In today’s ever-changing, digital consumer environment, where UK-based shoppers make on average 87% of all purchases online, it may seem as if there’s no space left for brick and mortar establishments offering the traditional shopping experience. After all, with so many products and services available for purchase with just the click of a button, many people are convinced that brick and mortar shops are heading towards their demise.
However, while it’s clear that online shopping has increased in popularity massively over the past decade, there is certainly still a place for traditional retail establishments in today’s consumer society. From local convenience shops to the array of independent boutiques opening up across the UK, there are some establishments offering a retail experience that simply cannot be rivalled by online alternatives like Amazon and Ebay.
With this in mind, we at Ainsley Signs firmly believe that brick and mortar shops still have a place on the high street, and that all shops must continue to market themselves successfully to remain popular amongst everyday passersby and offline consumers. One of – if not the – most important feature of any shop face is its sign, as this is the first thing potential customers will see before deciding whether or not to enter the premises.
In today’s digital age, it may be tempting to look at the statistics and decide that investing in your online presence is more important than focusing on your actual shop. However, despite the rise of online shopping, making sure you have bespoke corporate signage is still extremely important for businesses of all sizes and sectors. There are a number of reasons why this is the case, as we discuss here.
Five reasons why all retailers need custom signs
The traditional shopper experience is important to local communities
While the use of digital marketing and online shopping has skyrocketed in recent years, this does nothing to benefit local communities and add character to towns and cities. Grocery shops, mini supermarkets, clothes shops and other retail establishments are all integral to city centres and high streets, creating a hub for people living nearby to do their shopping and socialise, and also to attract other people to look around the area. Whenever you’re visiting a new city, whether that’s London, Leeds or Manchester, you’re likely to take note of the shopping facilities on offer – even if that’s not the reason you’re visiting. It’s clear that the traditional shopper experience is still widely valued, and with this in mind, it’s still necessary for shops to pay attention to their signage and how they could benefit from it. Here are some of the main types of signage you may consider as a retailer, including:
- Corporate signage – like most shops will have as standard, corporate signage is a necessary feature for all retail establishments. There are many different types available depending on your brand and preferred tastes, including fascia signs and stand-off letters.
- Illuminated signage – illuminated signs give your shop visibility even outside of business hours, and can help your company stand out amongst the others throughout the night.
- Internal signage – while it’s your shop front that will draw customers into your premises, there’s a lot to be gained from effective internal signage. From bespoke graphics creating a unique brand identity to useful signs directing your customers around the shop, there are many different uses for and benefits of internal signage.
- A-boards – A-boards are a great way to relay information about your shop quickly to people who are driving or on the other side of the road. Having an A-board outside of your shop will alert people to the fact you’re open for business.
For more information about the signage on offer in your local area, search for a reputable sign shop near you.
Business signs create a great first impression on potential customers
As a retail establishment, it is in your best interests to make sure that your shop looks professional and attractive at all times. A scruffy, run-down shop isn’t likely to attract customers, whereas a stylish, professionally designed retail establishment will give a great first impression of your business. From the illuminated sign above the doorway to the A-board letting passersby know you’re open, your shop signs are instrumental in directing people from the street into your premises, and therefore increasing your chances of making a sale.
If the front of your shop looks shabby, potential customers are likely to think twice about entering. After all, if you haven’t made an effort to maintain the front of your shop, what type of service can they expect to receive? This is especially true if you’re a shop that offers a luxury experience, such as a salon, bridal shop or expensive clothes retailer, however, the same logic applies to even the smallest shops offering budget-priced products.
To attract people who don’t know what they’re looking for
While many people tend to shop online if they’re looking to buy a specific product, it’s more challenging to browse through webpages of goods than it is to simply stroll around a shop and look at the shelves. If customers don’t know what they’re looking for, they’re likely to wander around their local shopping centre or high street and go wherever takes their fancy – giving shops the opportunity to entice passersby inside and make a purchase.
If you want your establishment to draw customers in, you’ll need to make sure your shop front looks attractive and well-maintained, and that it’s clear what type of product or service you’re offering. One great way to do this is to design and install a sign with your business name and logo – a good sign can make even the smallest and newest of shops look like a well-established retailer.
To promote to demographics who don’t shop online
While some people prefer to shop online and will always choose this option if it’s available, there are some demographics who find online shopping a mystery and much prefer heading to their local shop. Additionally, some groups of people don’t have access to the Internet or a smartphone where they can browse e-commerce websites at their convenience, in which case, they’ll rely on supermarkets, post offices, clothes shops and more to purchase everything they need.
When promoting your business to demographics who don’t shop online, your direct competitors will be other establishments offering similar products or services in your local area. One way of making yourself stand out, in addition to offering an exceptional consumer experience, is to make sure the front of your shop looks appealing. After all, investing in a bespoke sign for your business is a much more cost-effective way of promoting your shop than paying for television or radio advertising, and so is a great way to get the message out there for people who rely solely on brick and mortar shops to make their weekly purchases.
To attract people who live in the local area
While there are many benefits to shopping online, the one that most shoppers identify as being their main motivation is the fact it’s extremely convenient. However, for people in your local area, simply walking a few minutes down the street is going to take them less time and cost them less money, making it a highly attractive option. With this in mind, it’s important that you do all you can to make sure potential customers in your local area know where you’re based, what you sell, and when you’re open.
There are, of course, many ways to promote your business, yet one of the simplest and most effective ways to spread the word about your shop is to make yourself as visible as possible to those in close proximity. As people in your local area run errands and drive past your shop, they’ll take a mental picture even if they don’t realise it. To make the most of this marketing opportunity, consider putting an A-board outside to let drivers spot whether you’re open quickly and easily, and invest in an illuminated sign to continue promoting your business throughout the night.
If you run a well-established shop in the local area, such as a convenience shop people rely on for their daily bread and milk, or a book shop that’s been around for as long as your neighbours can remember, you may believe that your loyal customers will always keep you afloat. However, as people relocate from and to your area, you’ll need to make sure you always keep on top of your marketing efforts to attract new customers at every possible opportunity.
Ainsley Signs: Experts in designing and installing corporate signage for businesses in Manchester
If you’re looking for bespoke business signage you can rely on to update your shop front, look no further than Ainsley Signs. Based in Manchester, we’re experts in designing, producing and installing signs for all types of clients, from exhibition signage to vehicle graphics, vinyl lettering to digital printing. We’ll work with you to meet your specifications and expectations, and are proud to have been Manchester’s favourite sign makers for over 50 years.
For more information about our range of outdoor signs for business and other services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of signage experts today.