In this world of social media, it can sometimes be easy to ignore the old tried and true methods of using signage to inform and educate customers. And while a good sign can’t track usage or provide analytics: there’s a reason we still fall back on the classics.
Simply put, signage works wonders for everything from sales to marketing. We encounter signage all day every day and though we may not realize it: we notice and are affected by it.
As a consumer, signage is your best friend. That’s why, in the world of convenience store owners, we also must get friendly with signage, as it does most of the talking for us. In that way, to the convenience store owner, signage is your best friend too!
The Importance of Communication
A crucial part of convenience store management is being able to effectively communicate with your customers. In-store signage is the number one way to communicate everything from prices to what specials and promotions you’re currently running. While signage frees up your cashiers from answering pricing questions, it’s also a wonderful tool to use when you want to draw attention to certain items.
If there’s one golden rule when it comes to promotion, it’s that there’s no point in running a deal if your customers don’t know about it! That’s why signage is worth its weight in gold when it comes to communicating bargains or specials to your customers.
Signage Tips and Tricks
One common trick is to use bright red or orange fonts to illustrate sales or clearance items. Red tones are used to increase the pressure to buy and are easily identifiable and associated with the word “sale.”
For regular promotions (such as those we often see on carbonated beverages), vendors tend to use their company colors to convey a sense of familiarity as well as trust.
Flashy LED signs, cardboard signs, marquee signs, and the like are useless if they’re not incorporated correctly. It’s best to use signs that match your business aesthetic, but it’s even more important to make sure your sign is relevant, current, and noticeable.
A few quick things to consider:
- Keep your signs specific; if you leave too vague of a description, you could wind up selling items for a much lower price than you should.
- Keep your signs concise; a sign’s message needs to be clear and well stated in a single sentence. “On Sale Now!” “Buy 2, Get 1 Free!” If it can’t be understood at a glance; it may be too busy.
- Support your in-store promotions properly on the back end. Use CStore Essentials' Pricebook Management tool to set up promotions easily. That way your inventory and your POS system accurately reflect the deals and specials your signs declare.
- Keep your signs fresh; a sign should “pop” with fresh, bold, new colors. If it looks “out of place,” that’s part of the point. Your sign should draw your customers’ attention. Keep them clean and well-maintained.
So now that you’re on board with the idea that signs are a good thing, where do they come from? While some businesses choose to handwrite their store signage, it’s best to use a professional printer when possible.
Not only do print signs look more professional, but by using printed signage, customers are less likely to misread information. On that same note, you won’t have to chance employees misspelling or miswriting information.
If you’re on a budget, you may not have to travel far to find some solutions. Most vendors should be able to offer you some assistance with ordering or providing different signs, especially for branded items.
The truth is, food and beverage distributors often have access to literally thousands of promotional signs that are provided by the manufacturer. Coca-Cola wants to draw your customers’ attention to their products just as much as you want them drawn to your cooler. So the next time your vendor offers you a box of promotional swag: take it!
Types of Signage
There are many ways to promote through signage, both large and small. Hangtags work well for individual cooler slots, static clings are easy to change out of cooler doors, and large window signs catch the eyes of customers from the parking lot!
If you have light poles or fences in your parking lot, you have some prime real estate for larger, more eye-catching signage.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
In-store signage will always be the first point of contact for many customers. When they walk into your store, you want bold, beautiful signs communicating all the information that you want them to have that may help their purchasing decisions.