We are visual creatures, which is exactly why signage is so powerful. Humans are around 6.5 times more likely to remember visual information than information they have heard three days later. This is because about 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
When it comes to signage, this means that your signs have the power to attract customers into your business, make them look at certain products and get them to buy. On top of this, customers are likely to remember great signage for days after visiting your store.
This is why ensuring your signs are as effective as possible pays off and why updating them in line with signage best practices could be a good idea.
But what makes a sign effective and what improvements could you make to the signage in your shop?
Utilise all of your space for signage
Signage doesn’t have to be confined to windows, above aisles, walls and on shelving. Utilising as much space as possible – without making your shop look cluttered – helps you to put across your messaging and create a great brand experience.
Including signs on your floors can help you help your customer in several ways while also improving their recall of your brand and the experience of shopping in your store.
Floor signage can be used in several ways, including:
- Wayfinding devices helping to point out key areas of your shop
- Branding devices to put across your tone of voice, e.g. using phrases like “you’ll look great in that” in a clothing department
- To highlight promotions or create the idea of value, e.g. messages like “more bargains this way”
- Simple messages like welcome and goodbye at entrances and exits
More businesses made use of floor wayfinding signs throughout the Covid-19 pandemic so consumers are more used to finding signage on businesses floors, making it a great time to employ this option. Also, we are often looking down towards our smartphones, looking down more than up.
Update your fonts
One common issue with retail signage is focusing too much on style. This can lead to the use of fonts that are difficult to read or mean messages are unclear, which drastically affects the effectiveness of signs.
The font or fonts you use throughout your signage should be clear, bold and easy to read at a glance. Sans-serif fonts tend to be easy to read at a distance, making them ideal for external and internal signs. Staying away from fancy fonts like scripts will ensure that the messaging on your signage is put across correctly and helps to attract attention in a split second.
If you’re not sure which font to choose for your signage, our in-depth guide on choosing a font for signs can help point you in the right direction.
However, the readability of your signs doesn’t just depend on the font you use. You could choose the best font out there, but if the colour choice isn’t correct, it could also have a negative impact.
Your messaging needs to use contrasting colours to ensure the words stand out, are easy to see and make sense. This is why you need to combine a great font with signage colour theory to ensure your retail signs make the right impression.
Include calls to action
Calls to action (CTAs) don’t just work on websites to encourage customers to take certain actions – they are also effective in a brick and mortar retail environment.
Using CTAs makes it easy for customers to see what action they should take, whether it’s purchasing a certain product, signing up for a loyalty program or following your brand on social media. This is why it’s important to create a connection between your signage and your in-store conversion goals.
So how do you make sure your CTAs are effective? The best way is to consider the action you want a customer to take, design the CTA for this action and then create the rest of the sign around this call to action. This will ensure all the messaging is cohesive and is working toward one goal.
Utilise simple wayfinding signage
Not every sign has to be about putting across your brand’s personality and voice. This can become tedious for customers and actually make their shopping experience more difficult.
When it comes to wayfinding signage, your best bet is to keep it clear and simple. If people are looking for a specific product type or a part of your store, such as the tills or lifts, they want simple signs that will show them where to go at a glance.
Ensuring that wayfinding and directional signs are easy to spot and stand out will make it easier for shoppers to get around your store. This in turn helps with the customer experience you offer, which has a positive impact on your brand. When you tie this in with other signs that are more overt with your branding, it can make a big difference to brand recall and loyalty.
To ensure their effectiveness, you want all of your signs to work as hard as possible when it comes to attracting customers’ attention. Digital signage can ensure this happens, as you can scroll through multiple messages, show videos and images and update your messaging at the touch of a button.
Digital signage also offers the opportunity for interactive advertising in your store, whether it’s checking stock, price comparisons, trying on a product virtual or locating a specific department. This means that as well as grabbing attention, digital signs can help improve the customer experience.
Investing in digital signage also means you get more for your money. Instead of one sign only displaying one message, you can have a single sign displaying multiple messages or easily change it to a new message when needed. This reduces the need for regular sign updates and helps you create a fresh experience for customers regularly.