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Retail Store Signs: The Ultimate Guide

Explore the many retail sign options and how they can benefit any business

The death of in-store retail is greatly exaggerated. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and overall growth of ecommerce, in-store sales in 2021 have rebounded beyond pre-pandemic levels, reaching $21.09 trillion — an increase of over 8% over the previous year.

To capitalize on this trending growth, retailers need to ensure their retail store signs can effectively grab attention and point out pertinent information while standing out from the competition. Read on to learn everything you need to know about how different retail signs can bring customers into stores, improve revenue, and keep people coming back.

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The many types of retail store signs

The benefits of outdoor retail signage

The benefits of indoor retail signage

How Lacoste leveraged retail signage for an interactive QR code experience

Drive business and increase attach rates with effective retail sign use

Regularly changing retail store signage leads to increased profits

The best retail signage companies in 2022

Augmented reality and QR codes are shaping the future of retail signage

Boost sales and increase brand awareness with a retail store sign strategy

The many types of retail store signs

Retail signage takes many forms, from giant billboards seen on the highway, to small, interactive kiosks next to highlighted merchandise. Knowing which signage is available will help determine which option best suits a business' needs.

  • Storefront signage establishes brand identity and provides information on sales and promotions before customers even walk into the store. Large-scale visuals are eye-catching, and most stores report at least a 10% increase in sales with practical implementation.
  • Demo stations provide interactive elements for customers looking to try out or research products before purchasing.
  • Directional signage aids customers in navigation and location of departments and items within stores of all sizes.
  • Digital displays are becoming more ubiquitous among small businesses, supermarkets, and department stores. Their digital nature allows for the rotation of multiple signs and advertisements within a single display, making them much easier to swap out and update than physical signage. Plus, digital displays contain tracking tools that gather data on the effectiveness of sign messaging and location.
  • Augmented reality (AR) uses a customer’s mobile device to overlay additional information — such as product details, interactive maps, and more — on top of the physical space. Also, consumers are excited to use this technology, as over 70% say they’re more likely to shop if AR is part of the experience.

For more information on these and other types of signage for a wide variety of business sizes and use cases, read The 9 Types of Retail Signage You Need to Know.

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The benefits of outdoor retail signage

Getting customers to take time out of their busy days to patronize a business is a massive undertaking, and outdoor retail signage can play a vital role in generating foot traffic and boosting ROAS. Here are a few reasons why outdoor signage should be part of any advertiser’s marketing mix:

Read The 3 Biggest Benefits of Outdoor Retail Signage in 2022 to discover how outdoor signage can improve the brand identity and reach for any business.

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The benefits of indoor retail signage

The customer journey doesn’t stop once people are inside the store. Retailers can use signs to guide shoppers through a new location, point out sale opportunities, and solidify the brand. Digital signage, in particular, offers a wealth of benefits for businesses aiming to maximize profits beyond selling retail items.

  • Inform customers: If customers don’t know where an item or department is or whether  a sale is in progress, they’re less likely to spend — signs can help point the way and guide the customer toward the purchase phase of the customer journey. Interactive elements like “magic mirrors” and AR solutions like Resonai’s Vera for Retail provide customers with hands-on opportunities to inspect product lines and learn more about inventory availability, directly from their mobile device.
  • Bolster sales: Armed with this new knowledge, customers are more likely to spend, increasing retail profits. In fact, digital signage is proven to increase average purchase value by 29.5%.
  • Diversified revenue streams: Retailers can partner with digital ad networks to display content for in-store items and other relevant products or services on retail signage, providing additional methods for generating revenue from customers, even if they don’t purchase anything.

Want to learn more about how indoor retail store signage increases foot traffic and improves the customer experience? Read our guide on The 5 Biggest Benefits of Indoor Retail Signage.

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How Lacoste leveraged retail signage for an interactive QR code experience

QR codes are everywhere now, but Lacoste was one of the first retailers to integrate them into their stores and set the gold standard for how to encourage customer engagement with retail signs.

The Lacoste Championship campaign integrated several customer touch points into a single, integrated experience. As customers shopped at a Lacoste location or passed by one of its storefronts, they could scan a QR code. This code pointed them to a branded app modeled after the hit arcade classic, Pong, and rewarded them with a 15% off coupon and a contest entry.

