Correct signage can double sales

8 out of 10 purchasing decisions are still made offline. 2 out of 10 customers have a shopping list. With clear, selling signage, sales can be doubled. It is important to have direct, selling in-store signage that helps the customer to make a purchasing decision. The right in-store signage can act as a “silent seller”, helping staff to increase sales.

For the sports chain XXL, price and product are all-important if they are to stand out in the fierce competition in their market. In-store signs are a major element of XXL’s market communication in delivering their message to consumers. Espen Terland, IT Manager at XXL, has centralised the signage process for all of the chain’s 57 stores in the Nordics.

“We print around three million in-store signs a year for our stores, from A4 signs or smaller to large posters,” says Espen Terland.

Since 2013, the sports chain has been working with a signage system from Shoppa, which allows them to create templates for various signs, create complete campaigns and produce images, which can then easily be used in all of the chain’s stores in Norway, Sweden and Finland.

The stores can pick up a current campaign and print the signs that they need, or simply search for separate products to create an in-store sign in the ready-to-use templates.

“The centralisation of the whole signage management process is in line with our business concept to utilise economies of scale. Most of the work is managed centrally; staff in our stores should spend as little time as possible in the office or warehouse and instead be out on the floor, meeting our customers.”

He sees the time saved as one of the biggest advantages of Shoppa’s system. Another is the facility to use pictures; all the pictures available online can also be used offline. Between 80 and 90 per cent of all products in the stores have a sign with a picture, even the smallest of signs, he explains.

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The biggest impact is achieved when using in-store signs with images, claims Espen Terland. It makes it easier for customers to see the price for each product, and it also helps staff to put the price signs by the right products.

So far, XXL is working exclusively with physical in-store signs, but they are considering investing in digital signage as well. This would include both big digital screens and smaller electronic shelf labels, where prices are now starting to fall. This is a good investment, because we can continue to communicate with our customers in a simple, effective way,” says Espen Terland.

Erik Modig, researcher in Consumer Psychology at the Stockholm School of Economics, sees two main functions for in-store signs:

Firstly, they help to guide customers in the store. The importance of signs here depends on the store’s complexity, changes in the product range and how familiar customers are with the store. If it is a store that is visited regularly, like a grocery store, customers will often learn how to navigate without using the in-store signs at all. But if it is a store that is visited rarely or for the first time, the importance of signs increases.

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And if the store is big and difficult to navigate, or if the product range changes place or is replaced frequently, in-store signs will be needed to a greater degree so that customers feel that they can have an effective shopping experience,” says Erik Modig.

Secondly,  in-store signs are a tool to affect customers in their purchasing decisions. A big sign will automatically attract attention, especially if it is positioned in different places or in new, creative ways. This will enable you to affect sales of the products in question.

Larger signs in a red colour are often associated with sales, bargain prices or a special offer, even if this really isn’t the case. This is a way for the sign to be used to promote price offers. But if these signs are overused they can affect the general impression of the store and make it look like a budget choice, even if this is not the case,” says Erik Modig, adding:

“Budget stores that sell primarily on price can convey their image simply with large signs.”