Signs - The Great Retail Promotion Tool
Everyone knows what signs are – we see them on the side of the road, on buildings, in shops and just about everywhere we go. Without signs, life would indeed be difficult – we would not know how to find our way from one place to another, we would not know where we are and often, we would not even know what we are looking at. And of course, when it comes to shopping without signs, we would have to spend a lot more time looking for the things we want to buy. While we do realize how useful signs are in giving us the information we need to make purchases, we do not realize how they impact our decision-making process. For business owners and retail establishments, understanding how signs affect consumer behavior is a powerful tool in bringing in customers.
The International Sign Association is the apex body of the signage industry. It does a lot of research into all aspects of signage. One area of particular interest for the retail industry is on how signs affect purchase decisions.
29% of American consumers say that they go into new and unfamiliar stores based on the quality and appeal of the store’s signage. Having almost one-third of new footfalls come in because of the signs a store has is huge. Even more interesting is the fact that over 50% of the 18 to 24-year-old demographic say that they enter new stores because of the signs they see. Few, if any types of publicity media offer this kind of return on investment.
Almost 35% of American consumers report that they make assumptions about the quality of products based on the clarity and appeal of signs. While TV advertisements may also influence consumer assumptions about quality, the viewer is at home when he sees it and by the time he is in proximity of a store, the impact of the publicity has usually faded away. In the case of a sign, the consumer is already on his feet away from home and is therefore far more likely to act on the desire to learn more and make a purchase decision on the spot. A comparison of the cost of a 20 second TV advertisement and the costliest of sophisticated digital signs will make it clear that signs are the most cost-effective way of bringing in customers.
Research shows that while TV is the most popular source of retail and product information, signs come in a close second while the internet, radio and newspapers come in third place.
On the negative side, almost half of American consumers say that they have skipped a planned visit to a specific store because they were unable to find a sign that marked their planned destination. In many cases, the sign was too small or not clear enough.
Quality Signs = Quality Business
There is a great deal of specialized knowledge that goes into making effective signage. The right content, colors, fonts, type of sign and location all play a part in making a sign that evokes consumer interest. Only a professional signage company will have the expertise, materials and equipment to create signs that produce profits.
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