Leading supplier of shopfittings, signage and display solutions, SI Retail recommends professional signage as a cost-effective marketing tool to promote, communicate and brand a store while also delivering clear information to prospective customers.
External signage should convince shoppers to enter the store while internal signage guides and persuades them to buy. Store signage should be attractive enough to grab the customer’s attention within three seconds and draw them inside. As they walk inside, the internal signage should guide customers through the store, improving their experience and slowly informing them about the products they can find, current promotions and new range available. Professional signage will display the right amount of information at the moment when the customer needs it.
However, unprofessional signage confuses people and can be compared to a poorly designed website that one might enter but will leave before even browsing through the products.
Common mistakes retailers make with signage include excessive signage, misleading signs, too much information, inconsistency, and design.
Too many signs

Research shows that people have trouble choosing when there are too many choices available. An excessive number of signs will only confuse the shopper and will not help them make an informed decision.
Misleading signs

Misleading signs, however accidental or purposely ambiguous signage can be a turn-off for shoppers. For instance, a sales promotion sign indicating ‘Up to 50% off’ with the ‘up to’ part in tiny text or an item displayed with a ‘Sale’ tag when the product is not actually on sale can disappoint customers, though these techniques might increase traffic but not necessarily convert into sales.
Too much information

It is important to communicate different information at various points in the buying cycle. The customer can be drawn into the store with a ‘Sale’ sign on the window while the discount sign on a freestanding display will orientate customers to the store’s hot spot. Product and pricing information can be displayed on the tag while more detailed information such as warranty policy can be provided at the checkout because people have time to read and very importantly, the buying decision has already been made.
Consistency in signage will help customers identify their role.
Design problems
Professional signage needs to fit with the store’s concept and colours. Contrasting a light colour font on a dark background or vice versa can increase visibility. Using simple fonts and graphics will ensure the customer is not distracted from the main message. Adding a border to the sign, according to a study by the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, enables the reader to understand it 26% faster.
Test the signage

Once the signs are placed around the store, the store owner or manager can put themselves in their customer’s shoes and walk from the next street up to the front door, and then wander inside. Confirm that the signage is indeed effective and clear from a customer’s perspective.