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Harford County Signs and Banners Blog

Ho Ho Ho – Holiday Signs Already Here

Friday, November 21, 2014

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti at

Signs of the holiday season range from retail shelves stocked with red, green, silver and gold ornaments, to the bell-ringing collection canister outside every retail establishment and the holiday music blaring from store speakers before Thanksgiving. But the literal signs that communicate to holiday shoppers are most important.

You need signs in your retail location to help customers have a satisfactory holiday shopping experience. All too often during the frenzy of holiday buying, customers go to the wrong line, find an item that is mis-marked, or simply can’t find what they’re looking for because there is no signage in the store communicating to them. The result: a frustrated customer who won’t return or who will tell his or her horror story both at holiday cocktail parties and on social media.

Whether you choose to use large digital monitors or attractive easel-back point-of-purchase signs, get your communication started. If you have a hot item, or a deal of the day, use a sign to highlight it and guide customers to its shelf. If you have sale items, clearly communicate the sale price with signage that is unmistakably associated with the item. Signs should be on the correct fixture, next to the correct merchandise and clearly spell out the sale. Is it 50 percent off the original price, or 50 percent off the current marked price? It makes a big difference. Save your staff a lot of time by having signs in the right places. Also, mark your check-out lines. If a line is express or a specialty line, make it clear with friendly signage.

Finally, your staff should be both identifiable and available. Identifiable means in a uniform with nametag or store logo on it. Customers shouldn’t have to ask, “Do you work here?” and risk asking someone’s Aunt Mary who just happens to be browsing the shelves today. The easier you make the shopping experience, the more likely you are to have repeat customers and referrals.

Happy signing!

Digital Makes a Difference

Friday, November 07, 2014

The use of digital signage at retail or in restaurants is becoming more mainstream. Why? Digital signage not only provides clear, great-looking images that capture people’s attention, it’s also flexible and changeable based on the current business climate. The beauty of digital signage is that it can be customized and message-driven. It takes just a little creativity to see how it can work for various retailers.

For example, a small appliance store may have discontinued models they need to move. Every season, the model line-up changes and the old product needs to be moved out. A digital sign can make a big difference. Whether it’s in the shop window or an outdoor sign, the appliance store owner can create a series of targeted messages that will run on the digital signage. Those messages can be about price, but also about the appliance itself and any promotions. The message can change daily or weekly, depending on how ambitious the shop owner chooses to be.

In restaurants, as well as in retail, weekly specials can be communicated using digital signage. With this technology, not only is it easy to change the sign’s message, it is also expected. People keep an eye on that sign because they know it will communicate up-to-the-minute information. This is a big responsibility for digital signage owners, but used properly, digital signage is a powerful marketing tool. It can also help meet requirements for information dissemination. For example, restaurants are using digital signage to list the nutrition values of foods, in addition to updating meal menus for various day parts. The flexibility and potential of digital signage is a strong reason to “jump on the bandwagon.” Customers appreciate the information, and they will be demanding it from retailers and restaurants as the trend grows.

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