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Noticed a slump in sales, or dreading the post-Christmas January slump that hits your profit margin hard?
Either way, the high street is more competitive today than it ever has been. Your retail displays need to be interesting, prominent and, above all, eye-catching to customers. With every other retailer also vying for consumer attention, how can you create quality retail displays that win back customers?
You might have these great ideas for window displays, perfect for attracting attention and interest but there can be a component that is lacking – effective retail signage.
However, before we dive into the different types of signage, posters and banners, we’re going to discuss the best practices when it comes to sign design.
The 4 key elements of sign design
Your sign needs to attract attention and give the shopper important information within seconds.
Having a sign that has too much text, too much information and poor graphics is doing nothing to lure customers into your stores.
- Be specific – don’t ramble on about how they could ‘get 20% off if they…’ the right message in the right place is known as narrowcasting. When designing the signs for quality retail displays include specific information. Be relevant.
- Keep it simple – we live in a busy world, where time and concentration can be lacking. Your sign or roller banner needs to have a clear message. Use the five-second rule. If a theme can be conveyed in less than five seconds, it has passed the test. Shorten sentences and use graphic(s) too.
- The punchline matters – think of information for your sign in a hierarchy: headline – Sales on NOW! – explanatory text – up to 50% off jumpers – and finally, a call to action – Offer ends Saturday. Before printing, check the text – can you simplify it? What do other people think?
- Call to action – signs, banners, posters and so on are advertisements. A good advert tells the customers to do something. An effective sign needs a persuasive call to action. For example, buy when you want is nowhere near as effective as buy now.
Arguably one of the most effective ways of luring customers back into your store is outdoor signage. It gets people in through the door so that you and sales team can work their magic – start creating a relationship that is the basis for not just one sale, but repeated sales.
Be aware, however, that exterior signage is the first impression customers have of your business. They need to do more than simply announce who you are (although that is not always a bad thing).
Outdoor signage needs to be persuasive and encouraging so that as people pass your store several times a day, week or month, they are finally encouraged to give your shop a go.
Outdoor signage includes;
- Banner stands in the window or at the entrance to your shop
- Pavement signs, such as the A-Frame sign with today’s special offer and so on
- Window signs that attract passing attention to your creative window display
Persuasive indoor signs
Once inside, your signs still need to be working hard to persuade the customer to try something out, explore further and buy an item or two.
Convincing language and attractive imagery should form part of quality retail displays that influence customer flow and improve how they interact with hitherto unnoticed products.
Many retailers use persuasive signs to show case a particular product – for example, the jumpers that are reduced up to 50% as used in the above point relating to the hierarchy of information on a sign – and use it to communicate a certain message to the customer.
For example, on a rack or table of neatly folded jumpers, you may attract attention with a 50% off or half price sign, but the ‘two for one’ deal on other similar tops may also be of interest to the shopper. Two great deals in one shop? Fabulous!
What this has done is create a sense of the customer finding a ‘hidden gem’; this creates a higher perceived value for products, as well as increasing brand awareness and improving retail sales.
How do you create quality retail displays?
Some shops and brands seem to have the knack of creating interesting visual displays that pull shoppers in over and over again. What do you notice about how big brands dress their shop windows and use signs?
For more advice on the layout of your shop and its signs, please click here.