I continue to rail against visual clutter – especially with signs in stores. On the whole, I see 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 even in our omnichannel era.
If your stores are suffering from visual clutter, strip down signs to these 5 key purposes:
1. Department Way Finding – 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 Way Finding– 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 signs. Then ONE style and color for promotional signs. Not a different color and style for every promotion the marketing team and your vendors created for the quarter.
5. Informational – Again, make it standard and restrain your vendors from justifying an informational sign for every new item. It has to TRULY be something that needs to be explained….oh…and it actually has to matter to shoppers.
Overall, retailers in America could do with a signage cleanse. First, your shoppers benefit. Second, your bottom line will too. Because it will reduce your design and production costs and improve customer self-service.
Need help? Delaney Consulting Creates Clarity.