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How Can Display Signs Help Attract More Customers

Posted By:

XL Displays


11 October 2021

Reading Time:

15 Mins

This news article is also featured in:

Advertising BoardsBanner StandsDisplay BoardsPavement SignsPromotional Flags

How Can Display Signs Help Attract More Customers

In our modern age of business, it may feel like everything has a digital focus, but there is still a valid place at the table for traditional analogue marketing such as display signs. Available in all kinds of shapes, sizes and designs, these advertising displays can play a pivotal role in boosting your business. So, how can display signs help you attract more customers? Read on to find out. 

What are display signs?

Display signs are indoor or outdoor boards or panels used to display branding or promotional messages as advertising for your business. You can use them to attract new customers, make people aware of your location, showcase special offers, highlight brand awareness and even remind your customers about your social distancing measures.

What are the types of display signs? 

We sell a wide range of display signs in different shapes and sizes. All fulfill a different function:

  • Pavement Signs - Typically found outside businesses on high streets or in shopping centres, our range of pavement signs include a-frames, water-base signs, forecourt signs and swing signs. They are often used to display promotions, sales, social distancing information, opening hours or menus.

  • Chalkboards - Chalkboards are cost-effective and versatile display signs, as you can create your own messaging, wipe them clean and start over as many times as you like. Most commonly associated with hospitality venues such as pubs and cafes, they are available in a-frame, flex sign and wall-mounted designs.

  • Notice Boards - Our collection of noticeboards includes designs suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Indoor notice boards are commonly found in offices, community centres, schools, libraries and supermarkets. Outdoor notice boards are found outside schools, theatres, cinemas, hospitality venues, shops and churches. They are most often used to display community notices, information and updates, or to showcase poster advertising.

  • Illuminated Signs - Illuminated signs are backlit displays that come in all shapes and sizes. They are eye-catching and bright, thanks to the LED frame or tube lights in their structure. They are effective display signs for dark or shadowy areas of low light, for outside businesses or in dim interiors. They also make excellent counter-top advertising in salons and retail outlets.

  • Cafe Barriers - Constructed from a personalised printed graphic banner attached to two stanchion posts, cafe barriers are typically used to create seating, dining or smoking areas outside hospitality venues such as pubs, cafes or nightclubs. However, they can also be used to create simple queue lines, so you will also find them outside events and exhibitions, offering crowd control with additional advertising space.

  • Flag Banners - Perfect for outdoor events and exhibitions or on forecourts, flag banners flutter in the breeze for an eye-catching display. Best suited to bold, clear designs such as branding or ‘sale’ messaging, they have sturdy weighted bases (or ground spikes) to keep them secure even during inclement weather.

The kind of display sign you choose will depend upon your individual requirements, but if you’re unsure, our team is always on hand to discuss the best options for you and your business.

Do display signs affect behaviour?

The simple truth is that yes, display signs do affect behaviour - in many different ways. As humans, we are naturally influenced by what we see all around us, so display signs can cause behaviour changes. A prime example of this is road signs; studies have shown that clear signage and warnings have been successful in reducing driver speeding. Similarly, displaying signs advising the health benefits of taking the stairs rather than a lift have shown remarkable results. So, if we know that our health and safety can be positively affected by display signs, the same should hold true for advertising boards that promote our businesses.

Recent research suggests that between 30 and 40 percent of category and brand decisions are made in store ( Ogilvy-Action), and a 2008 study (GMA/Deloitte, 2008) showed that non-trade marketing activities at the point of sale were more likely to deliver a meaningful return on investment than television, radio or print advertising. We can therefore extrapolate from this that in order to adequately impact customer behaviour, we need to introduce effective display signs in the right locations.

TOTEM Illuminated Signs

TOTEM Illuminated Signs

Black WINDSTORM® PRO Outdoor Pavement Sign Board

Black WINDSTORM® PRO Outdoor Pavement Sign Board

How effective are display signs? 

We know that advertising is effective. A prime example of this is how, as soon as chewing gum ads started showing people chewing two pieces of gum at once, sales doubled instantly. That's because people also started to chew two pieces at a time, just like they’d seen on TV.

