It’s no secret the challenges faced by retailers in the UK. Despite some positive movement in recent months, the long-term impacts of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic are still putting retailers under extreme pressure, with the high street losing up to 50 chain stores per day in 2021 alone. However, whilst online retailers benefited from a huge boost in demand during the pandemic, a post-2020 survey found that almost 50% of shoppers prefer the in-location experience.
An Uncomfortable Truth…
The dichotomy between shoppers’ experiential preferences and their measurable spending habits presents an uncomfortable truth: shoppers will gladly sacrifice online convenience for in-store experience, but only if the store in question is satisfying that need. Great products, excellent value, fantastic service, prime location—it’s no longer enough. The high street consumers of 2022 want something more…
Bridging the Gap
How does the modern retailer begin to address this intangible desire for “experience”? Encouraging research by the Signage Foundation indicates that shop signage can be an excellent first step. Their study found that signage had a significant positive impact on sales, with some 60% of surveyed businesses reporting a 10% increase in sales following the installation of new or improved exterior signage.
Similarly significant is the reported efficacy of interior signage, which can boost the “micro-experiences” offered by your brand. Modern lightboxes and digital display units speak directly to your customers, while providing you as a retailer a visible and credible form of delivery for promotions, advertising and marketing.
From Illuminated Signage to Sandwich Boards
Whatever your budget, new shop signs present a relatively simple and cost-effective way to attract customers to your premises, create a long-lasting positive impression, and deliver that all-important customer experience.
Fresh Ideas in Exterior Signage: the Three Ws
Whilst in recent years we have seen considerable advances in the field of interior signage, for many retailers, high-quality exterior shop signage provides the most immediate benefit and value-for-money. Illuminated signage and professional window graphics can be created and installed quickly and cheaply, improving the visibility of your business within a matter of days.
With all the signage options, installation options, and suppliers out there, you might find yourself slightly overwhelmed. Take a look at our three Ws before going ahead with your signage project:
Depending on the physical location of your store, you may find there are limitations on your shop front signage. Businesses located in shopping centres or retail parks, for instance, may be restricted by the size and type of allowable sign (flex face signage is a common example, with many property managers installing permanent fixings).
Don’t decide on that elaborate illuminated sign before consulting a professional to ensure it will work. At the same time, don’t feel as though you need to settle for basic styles and materials; with creative and professional signage design, there are no limitations, only opportunities.
At what times of the day do you need your signage to engage with you customers? If your retail space is within a shopping centre or retail park, you might not anticipate much footfall outside of business hours. In this instance, hand-fabricated acrylic built-up lettering or large-format vinyl printing can provide a top-quality solution, striking an ideal blend of quality, price, and durability.
If you need shop front signs which can be seen throughout the night and work correctly during the winter months, it’s time to start looking into illuminated signs. The range of LED signs available to the modern retailer is huge: for a retro effect, a neon illuminated sign or LED lightbox (combined with poster printing) can be a superb way of lighting your building facade. Alternatively, standard built-up lettering combined with LED lighting modules can provide a reliable source of face, halo, or full illumination throughout the dark hours.
A commonly overlooked question in the creation of business signs and graphics: what does your shop front signage say about you? You want your signage to be representative of your business as a whole. If your company’s brand imagery is very natural and organic, a wooden shop sign might be the best way to convey that message. If you rely on bright or retro aesthetics for your store, a neon illuminated sign (or new, eco-friendly micro neon illuminated signage) may be a more suitable option.
Fresh Ideas in Interior Shop Signage: the Three Ws.
Throughout the pandemic, we saw a huge spike in demand for in-store directional signage. With distance requirements and restrictions on store movement and navigation, many retailers found themselves without the prints and graphics necessary to follow government advice.
As retailers attempt to return to a state of normality, there is an opportunity to embrace consumer familiarity with interior signage. Wall signs, stands and graphics can merge the functional with the creative, boosting brand recognition and trust, whilst also promoting sales and consumer engagement.
Consider where within your store you could benefit from shop signage. If you have a large amount of window space, you might want to consider window display signs. One way vision film and the aforementioned LED lightboxes can prove extremely cost-effective, and offer supreme versatility. If you want signage which is more functional and directional in nature—perhaps to guide customers to key areas of the store—simple wall panels, cut lettering, or finger sign posts can provide a simple, classic solution.
The question of when carries just as much weight for interior signage as it does for shop signs on the outside. Make sure you account for who will be seeing your signs and when you expect them to do so.
With digital signage and similar illuminated signs, it’s possible to vary display options throughout the day. Your lunchtime meal deal might do fantastic business, but do you really need to promote it all day? The limitations of your old business stand are a thing of the past—the interior signage of today works to maximise consumer engagement with your products.
For companies who want to offer the best and newest micro experiences, digital signage can be perfect for allowing interaction on an unprecedented scale. But, they’re not for everyone…
For the most part, digital signage is extremely energy-efficient; but, if your company prides itself on its ethics and progressive practices, does a light-emitting box project the right impression? Don’t get too caught up in the tech; if you feel a traditional sandwich board or point-of-sale display is right for you, don’t be afraid to trust your instinct!
The Fourth and Fifth Ws: “Who” and “How”
Finding someone who can sell you the right signage is one thing, but it’s not enough—you want someone who can supply your business with the right signage. From design to installation and maintenance, you need a team with the knowledge and expertise to guarantee quality, durability, and safety.
Here at JMF, our logistics team work tirelessly to optimise the flow of jobs from initial enquiry, through production, and onto product installation.
While all our clients receive a bespoke production plan based on their needs and requirements, we always set the following benchmarks for success:
- Happy staff (ours and yours)
- Team reliability and efficiency
- Superior customer service
- Build client trust and confidence
- Complete customer satisfaction
Our logistics management team will ensure your job is completed to the highest standard, delivered on time and installed to your satisfaction.
From industrial and retail parks to shopping centres and the high street, our expert installation team have the ability and know-how to fit your signage correctly and safely.
Our professional fitting engineers comply fully with PASMA, IPAF and CSCS accreditation standards. The installation team operates throughout the UK, and provide all essential site surveys and drawings free of charge.
From Illuminated Signs to Window Graphics: JMF Group Are All You Need
Don’t settle for less when it comes to signage for your shops and retail premises. At JMF, our knowledge and experience are unparalleled, and our service will not be beaten.
Contact us today to request more information or discuss your specific signage needs. Our team can’t wait to help!