Experiences like these aren’t just for creating a positive brand experience — they also generate actionable data to determine campaign effectiveness to guide future campaigns. Clever use of QR codes allows advertisers to determine where and how QR codes are accessed down to the specific location, as well as whether they lead to a successful conversion.

Read 3 Storefront Signs Turning Foot Traffic Into Sales to see how other successful brands leverage retail signage to increase foot traffic and differentiate themselves from the competition.

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Drive business and increase attach rates with effective retail sign use

Anyone who’s ever walked into a big box retailer looking for a single item and walked out with more than they needed has experienced what’s known as “Target Syndrome.” It’s a phenomenon that harnesses the power of calculated retail signage placement to move customers through the entire store and get more products in front of their eyes. Target has mastered it to the point of predictable YoY growth.

Target creates a natural department flow that generally remains consistent in stores across the country — the healthcare product aisles transition seamlessly to beauty products, cleaning supplies, and groceries. Target also provides plenty of department signposts to ensure customers never feel lost. Along the way, prices are boldly displayed on endcaps, and additional signage encourages customers to explore aisles looking for other deals.

These signage tactics can be replicated in any store looking to maximize ROI. While Target employs data scientists to determine optimal placement, SMBs that display digital signage can collect similar data sets to determine the best layout of retail items and displays.

Discover other ways retail signage can improve accessibility and drive engagement by reading 5 Retail Signage Ideas For Getting Your Customers Energized.

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Regularly changing retail store signage leads to increased profits

Humans crave novelty. Seeing new images and ideas lights up the centers of our brain linked to memory and learning. When we see something new, we’re more likely to engage with it — and this is just as true for retail as anything else.

Retailers should build signage installments with a mind towards modularity and ease of updating — this is where digital signage truly shines, as swapping out signs is as simple as uploading a new image to your signage software platform. Replace signage frequently with fresh designs or new promotions to keep shoppers engaged and delighted upon return visits. A steady rotation of retail shop signs produces results, as many businesses report an average 10% sales increase after swapping in new signs.

Discover other ways to improve your signage and embrace emerging best practices by reading 7 Retail Signage Design Best Practices You Need to Know.

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The best retail signage companies in 2022

Finding the best-quality sign should be step one when implementing an effective retail signage strategy. The top companies are industry leaders, creating stunning displays for some of the world’s biggest retailers and brands, and one of their signs is a smart addition for any business. Here are just a few:

  • AZPRO has worked with big box retailers and national brands like Best Buy, Kroeger, and Dick’s Sporting Goods to craft layered displays and end-caps that are instantly recognizable in a crowded store.
  • BenQ provides solutions that mix physical and digital signage with its signature Bluecore Laser Projector line for a diverse array of malls, banks, and other retail locations.

Read The 4 Top Retail Signage Companies In 2022 to learn more about these and other companies and where to buy their products.

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Augmented reality and QR codes are shaping the future of retail signage

As consumers crave new retail experiences, businesses are stepping up to provide new interactive touch points that are personalized to their needs. QR codes and augmented reality are two of the most popular and effective ways retailers provide these experiences.

QR codes allow shoppers to interact with signs through their mobile devices —a quick scan takes customers to a relevant website, sign-up form, or app. In addition to being widely embraced — a 2021 survey found that 45% of customers have used at least one while shopping — these codes can track shopper information, allowing marketers to gather data on how effective these signs are.

Augmented reality also allows shoppers to see additional store and product information in a virtual environment on their phones. AR tech is effective, boosting sales by up to 200% and increasing customer engagement times by up to eight minutes.

Read 5 Retail Signage Trends Shaping the Future of the Industry to see how interactivity continues to be at the forefront of retail signage trends.

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Boost sales and increase brand awareness with a retail store sign strategy

Maximizing the potential of retail signage means incorporating physical and digital signage options with a holistic and data-driven strategy. Resonai’s Vera platform can help with augmented reality and digital signage solutions that provide marketers and retail owners with the information they need to improve foot traffic, manage flow, and boost profits. Are you ready to learn more? Get in touch with Resonai today and set up a free demonstration.

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