Recently, The Point of Sale News interviewed Steve Goldbrenner of StoreSigns.com, an online signage company offering customizable signage for businesses. Though this company's artists have created signage for some large and well-known companies, StoreSigns.com offers many in-store and outdoor signs that all come backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, targeted for small- to medium-sized businesses seeking quality signage. Steve filled us in on why signage matters in a technology-flooded market, how his company is using online technology to offer an huge array of custom solutions, and how POS signage can drive sales and close the deal with indecisive shoppers.
The Point of Sale News (POS): In a technology-flooded market ruled by social media and online advertising, what makes traditional signage relevant and valuable to small- to medium-sized businesses?
Steve Goldbrenner (SG): In our current business environment of advancing technology and influential social media, printed, tangible store signage still manages to be one of the most valuable tools to drive sales.
According to Nielsen, 86% of people said they were influenced to make purchases with store signage, compared to 37% who were influenced with social media. Store signage brands your business, advertises current sales, and drives customers into the store. Social media might be more "hip" but store signage is what sells, which is why large chain retailers continue to spend millions on in-store marketing materials.
POS: StoreSigns.com uses internet technology to allow businesses to create personalized signage. How does this combination of online customization and in-store display combine to reach new markets and drive new sales?
SG: Our company gives small businesses the ability to look as established and professional as big box chain stores, without having to spend a lot of money.
Without the service that we provide, small stores would either have to hire a graphic artist to create their signs, which is expensive, OR they would use clipart and desktop publishing software to create their signs, which looks unprofessional and cheap. Then they would have to find a printer that could handle the size that they needed.
In addition, we provide high quality printing and reasonable pricing on a variety of substrates that are not available at most local sign shops.
POS: Could you elaborate on the way that in-store signage actually has more influence on consumers than online advertising, social media, and email campaigns? Why do you think this is?
SG: Nielsen surveys find that store signage is the most effective way of influencing customers. Although not specified why this is from the survey, there are many aspects for why this is the case.
The influence of in-store signage catches the customer right in front of the store and they are immediately drawn in by the promotion being advertised. The customer is able to touch and feel the product while that product is being advertised, cementing the "buy now" attitude and impulse buys. Comparatively, an individual seeing an online ad or being influenced by social media, needs to go to the website, find the product, read reviews to compensate for not being able to touch or see, get the wallet from their purse, input the shipping and billing information, and pay for postage. There are many more mental and physical steps to being influenced and purchasing online.
Furthermore, customized signage helps brand the store, and customers want to associate with premium retailers.
Interactivity is great but there is nothing like print; magazines, catalogs, and printed marketing materials offer higher quality and something that you can hold in your hands.
POS: What techniques can help businesses design the perfect sign campaign for their own unique needs?
SG: We start off with a great design and clever copy so users can modify the text as needed while maintaing a high quality design. This helps the store owner be as creative as they would like, or not at all. Many of our customers keep the standard copy (some of them are really good) and only add their own store website address, or specific sale to the sign. Other customers like to change the copy if they have a different style of writing or a specific slogan or message that they would like printed.
Our designs are varied, some upscale, some casual, some in between. Stores from NY and LA to middle America can find something that is appropriate for their type of store.
POS: Your company has printed signage for some very large retailers. How do you approach working with and customizing signage for smaller companies?
SG: StoreSigns.com was started because there was no easy affordable way for small retailers to get their signage. Our mission is to give small mom and pop retailers the same high end product and service that we deliver to the national chains.
Our goal is to provide high quality designs, easy customization, and premium printing. Our CSR reps are knowledgable about our products and services, and small chains (3-20 stores) get their own dedicated account manager. Our reps can also help small stores with a range of non-standard/custom products and services that we make available to our customers.
POS: How do Point-of-Sale signs increase sales, and what are the most effective techniques for creating powerful POS signs that will increase revenue?
SG: POS signs on the perimeter of the store whet customers appetites - there is nothing like beautiful imagery advertising a product to promote desire as well as spending. Great copy is the second most important thing next to imagery. Rack-top POS signs can use marketing tactics such as buy one get one, seasonal discounts, or other promotional offers to either close an indecisive customers decision, or to solidify the 'get it, its so cheap' attitude (primarily among men).
POS: StoreSigns has a blog, businesssigns.org. How does your retail business use this online technology to support the companies that purchase signage through StoreSigns.com?
SG: We use the blog to help educate small retailers about the options that they have and push them to think big. They need to know that they can market themselves as well and effectively as chain stores without the high cost.
While there are several organizations that provide advice, information, and ideas to large retailers, there is not much for the small retailer. BusinessSigns.org offers several weekly posts on general marketing, signage, and brand building.
Steve Goldbrenner's company is only one of the options for small- to medium-sized businesses seeking signage solutions both for outdoor displays and revenue-driving POS signs. Offering custom solutions for businesses' needs gives businesses greater control over the way the consumer views the company and the merchandise it offers. It is clear that Point-of-Sale signage can drive traffic and revenue so make sure that your business seeks the most appealing POS signage to encourage customers to take the purchasing plunge.
Written by Kathryn Cunningham