5 Tips for Powerful Signage in Indie Stores

Chances are, if you are like many independent retailer stores, you have only one person working the majority of the time. Because of this, among many other facts, it’s important to think  about how you can communicate with your customers despite being spread thin on man-power. Sure, you may only have one person in your store to support at any given time, but there are still limitations for all you can can say and do for them during their store visit. Knowing this, it’s important to understand other ways you can communicate with customers without ever opening your mouth.

The most obvious way to do this is to use signage. The question becomes, however… HOW do you use signage? 

The  below tips are examples that can help you maximize the signage in your store.

1. Hang a bulletin board in your store. Have it in an area of your store that isn’t filled with inventory, but rather offers a resting spot for customers to learn and engage with your store in other ways. Post community announcements as well as store announcements. Include a list or calendar of upcoming events, store sales, upcoming product arrivals and other important store news. You can even get creative and have a “get to know” section of a store employee that you rotate weekly or monthly. Over time, customers will “learn” to refer to this bulletin board for news and information about your store. Additionally, you can suggest customers take a look at the board while they are in your store, encouraging them to use it.

2. Frame press received about your store. Get some attention in the news? Through your local media? In Daily Candy? Where ever you may have received some press, take the time to neatly and professionally frame it. Incorporate these frames into your merchandising so that customers will see it as they shop. It’s not necessary to spend big dollars here… you can likely get a 8 x 10 frame for less than $10 that will do the trick. But the key is doing it. This is the only way to get more momentum from your press received. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter for customers to ask more and encourage conversation.

3. Use signage to support products, pricing & other relevant details. The  catch? Be consistent! Customers should be able to easily identify signage that “speaks” to them regarding products and pricing. In other words – don’t hand write a sale sign and push pin it to a wall over a hangbar. Instead, invest the time to have crisp, clear, professional signage that consistently repeats itself throughout the store. While there is signage software available, you can also make your own signs. Be aware of the size of what you print, however, so that it is large enough to be easily viewed yet not overpowering in size. A good  example if a n 8 x 10 sign that says SALE in large font on a shelf with discounted items. It will stand out without being too over powering. Another tip? Use a color that pops in your store. Be sure to blend your signage in with your overall store aesthetics, as well.

4. Keep an upbeat, positive voice in your signage communication. Even though you want to scream “WE DO NOT TAKE RETURNS” it’s better received to say” All sales are Final. Thank you for your understanding.” Whatever policies or notifications you want to share, keep your tone positive and friendly.

5. Avoid overusing signage. Some stores have no signage, some stores have too much. Try and find a nice balance that compliments your store size, store inventory and store merchandising. If you put too many signs in your store, it will be overpowering – yet not enough won’t do the trick of effectively communicating with your customer. It’s impossible to tell  you exactly what is right for your unique store, but if you take the time to walk your store as a customer after placing all your signage out, this can help you determine if you have a good balance. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes… Do you gain knowledge from the signs? Are you able to navigate the store more easily through signage? Does the bulletin board give you more news you would not have known otherwise as a result of the signs? You get the idea.

Finally, don’t settle. Signage needs to be updated and routinely replaced and enhanced as seasons pass, your store evolves and customer influences take place. Have your own signage tips to share? Let us know! Please comment below.

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