Why Retail Signs Matter in an Online World

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| 13 Jun 2018
Why Retail Signs Matter In An Online World

Today, digital advertising is everywhere. You don’t even need to have a smartphone, tablet, or computer to be influenced by it in one way or another.

Companies have, for some time now, been taking advantage of digital advertising by placing them any and everywhere possible. From billboards that are littered across every major city, to inside our homes in our TVs and mobile devices; marketers have gotten good at creating a number of different campaigns that are tailored to reach their specific target demographic. In today’s globalized world, social media has been a primary focus, with campaigns littered across the biggest social media platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook.

Companies do this as a means to use email capture as a way to send out email blasts promoting new sales and coupon codes. Clicking on certain websites causes ads to pop-up right under your mouse, forcing you to view and click them before you can close out of the window.

How Technology Impacts Consumer Culture

Technology undoubtedly has its fair share of drawbacks regarding consumer experience; you have the convenience of an infinite source of knowledge that is constantly available at your fingertips, but it comes at the cost of human interaction. Whether you’re part of the younger or older generation, there’s a good chance you eschew human interactions in favour of using your tablet or phone. You see this everywhere you go — if you go to a park or a restaurant and watch the people, you will observe that many, if not most, are occupied with a screen of some kind.

These days, it’s common to miss the feeling of having genuine human interaction. You may find yourself craving more personal experiences with your friends, colleagues, and loved ones. This feeling can persist even when talking to people through social media; this is because it’s natural to crave interaction that isn’t locked behind a screen. Likewise, it’s also natural to want to conduct your business in real life rather than shopping online.

When planning a social outing, your mind will most likely think of the best brick-and-mortar establishment for you and your friends. Whether it’s business or family related, you will most likely choose to meet at a store, mall, restaurant, or maybe even a park where you will be exposed to all the different kinds of signs aimed at converting you.

Why Signs Still Matter

It’s easy to fool yourself into believing that digital advertising is the only advertising that matters. But brick-and-mortar places are fulfilling a need that’s cropped up due to the proliferation of technology: They give people a personal, hands-on experience.

What this means is that stores need to attract people who are interested in the human aspect that brick-and-mortars can provide, which is where signs come to play in guiding consumers to where marketers want them to go.

Let’s break it down. A company might have an online presence in addition to their brick-and-mortar storefront. Their strategy would be to send out an email blast with a newsletter explaining their current deals and offer coupons to drive sales. The strategy online and offline would be the same, including price points and coupon eligibility.

However, the convenience factor of online shopping and delivery services, paired with showroom aspect of brick-and-mortars go hand in hand. All consumers need to do is click on a link and tap a few buttons to complete a transaction that, just a few decades ago, would have necessitated a real shopping trip. Similarly, consumers can visit the store to see and test products for themselves, and then choose to order online at home.

Online advertising pulls in online customers. The company used in the example above certainly understands this. But what if they don’t use any signs outside their brick-and-mortar store? How will they attract people who are looking for that hands-on experience? If they don’t have adequate drive-by visibility, they will miss out on the demographic that’s seeking real-life retail experiences.

Up to 82% percent of Millennials state that they think it’s important for brands to have a physical store. This is a huge deal, especially when considering how younger generations are notorious for being attached to the internet. The younger generation’s preference for brick-and-mortar stores is a clear indication that in-store retailing is not becoming obsolete.

Attention Spans and Technology

It seems like our attention spans become shorter and shorter with every new technological advent. The biggest brands today have to find ways to grab our attention in just a few seconds, or they can lose their chance forever. How many times have you seen a five-second ad made specifically with the intention of grabbing your attention before you lose interest in their product or service?

For a lot of people, an advertisement that lasts for more than thirty seconds is not worth their time. Blog posts and articles that take too long to read are either briefly scanned or are clicked off of. Even informative videos tend to be ignored if they exceed four minutes, and that’s a generous estimate. That makes it even more important for retail signs to be noticeable. A sign should be able to grab your attention and communicate its message in the time that it takes you to drive or walk past it.

Innovation is Key

Digital signs are still necessary in today’s world, with most purchases still being made in brick-and-mortar stores. But the way we interact with technology has also fundamentally changed the way we interact with advertisements in general. This means that marketers must be innovative in their attempts to catch the attention of passersby, regardless of whether they’re tailoring their content towards retail establishments, restaurants, banks, parks, or businesses.

New Style Signs creates custom corporate signs tailored to your particular requirements. To learn more about our services or request a quote, call 905-363-0101 or fill out the request form here.

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New Style Signs produces creative and high quality custom signs for companies throughout Southern Ontario!

6635 Kitimat Road, Unit 35
Mississauga, Ontario, L5N 6J2

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