Four Reasons You Should Be Using Signs for Your Retail Business

Sidewalk signs can be one of the most effective ways to increase sales if you have a brick-and-mortar business. Think of your own shopping experiences — what grabs your attention and makes you slow down, take a second look, and maybe even enter the store to shop? I know I’m often drawn to interesting and eye-catching signs. Signs can be a powerful tool for retail businesses.

FedEx Office just released a survey that measures the attraction power of signage and its impact, and the results are very telling. Look at some of these numbers and the undeniable reasons why good signs are worth the effort.

  1. Increased Sales: Almost seven in ten (68 %) of American consumers have actually purchased a product or service because a sign caught their eye.
  2. Foot Traffic: Almost eight in 10 (76%) consumers have entered a store simply because its sign caught their interest.
  3. Word-of-Mouth: Three out of four consumers (75%) said they have told someone about a store based simply on its signage.
  4. Perceived Quality: More than two thirds (68%) of consumers believe a store’s signage is a reflection of the quality of its products or services. (And if you think a bad sign is better than no sign, think again. More than half (52%) of consumers said they are less willing to enter a store with misspelled or poorly-made signs.)
You can read more about the FedEx Office survey here. And check out this infographic that tells you what you need to know before you stick a sign in your window.
Sale tags image credit: djayo
Infographic credit: FedEx Office
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Alyssa Gregory
Alyssa is a digital strategist, content marketer, freelance writer and founder of the Small Business Bonfire. She's a team player, a team builder and not a bad leader, either. You can often find her on various social networks looking for remarkable people to collaborate with.


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  1. Alyssa – great summary of the survey and validation on the benefit of signage. The infographic is a nice touch although some parts were difficult to read due to size of text. Thanks for the great info.

  2. Alyssa,

    With many small business owners worried about their online and mobile presence, many forget about or ignore their business’s physical presence. I, too, am drawn in by well-made signs and even flyers.

    There’s a guy that stands outside of my subway stop after work at dinnertime wearing a hot dog costume, handing out flyers to the hot dog stand a few doors down. The flyers are colorful, glossy and printed on high quality card stock. The pictures of the food look tasty!

    Even though the hot dog guy himself is a chain-smoking, liquored up mess, he makes up for his appearance with his funny one-liners “Please take this flyer, or I won’t have a job.” “Please take this flyer, my boss is watching me.” “Aren’t you hungry? You just got out of work.”

    One of these days, I just might swing by and grab a dog!


  3. Hi Alyssa,
    Great article and the infographic is a good summary. The percentages are easy to understand.

    I’ve been in the sign business over 20 years and discovered a few tips to help sidewalk signs for retail businesses be more effective.

    1. Focus on your customer. Place your key benefit at the top of the sidewalk sign, preferably the top two lines. Emphasize what makes your store unique compared to your competitors. Do you offer a lower price, better selection, free trials?

    2. Increase readership by displaying your sidewalk sign consistently and rotating its message. People are creatures of habit and drive the same route each day. Use this opportunity to build readership. Bring your sidewalk sign out each morning and change its message every 3-4 days.

    Best wishes

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  5. It is pretty amazing that 79% of Americans remember a business based on the sign they had. I can see why it would be a positive thing to have some kind of sign hanging outside your store. I would think that having some twirl a smaller sign would help bring in more people as well.

  6. Great infographic, research has also found that 8/10 customers walked into a store becuase of an attractive sign. For retailers in particular, signage is your most powerful tool for drawing in customers.

  7. Wow, I loved reading through these statistics. It is amazing to see how much of an impact signs have on businesses. Unfortunately.. many small business start-ups put signage way down on the list of things to do when starting their new business. This article does a great job of pointing out just how important signage can be to the success of a business. Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. My brother is a real estate agent and he is thinking of getting signs for his business to get new customers. You make a great point that signs help to increase sales because many consumers purchase a service because a sign catches their eye. Also, the fact that my brother can advertise is services and why he would be a unique and quality choice as a real estate agent is a large benefit.

  9. I had no idea that almost 68% of American consumers bought a product because a sign caught their eye. My sister is opening a boutique to sell some of her custom-designed clothes, and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to put a sign out front. I’ll pass this statistic onto my sister and maybe she’ll start looking for a sign maker.

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