5 Tips for Planning Retail Signage

wooden board sign, with curved gold trim, that says "open," from a restaurant

While good products and solid offerings can go a long way, a bad store layout can significantly limit your business’ success. For example, a shop that is nothing but rows of stuffed clothing racks can be a major turn-off. Sure, options are great, but not when a customer feels they’ll have to invest their whole day to find the cardigan section.

Then there’s the other extreme – the minimalist “open-concept” store. Have you ever struggled to find a sales counter and given up on a purchase? We know we have! Customers can miss key items or departments without the subtle guidance of appropriate signage. This translates into a loss in profits as well as a frustrated customer.

Fortunately, if you implement some basic design rules when creating your signage, you can positively impact your customer’s journey.

Retail signage is quite a large category that includes:

  • Department, floor, or washroom signs
  • Pricing or comparison charts
  • Event posters or banners
  • Sales and price tags
  • Employee badges or nametags
  • Wall décor, featuring photographs or quotes
  • Pathway markers or floor transitions

Each of these sign types can be achieved visually in dramatically different ways. For instance, a sign indicating a sales counter can be a series of raised LED letters, a vinyl decal, a hanging sign or a movable floor stand. Figuring out which method will work best for you will depend on your business goals and what experience you want for your customer. If you’re a brand that’s selling a lifestyle along with a product, then make sure each aspect of your signage helps augment the mood.

When starting the design process for your retail signage, you should keep in mind to:

1. Identify how you want to organize your products.

For example, will it be by product type (menswear and accessories) or by brand (Marvel and DC)? Then you will want to display your products in a way that customers can easily find and distinguish between the categories. So, rather than filling your shelves completely, leave some breathing room between product groups. Or create imaginary space by changing the colour of the shelves or tags. Either way, have obvious labels so browsers don’t find themselves suddenly in the completely wrong department.

2. Establish which areas of your store are high performing and low performing. 

Typically near the entrance is the ideal location. As you move towards the back of the store, it’s increasingly difficult to entice customers. By breaking up the monotony of shelving, or by creating an eye-catching display, signage can be used to generate the necessary curiosity.

3. Use signs and fixtures to guide your customer through the store.

Sometimes there is a specific journey that you want your customers to take. If you spend a significant amount of money creating a narrative store experience, it would be a shame for your customer to miss it because they took a wrong turn. Or imagine wandering Ikea without the helpful guides. You might find yourself walking in circles! Floor graphics, often created using a textured no-slip vinyl, is a straight-forward way to lead visitors. And it can be as obvious or as subtle as you like, depending on the aesthetics of your store.

4. Keep your store experience fresh by switching out your signs.

Over time, if a store stays the same, then regular customers can become bored with a shopping experience. On the other hand, it can be costly to change your floor plan or furniture constantly. For a much more reasonable price, you can invest in a few movable signs, to hang from the ceiling or place in stands, to use at certain points in the year.

5. Clearly show if a product is new or on sale, don’t just say it.

A good bargain is nothing to be ashamed of, and yet most retail sales racks are hidden and poorly labelled. If you want to move this product, a tiny red sticker on a price tag is not enough. Ensure the racks or shelves feature an enticing sales sign at a reasonable size. If a shy or busy customer isn’t sure an item is included in a sale, they might not bother to ask. And if you have a new product line, present it proudly. Novelty will keep customers returning to your shop, so introduce new offerings with adequate pomp and circumstance.

We’ve discussed aspects related to retail signage before during our blogs on vinyl signs and incorporating QR codes. But with such a rich topic, we’ve still barely scratched the surface! If you’re in need of signage consulting or manufacturing, give Topmade a call. We can help you get what you need and keep your signs looking at their best.

2 thoughts on “5 Tips for Planning Retail Signage

  1. Romeo Honorio
    wrote on 22 Dec 2016

    I’m getting price quote for the following plastic container product (very similar to Rubbermaid 1.7 Ltr / 60 Oz size):
    Size: L 9″ x W5″ x H4″
    Color; Transparent
    Quantity: 5000
    Very much appreciated if you can get back to me asap.
    Thank your

  2. Romeo Honorio
    wrote on 22 Dec 2016

    Another thing, no cover lid.

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