The important thing to remember when talking about display sign efficacy is to consider how primed people are to notice them. A typical person sees roughly between 6,500 and 11,000 ads a day, so finding a way to focus attention is key. For example, during the pandemic people were so focused on protecting themselves that when it came to signage displaying social distancing rules and safety tips, 96% of people who went to a supermarket remembered seeing a sign, 97% remembered seeing one in hospitals, 89% of shoppers recall them being used in retail environments and 84% of people who went to a restaurant or bar recall seeing them. So people clearly are noticing display signs.

Although a lot of modern advertising is going digital, it’s important to remember the influence traditional display signs still have. For example, customers are bombarded all day with digital ads on their phones and laptops through social media sites or ecommerce pages, and the click-through rates on these online ads are very low. However, about 5 in 10 US adults have used Google or another search engine to look up information after seeing billboard ads. This suggests that display signs can be effective traffic drivers even to digital-only businesses. It is believed that 60% of consumers respond more positively to display signs in comparison to their digital counterparts, as passers-by cannot simply ‘switch off’ outdoor advertising as it is fixed in their line of sight (whereas online ads can be closed easily). 

How can display signs attract more customers and boost sales?

It’s fairly easy to purchase a display sign, get it printed with your branding or promotional message, and put it up outside or in your premises. However, does that guarantee people will notice it and be more likely to spend their money in your business? Of course not. Knowing how and where to use your display signs (and purchasing the right kind of display sign) is vitally important in attracting new customers and moving them through your sales funnel.

Advertisers often use a technique called ‘affective condition’ where they take a product and place it next to other things consumers feel positive about. For example, detergent brands often associate themselves with babies, sunshine, and flowers, even though detergent doesn’t have anything to do with those things. Repeatedly displaying the brand alongside feel-good images makes people think more positively about the product. It’s no different with display signs. You want to use your display signs to create positive associations, and you want to be installing them in the right places.

A well-positioned advertising display will make customers look towards business, focusing their attention on your premises. So, the first rule is to set up your display sign where passers-by can easily see it; where it will catch the most attention. Look for high-traffic areas where there’s plenty of footfall, or a roadside where the traffic is regularly stationary or slow-moving. Try to avoid areas with many pre-existing displays from other businesses, as yours may get lost in the crowd. In addition, outdoor displays play on the concept of familiarity to build a connection; for example, you see the same ad every day on your commute or school run and it becomes part of your daily narrative, making you more likely to feel connected to that brand. 

Remember - 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, so having a digital presence is important (Bright Local). If you’ve been spotted online, new customers are more likely to spot your display signs and be driven towards your business. 

How do you make a display sign stand out?

For display signs, you should consider 3-30-3 rule. This stands for:

  • 3 seconds - most visitors only look at the display for 3 seconds. This is where the visual familiarisation with the sign takes place, and this piece of information usually includes an eye-catching title, a large image, or both. 
  • 30 seconds - as long as the display caught their attention in the first three-second phase, its viewing lasts about 30 seconds. The main information is usually longer described in 1-2 paragraphs. 
  • 3 minutes – the display which will grab the attention of visitors thematically and graphically will be viewed up to 3 minutes (in detail).

Effective outdoor advertising has three main qualities. It should be:

  • Eye-catching & Colourful
  • On-Brand
  • Clear & Concise

So, you want to display information that’s going to catch people’s eye initially, then draw their interest and focus long enough to get your messaging across. Humour or  bright and funny images always work well; a smile can make people feel positively towards your business. Everybody loves an offer, so promotions or discounts will attract those looking for a good deal. Staying relevant, such as highlighting social or seasonal events, can make customers feel seen or heard. For example, if snow is forecast and you sell winter boots or sledges, then that’s the perfect weekend to display this on your outdoor advertising. 

For more information, check out our blog How To Make The Most Out Of Outdoor Advertising Boards.

Remember, if you want your display sign to stand out, you should invest in durable, high-quality products. Practically, illuminated signs and bright, colourful designs are going to be the most eye-catching for potential customers, but the truth is that putting time, effort and money into your advertising displays is the best way to make them stand out. Libby Bierman, Analyst at Sageworks, states that: ‘Sageworks’ data shows that the average small business invests about 1 percent of its revenues into advertising. So if your business isn’t already setting aside a budget for display signs, now is the time to rectify that!

In conclusion, display signs can be incredibly effective tools in attracting new customers, when installed in the right location, printed with eye-catching graphics and directed at your target audience. For more information about any of our display signs or further advice on how you can use them in your business, our expert team is happy to help. Reach out to us via our Contact Us page or on 01733 511030.