shopping process as easy, smooth and frictionless as possible, ultimately helping to create a desirable, in-store customer experience that can convert window shoppers and browsers to purchasers.

Strengthens Brand Aesthetic

A purchaser is great. A repeat purchaser is better. After you’ve attracted and guided visitors, how do you retain them and keep them coming back for more? It comes down to customer experience, the feeling and connection your customers get from and feel with your brand. By curating an experience, you create a brand identity, and an experience that customers can expect to repeat time and time again at each and every one of your retail locations. A repeatable experience is a memorable one. And signage can help you create this kind of brand recall. Try implementing a variety of branded signage, from outdoor retail signage to branded store interiors that leverage applications like wall wraps to interesting purchase displays that can promote key products. All of these visual elements work together to create a brand aesthetic and identity that appeals to customers.

Promotes Deals and Offers

In addition to attracting customers, guiding shoppers and strengthening your brand, signage can help drive business and increase sales. With in-store signage, you can alert customers to your latest deals and promotions like holiday specials or BOGO offers. Make sure to take advantage of your entire layout, incorporating signs where it makes sense. Don’t forget to take advantage of high-value spaces, like counter space near the cash wrap, that can be used to upsell additional offerings.

Types of In-Store Signage

Now that we’ve discussed the overall benefits of retail signage, let’s take a look at the various types of sign you can include within your retail store.

Informational Signage

Informational signage exists to impart information to your customers and does not seek to promote your business, a specific product, or issue. Examples of informational signage include labels on items that denote the country of origin or composition descriptions that detail the makeup of an item. Do you have an endcap display that includes the backstory of a product? That’s informational signage hard at work.

Promotional Signage

Promotional signage is ideal for advertising sales and taking advantage of your daily foot traffic. Tout your small business’s latest products, brands, offers, prices or services with promotional signs spread throughout the store.

Directional Signage

Directional signage, also known as wayfinding signage, can help you guide shoppers throughout your retail space, orienting them toward various products, sales sections, or fitting rooms.

By leveraging various forms of directional signage throughout the sales floor, you can help control and direct the flow of foot traffic, encourage customers to examine other promotions or highlight specific products, all of which work together to drive more sales.

Other Types of Signage

While in-store signage is key, it’s not the only signage option at your disposal. By leveraging various forms of signage, you create an increased opportunity to reach your target audience and increase purchasing opportunities.

Digital Signage

Digital signage, also known as digital displays or electronic signage, is a great way to reach your customers outside of your store’s footprint. Digital boards are often placed in high foot traffic areas and can serve as striking visuals that capture attention and direct customers toward your storefront. Digital displays are also often placed on high-traffic roads, allowing you to connect with shoppers as they go to and from work or simply go about their day. With digital signage you have the opportunity to deliver your message to potential customers in an exciting, engaging and even interactive manner.

Social Media

Trying to reach tech savvy shoppers? Make sure to take advantage of social media. While at first glance your online social channels might not seem like signs, they are. In fact, 40% of consumers report making a purchase after seeing advertisements on social media.

Your social media profiles serve as digital billboards where you control the timing and the message, with the unique ability to speak directly to your key customers.

Outdoor Signage

A final sign category to consider is outdoor signage. These signs can include anything and everything from bus shelters to benches, billboards to door mats, painted exterior walls to window clings and beyond. Outdoor signage expands your business’s presence beyond your four walls, which can be key in helping to drive traffic and generate sales.

How to Be Successful with Retail Signage

We’ve talked about the benefits of retail signs. We’ve covered off on the many forms of in-store signage, and we’ve discussed various other signage types that you can leverage to promote your business. Now it’s time to talk tips. At the top of this article, we promised five tips on improving your retail signage. Consider these five tips your ultimate guide to creating the right signs for your business.

Be Compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 

All customers are valuable, and it’s important that all customers feel this way. By ensuring your signage is ADA compliant, you can help differently abled customers access your products and services. But what is ADA compliant signage and where is it required? ADA compliant signage leverages elements like Braille dots, tactile characters, pictograms, or visual characters. Leveraging these elements in signs that denote bathrooms, elevators, exits and emergency exits is a necessity, but it’s not the only ADA requirement. Permanent rooms, such as kitchens, require an ADA compliant sign, but spaces, like meeting rooms, that are often in flux do not require permanent ADA signage. For more information on ADA requirements and ADA compliant signs, read more here.

Stay On-Brand

Remember, signage is an extension of your brand. Make sure to use fonts, colors and tones that represent your brand and your business. Keep a cohesive theme and ensure that all of your signage works together.

Be Clear and Concise

Attention is fleeting and signs can be small. Make sure your text is easy to read, attention grabbing and delivers a clear message or course of action.

Add Romance Where It Makes Sense

Have a featured product? Are you trying to drive sales on a specific item? Consider adding storytelling details where it makes sense. Add a sign that offers a backstory that can help your customers envision where or when they’ll use this item, or delivers a detail that makes this purchase one they can’t live without.

Maximize Your Space

Last but not least, make sure to make use of your space. Don’t just add a retail sign or rack sign; think about how you can capitalize on every corner of your store. From sidewalk signs to window wraps, wall murals to door decals, the signage possibilities are endless.

Need help with all those endless signage opportunities? The UPS Store has your back, offering everything you need, from design services to printing to supplies. Whether you’re looking to create posters, banners or small-format signage, The UPS Store is here to cover all your signage printing needs.

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