6 Ways Supermarket Signage Improves the Shopping Experience

Have you ever gone into a shop and felt overwhelmed or lost? Chances are you were just looking for the right sign. 

Signage is an important, but often overlooked, aspect of an effective supermarket layout. Inconsistent or confusing signs might turn off potential customers, even if you have great products and friendly staff. 

Well-designed and strategically placed signs are a great way to boost customers’ confidence in your brand. With a firm understanding of how signage and the customer journey work together, you can find opportunities to drive sales, retain customers, and improve efficiency.

Supermarket Signage: The Basics

To improve your supermarket signage, first consider the various types of signs and their purpose:

  • Aisle signs help customers find specific items on their shopping lists.
  • Wayfinding signs help customers navigate the various sections of the store (checkout, pharmacy, deli counter, etc.). 
  • Informational signs let people know about different types of products and educate them on specific products (e.g. a sign that highlights the local farm you source your tomatoes from). 

Supermarket Signage: Best Practices

Before getting into how supermarket signage impacts your customers, let’s get into what makes great supermarket signage.

  • Clear: A study by the Signage Foundation showed that making signs easy to read encourages customers to try a store’s services and products. Make sure your signs use minimalistic designs and easy-to-read typefaces. 
  • Simple: Popping into a new supermarket can be stressful, especially if you don’t know where to look. To avoid confusion, ensure your signs are clear and not overloaded with information.
  • Local: Customers often prefer smaller supermarkets because they feel connected to local businesses. Use signage whenever you can to highlight products from other businesses in your area. 
  • Vibrant colors: Supermarkets and grocery stores tend to favor a warmer color palette to create a sense of freshness and quality from the minute they walk through the door. Another way to use color is to highlight discounts and promotions. For example, if you always use orange for flash sales, customers will know when you have a deal on.
  • Big: Customers shouldn’t need to squint to read your signs. Large designs are high-impact and more readable than smaller installations. Huge signs are best reserved for section names, like a butcher counter or bakery aisle.

If it fits your brand, handmade signage is also increasingly popular with customers.

Sign Placement

Perfectly designed signs aren’t helpful to anyone if they’re in the wrong place. Know the purpose of all of your signs and make sure they’re in the most effective spot.

  • Wayfinding signs: Hang wayfinding signs from the ceiling or as banners to make sure they’re easily seen above any product displays or crowds.
  • Information and promotions:  Place any promotional or informational signs at eye level so shoppers can see them. This is particularly effective at checkout to encourage impulse buys.
  • Brand or featured promotions: For bigger, bolder displays, use a window cling or place them near the entrance to draw people into the store.

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How Great Signage Improves the Shopping Experience

Great signage doesn’t just help people find their way around your store, it also tells a story. Good and bad signage set the tone for the entire shopping experience.

Most importantly, investing in consistent and memorable signage has many distinct advantages for independent grocery stores.

1. Creates a Memorable Experience

Attractive signage elevates your store from being an anonymous mishmash of products and aisles to having a distinct identity. 

Informational signs are a great way to connect with your customers while educating them about your supermarket and products. If you're looking for a space-saving option, QR codes are a simple and subtle way for customers to get more information on specific items from your website

It’s also important to capture people’s attention both inside and outside the store. Banners are a great, cost-effective way to draw customers’ eyes and highlight deals. Window displays are also an excellent tool to highlight your brand and display your deals to passersby. 

2. Increases Customer Retention

Branded supermarket signage helps retain customers. 

Convenience and selection are both major factors when shoppers consider returning to your store. Signage can help with both.

Clear wayfinding and aisle signs make the shopping experience more convenient — and large banners and eye-level informational signs can draw attention to your unique products and exclusive promotions.

Customer loyalty programs encourage repeat business. Having prominent signage that highlights the benefits of your customer loyalty program is an effective and inexpensive way to encourage more sign-ups.

3. Reduces Confusion

Don’t you hate when you go back and forth between aisles looking for that last item on your grocery list? 

Clear and informative signage helps cut down on the confusion. Consider installing a digital aisle directory towards the front of the store so people can quickly find what they need. 

The sales data on your point of sale (POS) system is also helpful when designing aisle signs. In addition to the general category of the goods (baking, condiments, etc.), you can use sales reports to find the bestselling items from each aisle and list them, too.

Related Read: 5 Checkout Optimization Best Practices for Brick-and-Mortar Grocery

4. Encourages Upselling

Crafting creative promotions and deals is a surefire way to make customers happy. In addition to an attractive store layout, eye-catching signage is a valuable tool for letting customers know what’s on sale, as well as any new arrivals and seasonal deals.

Use color-coded signs to let people know exactly which items are on sale and for how long. And don’t forget the checkout area. It’s the first and last thing most people will see when shopping at your store, so use that area to entice customers with your best deals.

You could set out a table with a flash sale item or a sign encouraging people to sign up for a newsletter for exclusive offers and deals. 

5. Helps Meal Planners

Did you know that almost 70% of Americans plan their meals on a weekly basis? 

Practically speaking, that means fewer customers are browsing without a shopping list — making wayfinding and storytelling signage crucial. Storytelling signage is informational signage that gives customers meal prep tips, ideas, and more. 

You can also use your POS system to create custom bundles and offers to help make meal planning easier. For example, you could create a hamburger kit with buns, cheese, ground beef, lettuce, pre-sliced tomatoes, and onions.

6. Enables Quick Adjustments

Sometimes, small grocers need to make quick decisions. Digital signage allows you to roll out discounts and price changes without having to manually print and hang new signs. Modern digital signage is also very easy to read.

We recommend digital signage that connects with your POS and inventory system to ensure any displayed prices are accurate.

While digital signage isn’t for everyone, it can be great for staff because they’ll have more time to spend on customers — and customer service is one of the top ways a small business can stand out.  

Using Your POS System To Maximize the Impact of Supermarket Signage

Consider your supermarket as a canvas and supermarket signage as the paint. Great signage takes what’s already great about your store and makes it even better by creating a smoother and more memorable shopping experience.

A modern supermarket POS system like IT Retail provides supermarket owners with helpful tools and actionable insights that they can use to optimize their signage.

  • Custom reports: Find your best sellers, seasonal favorites, daily trends, and more. Use these insights to create signs that highlight what customers love best.
  • Online sales: Merge your in-store and online brands with robust e-commerce tools. Use your website as a valuable source of extra information by using QR codes to link product pages to your in-store labels.
  • Tailored customer loyalty: Create any style of customer loyalty program you want and prominently advertise the benefits in-store. 

Signage and modern, convenient POS systems work hand in hand to create a better overall customer experience. To see how IT Retail can maximize the impact of your supermarket signage, schedule a free demo today.