The 5 Roles of Retail Signs

As I look at the visual clutter in most retail stores, I am reminded how complicated retailers love to make this very simple industry. Customers come into stores to (1) find what they are looking for; (2) be pleasantly surprised to see something unexpected and (3) execute a purchase.  Pretty simple.  And universally true through the ages.

If your stores are suffering from signage build up, strip down their roles to these 5 key messages:

1. Department/Wayfinding – Herb Sorenson in his book “Notes from Inside the Mind of the Shopper” says 80% of the time a shopper is in the store is spent navigating the store instead of actually considering an item for purchase.  Make it simple, for cripes sake.

2. Inspirational/Brand Signage – Remind them where they are and all they could be by purchasing from you.  Retailers who do it great: Victoria’s Secret, Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods.  Retailers who do it poorly: Walgreens and Costco. (I want to believe Costco is by design…)

3. Category – the next step in navigating and wayfinding.  (see #1 above.)  Now that I have found Health and Beauty Aids where is Shampoo?

4. Pricing/Promotional – Pretty simple.  Make it easy.  ONE color and style for everyday pricing.  ONE style and color for promotional.  Not a different color and style for every promotion your marketing team and your vendors have dreamt up for the quarter.

5. Informational – Again, make it standard and restrain your vendors from justifying an informational sign for every new SKU they create.  It has to TRULY be something that needs to be explained….oh…and it actually has to matter to shoppers.

Nearly every retailer in America could do with a signage cleanse.  Not only will your shoppers benefit, but your bottom line will too as you reduce your design and production costs and improve customer self-service.

Need help?  Delaney Consulting Creates Clarity.

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