Have you ever gotten lost inside a store, looking for that one item you really need? Do you have a difficult time finding a certain product on the aisles of your favorite supermarket? Have you found yourself in the toiletries department instead of the toy department? Does your quick trip to the home improvement store turn into a 30-minute ordeal because you can’t locate the paint aisle?
If you’ve ever encountered confusion inside a store of any kind, it’s probably because the signage inside the establishment was inadequate. Often, we take signs for granted. We just expect them to be there when we walk into a store, guiding us to where we need to go to get everything on our shopping list. But when they’re not there – or they’re not ample – we become rather befuddled. We learn the hard way just how important it is to have suitable in-store signage.
In-Store Wayfinding For Navigation Helps Sales
Large stores have the most difficult challenge when it comes to in-store wayfinding; that is, helping customers make their way – quickly – to the department or aisle where there item(s) are located. Today’s shoppers rarely want to linger longer than necessary, intent on moving onto their next task or errand. So, what can you – the shop owner – do to make their journey through your store as painless as possible?
Truly, it’s all about good signage. Large stores, especially, need signs, banners, posters, and more in abundance. First of all, aisle signs are essential. Many stores with particularly long aisles need more than one sign per aisle. Make sure they’re large enough to accommodate even the most nearsighted shopper – the one who might have a hard time spying them from far away.
Choose a font that’s easy to read and a color that stands out amidst the chaos of a busy store. Aisle signs should prominently display the aisle number but should also highlight the most often-purchased items on that particular aisle.
For some stores, aisle signs aren’t applicable. Instead, signs announcing each department are more suitable. These are obviously appropriate for “department” stores and other similar establishments. Department signs should include the same characteristics as aisle signs. They should be large enough to read from a sizeable distance and should be written in an easy-to-read font.
These signs might include some kind of image or graphic along with the name of the department. Remember, the signs should be uniquely yours but easy to decipher. Such signs can be hung in the individual department but might also appear near escalators or lifts along with directional arrows pointing to that particular part of the store.
Because inventory changes frequently and store layouts are altered from time to time as well, retailers might also want to consider interchangeable way-finding systems that are adaptable to these changes. Ask your shop fitting specialist about these options, which can be quite cost-saving for stores that make frequent alterations.
If you’re in the market for a shopfitter, inquire as to their experience with signage, ask for samples used for stores like yours, or – whenever possible – visit one of their clients to view the end result of their signage work. Good in-store wayfinding signs will be integral to your success and customers will appreciate your attention to detail.