Shopping Made Simple: 5 Types of Effective Retail Signage

There is more to making your retail signage effective than just hanging up a brand-new sign for all to see. You have to assume that some of the people walking into your store have never been there before or have not been in for a while. Do you have a new product line? Do you have a great sale going on? Where is the women’s section? What about customer service?

Retail signage should be clear, concise and informative. It should be your extra, silent salesperson to help customers navigate your store. Like an employee, your signage has a number of duties, from wayfinding to promoting sales highlights, to product usage and key product information. And not only that, but you need to make sure it is visible, eye-catching and intuitive. Key aspects of retail signage to consider when you are designing and implementing include color, visibility, messaging and aesthetics.

When considering store layout signage we recommend using these guidelines:

1. Have a specific, focused message that ties to your brand.
2. Keep it simple. Our rule of thumb is that it should be readable in 5 seconds maximum.
3. Use headline messaging so the copy is not too wordy.
5. Have a call to action about what you want the customer to do.

Once you have a goal in mind for what you want your new signage to do, it is time to look at different signage types. Here are some options you have to choose from that KORT offers:

1. Outdoor Signage: This is probably the most important signage of all. The goal is to catch potential customers walking or driving by and get them in the door. It’s also the very first impression you make on a potential customer. Examples of this type of signage includes sidewalk signs, entrance signs, awnings and window signage. Outside signage should be brand-oriented to tell people what to expect when entering your store.

2. Informational Signage: These can be department-oriented, directional, store/organization specific and wayfinding signs. The goal is to allow customers to easily navigate the store to find what they want. IKEA is a great example of this type of signage. Signage should be concise and understandable in a split second. Fonts should be large and use highly visible colors. The sign placement should present an orderly flow for making purchase decisions. By the time your customer is done with their shopping, you shouldn’t find them wandering the store aimlessly trying to find the checkout lanes. Make everyone’s life easier by providing easy-to-read information signage.

3. Persuasive/Promotional Signage: This signage is all about language and images. Persuasive signage should increase the customer’s interactivity with less-noticed products. Persuasive signage works well for new items, seasonal items and close-out sales. Persuasive signage can increase brand awareness, promote value and increase sales of promotional items, as well as those not on promotion. What type of language should you use for promotional signage? We recommend using a little bit of wit. The primary goal is to make the customer feel they are getting a very unique opportunity, and it is also a key call-to-action.

4. ADA-Compliant Signage: This type of signage is targeted to help disabled customers shop at your store. Accessibility is a key goal of ADA signage and is used in parking areas, entrances, exits, restrooms, cashiers, elevators and fitting areas. The overall goal is to have the disabled person feel comfortable in and to be able to easily navigate your store. ADA signage should have Braille and tactile characters in legible fonts and contrasting colors. The recommended height for ADA signage is 40-60 inches from ground level.

5. Floor Mat Signage: Mats are often forgotten as a possible signage opportunity. In addition to improving safety and cleanliness, mats can be a versatile way to increase brand awareness, display your logo and improve wayfinding (especially in areas where higher-placed signage is not possible). Mats that are cushioned can also be a benefit in providing a more comfortable shift for your staff.

How can you be sure that you are getting the right signage? Play the game of pretend! The best way to complete and fine-tune your retail signage is to pretend that you are a customer and that you are walking into the store for the very first time. This orientation will improve your retail signage and pay back in increased store revenues.

At KORT, we place very high emphasis in our retail signage specialty. Our KORT designers, project managers and installers are all trained to get customers into your store and make a purchase. Give us a call to discuss your needs and how we can help increase your customer count and those register sales.

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