Why signage matters

As you might suspect, consumer behaviour isn’t always rational. It’s not only about price and product.
Therefore, displaying the right message, at the right time and place can make a huge difference to sales.

Besides guiding customers in the store, signage informs, inspires and creates a “wow” experience.
It also creates associations to buy other, or complementary, products.

Signage is important to every store and plays the largest role in stores that are unfamiliar to the consumer or stores that frequently change their inventory. In many cases, in-store communication is also about creating customer value in terms of the experience. This is especially important to retail branches such as electronics, where e-commerce has an increasing market share.

As you might understand it’s not all about price and product. Creating an experience for your customers is important in order to keep your customers coming to your store.

Hybrid Signage has the potential to establish customer satisfaction on a whole new level by allowing in-store communication to further interact with customers with various platforms, e.g. phones by creating events through social media and to create a WOW experience through intuitive control.

Nine important factors

There are several factors that affect the quality of retail signage.

Colour

Colours send out different signals and have different meanings depending on the context. The colour balance can change the whole perception of a sign.

Red is, for example, an obvious colour for a sale in most cultures (but not in all). Colour is also important to portray brands and seasonal themes.

Pictures

Pictures can be used to create moods, but most important to show a product.

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words.
Sometimes it is, especially for foreign-speaking customers, but a picture can also be unnecessary on a sign, for example on a shelf label.

Design/shape

The design and shape of the elements on a sign can portray different meanings.

Round and soft versus sharp and edgy are two opposites that can both enhance or diminish a message.

Typography

The typography used on a sign can have a dramatic impact on the interpretation of its message.

Bold and straight fonts call for urgency and attention, while light or squiggly ones say something completely different. And some typefaces are just hard to read.

The amount of information

How much information should you put on a sign?

On this issue, there are several rules of thumb. But it’s a lot about common sense; people should be able to grasp your message considering where they are, the situation they are in and how fast they are moving.

Format

Signs come in all sizes. The key factor here is distance.
The further away, the larger the sign has to be.
Large enough so that customers can get the message.

But of course, there can be creative reasons for using unusual sizes in different situations.

Structure

By structuring the elements on the signs in a specific way, depending on placement and format, we can help the consumers understand and absorb all the information on the sign. Signs have different purposes at different distances from the product and should be structured accordingly, so that the key message at each distance is in focus, without distraction.

Digital or print

Digital and print signage both has its advantages – and disadvantages.

The secret is in the mix.

We call it hybrid signage.
You’ll learn more about that later.

The right targeting

Target groups can be general or specific. It can be somebody who is buying toys or a suit, or everyone who lives in a certain area. So, how much time and effort should you invest in adapting your signage?

Targeting can be very effective when it’s done right, try to follow these guidelines when adapting your signage:

  • Don’t be too specific.
  • Remember that the buyer is not necessarily buying for themselves.
  • Use the product specifications to attract the right target group for that product.

Hybrid Signage

Hybrid Signage is the symbiosis of different kinds of signage, such as print, digital signage and mobile solutions, where each component have different advantages. Together, they create an integrated customer experience, with plenty of opportunities for you to interact with your customers

Print

Print is the traditional form of signage and the most common form of communication in stores.

Printed signs come in every format and size, which means you can place them anywhere you want, for example outside in the form of sandwich boards.

The main disadvantage is that they have to be physically installed and replaced, creating labour costs. Another disadvantage is that they are static.

However, they normally require lower investment costs than digital signage and labour costs can be reduced using smart software and workflows for sign creation.

Digital signage

The usage of digital signage is rapidly growing as technology evolves and hardware costs for displays keep getting lower.

Digital signage brings many advantages to the table. The content of a digital sign can be changed with the click of a button. Publish an entire campaign without the time and effort required by print.

A digital sign can also contain several messages in a slide show to cover more products in a single space. It can contain animations and video that attracts attention and creates a certain mood linked to either the product or store concept.

Mobile solutions

Mobile solutions can extend signage and create further interaction with consumers. One example is directing a customer to a website for more information about a product or perhaps show them something that inspires them to buy complement products.

The technical solutions for this are rapid. QR-codes, location awareness and more intelligent apps are examples of the evolving possibilities.

Make it flow

The choice of content strategy influences the effectiveness of your signage. FLOW is Shoppa’s content strategy, leading customers from inspiration to a call-to-action, which helps in planning the messages in hybrid signage solutions.

FLOW stands for Feel, Lead, Offer and Want. It’s a chain of customer experiences that drive sales.

Feel – Create a feeling or mood related to the product, trigger personal subconscious associations.

Lead – Lead the customer towards the brand or product and anchor the positive feelings.

Offer – Offer a product related to the feeling.

Want – Create a want, and help the customer make a purchasing decision.