How To Drive Retail Footfall With Great Signs

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A retail store is nothing without customers, and smart business owners will always be looking for ways to drive increased levels of footfall. After all, more people on site means more opportunities for interaction, engagement and sales.

You may not realise it, but the quality of your shop signage can have a major impact on the amount of foot traffic your business attracts. How good is your signage? Is it enticing customers in, or putting them off?

In this post, we’re going to look at how great signs can lead to increased footfall – and greater success for your business.

Position yourself well

It’s not widely appreciated that signage communicates a lot more about the business than the content of the wording.

In everyday life, we all know that the way we dress and conduct our body language says at least as much about us as the words we say. In much the same way, the presentation of retail signage carries a lot of contextual meaning about the company it represents.

The use of different colours, fonts, and design elements can say a lot about your company, what it stands for, and its professionalism in business.

You can use these design elements to embody your business values and to communicate the aspects which customers most appreciate. For example, for a cafe it might be prudent to convey a warm and friendly atmosphere – while an accountancy firm may find it more useful to suggest dependability and trustworthiness.

Simply put, customers are more likely to drop in if they like your look from the outside – a very clear link between signage and footfall.

Get noticed

While some business signs seem to disappear into the background unnoticed, some are eye-catching and invite curiosity.

With signage that stands you out from your competitors, customers are sure to take heed and realise that your business is in a class of its own.

It’s important to realise that the modern world is extremely oversaturated with signs and images. Every day, the average consumer will pass countless buildings, billboards, posters, banners, and other forms of advertising – and most of it simply gets filtered out as the white noise of the world we live in.

By doing something bold, interesting, or different with your signage, you may be able to attract attention (and continually generate new footfall) for your business.

This might be a matter of using unusual colours, attention-grabbing fonts, or a stylish illuminated design to help your business stick out.

Make use of all signage possibilities

When you think about the signage you use for your business, you don’t just have to consider the standard fascia sign.

Retail businesses have many varied opportunities for signage. For example, windows – most retail establishments have large expanses of glass at the front onto which all manner of vinyl designs and films can be applied.

Then there’s interior signage. Whether it’s wayfinding signage directing customers to places of interest (product aisles, checkout areas, toilets, or other features of the store), safety signage, or an installation of promotional imagery, indoor signs are a good way to offer a consistent branding experience throughout a customer’s visit.

You might also consider free-standing signage situated away from the building. In its most simple form, this might mean a basic A-board or other street furniture sign – or for a more permanent example, we might consider a monolith sign situated in the car park.

By only thinking about the sign above the door, you might be missing opportunities to attract new customers to your store and encourage them to explore around once inside.

Use colour to your advantage

The topic of colour psychology is perhaps too complicated for this post, but in a nutshell, different colours can suggest different psychological associations in the minds of customers.

There’s good reasons why famous brands favour certain colours, and those colours can become a key element of the overall branding aesthetic (such as Coca-Cola’s use of red and white, or Cadbury’s use of purple packaging).

The use of warm colours or cool colours can influence how customers feel about your business, and help them to infer ideas about your retail store.

For example, a health food shop might make use of colours that suggest nature and cleansing, such as greens and whites. Alternatively, a high-end jewellery store may prefer to communicate prestige and luxury with colours such as black, navy and purple.

Using the right colours to subconsciously communicate business attributes to passers-by is a great way to give them a good feeling about your business – priming them to want to visit and find out more.

Ensure your signs are clear and visible

For some retail businesses, such as florists, boutiques and curiosity shops, it may be tempting to use flowing, cursive, handwritten-style lettering on signage.

This should be done with caution, however, as this type of lettering can often be hard to read. And when passers-by glance at your signs on their way past, they aren’t going to spend a long time deciphering a confusing design – they’ll just move on.

Signage needs to communicate quickly and clearly. People can view it from many angles, at any hour of the day or night, or when passing by at speed in a vehicle. If it isn’t very clear, it’s not going to draw the customers in.

It’s good to think not only about the clarity of the lettering, but also whether the colour contrast is clear enough and if the sign might need additional illumination (for example, if it is situated in a dark corner or likely to be viewed after sundown).

With high quality signage, your retail establishment can become a great deal more attractive to the public and generate higher levels of customer footfall. Eye-catching designs that make great use of colour and unusual sign possibilities can lead to strongly increased customer acquisition and a powerful branding effect overall.

The simple truth is that with more people on site, your business has more opportunities for sales and positive interactions – paving the way for greater success.

——— Medash Signs is an established firm of sign makers in Ashford. With more than 40 years of experience designing and installing signs for retail, commercial, public sector and other industries, they have a broad portfolio of satisfied clients all across Kent and the UK.