Smart retailers know that business sales begin with proper signage. Your storefront signage is the first thing customers see before they make a decision to walk in or walk by. Quality signage has several benefits: it can drive traffic to your store, communicate a message, and convey your brand aesthetic.
While several small business tips can drastically change your income stream, signage should be high up on the priority list. Signs play an important role in retail, and should be attention-grabbing, useful, and clear. Think of brick-and-mortar signage as the real-world equivalent of your website. Any discrepancies or hard-to-read pages can easily tempt the the visitor to go to another website. Here are four types of business signage that you should be taking advantage of:
- Outdoor Signage
Exterior signage (sidewalk signs, awnings, window signs, entrance signs) is typically your store’s first impression and is very popular among retailers and restaurants. This is because people are likely to read it walking past. Great signage encourages people to walk in, even if they’ve walked by your store many times without ever taking a look at what you offer.
Don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to your signage. In fact, at the very least, some of the best creative signage gets shared on social media. This is your brand that you’re conveying, and if you feel a snarky message fits with your identity, go for it.
- Informational Signage
This type of signage helps your customers navigate your store without having to ask questions. This is especially important on busy days. Consider this: a customer wants to know where your sales section is, but an employee is busy talking to another customer about clothing options. The customer seeking information waits around idly before they give up and walk out of the store. This happens often, but informational signage can prevent it.
There are many different types of informational signage, including organizational, directional, departmental, and wayfinding signage. Each helps a customer navigate your store and makes your location appear more structured and organized. For informational signage, we recommend bold, easy-to-read fonts and simple color schemes.
- ADA Compliant Signage
Your store must be welcoming and accessible to everybody, including those with disabilities. If your business’s signage does not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you could face serious, costly consequences. The store should be accessible to handicapped people by way of parking, restrooms, cashier stations, entryways, and fitting rooms. Permanent signs (such as restroom signs) must have Braille, contrasting colors and legible fonts, and must be mounted at specific heights. There are a host of other rules for compliant signage, all of which should be read up on. Hiring a third party signage company that’s proficient with compliancy laws could help you get it done right and save you time.
There have been many business horror stories of people who lost their companies after being sued for not complying with these laws. In fact, one San Francisco man filed lawsuits against thousands of businesses who were not ADA-compliant. These laws are strict, and business owners will almost always lose. There are several serial lawsuit filers who take advantage of this, so it’s crucial to have your store up to par so you aren’t on the giving end of a settlement.
- Persuasive Signage
Persuasive signage attracts potential customers through short snippets of persuasive words and images. Read: Sale! Typically, persuasive imagery advertises a promotion or particular product. Other times, it can draw attention to products they may not have noticed otherwise. For example, you might want to draw additional attention to new, sale, seasonal, or featured items.
If you really want to test how powerful persuasive signage can be, try doing a little A/B testing on the store floor. Alternate between one week or month of having your signage up and the other with no signage. Do your best to ensure that there are no other contributing factors that could spike sales (such as the weather or city event). Your environment should be as controlled as possible when testing. Once you’ve finished testing (we’re willing to bet the persuasive signage wins) you can split test sign placement. The idea is to optimize your sales as much as possible, in the same manner you’d optimize a website.