In a brick-and-mortar location, having the right signage is crucial for building an in-store experience. No matter how large or small your location, wayfinding signage can make the customer experience smoother, more satisfactory, and more profitable.
What Is Wayfinding Signage?
Unlike promotional signage, which is aimed at attracting prospective customers and convincing them to visit a location, wayfinding signage is created with customers who are already at the location in mind. The signage provides directions for customers, helping them navigate through the store’s layout to find what they’re looking for with a minimum of hassle.
Wayfinding signage ties in closely with the overall layout of the store. The two should work in harmony to direct customers to where they need to go while also keeping their attention and potentially guiding them to notice other products that, while not the initial purpose of their visit, they might also be interested in. The signage should be clear and concise, ensuring that customers can self-navigate the location without growing frustrated, getting lost, or having to seek out a salesperson for assistance.
Depending on the size, type, and purpose of the location, wayfinding signage can encompass a number of specific items:
- Aisle signs, either hung from the ceiling or attached to the endcaps of aisles, to identify what products can be found along that aisle
- Zone signs to delineate particular zones or departments
- Floor graphics to direct foot traffic and demarcate certain areas
- Wall graphics, especially high on the walls for sightline purposes, to guide customers to certain areas
- Maps or elevator/escalator signage that indicate what products or departments can be found on which floor
- Endcaps or freestanding displays that can signal a transition into a particular zone
- Outdoor graphics, used to direct foot traffic to specific areas
Wayfinding signage also may be found on exteriors, such as directing customers in search of a specific department to a certain entrance. These are just a few of the most common ways to use wayfinding signage, but it’s far from an exhaustive list.
Creating a Seamless Customer Experience
The reasoning behind wayfinding signage is quite simple. When customers can easily find what they’re looking for, they’re more likely to stick around and actually complete their purchase. In contrast, if they struggle to navigate the layout of a retail location, they may get frustrated before they successfully find what they’re looking for (giving them a negative perception of your brand overall), or they might find themselves unable to locate their intended purchase at all and not end up making that purchase.
A customer’s experience with a brand may begin before they ever set foot in a retail location, but that location may also be the first significant impression that a brand makes. The goal is twofold: that their in-store experience will lead them to accomplish whatever it is they entered the store seeking (hopefully, a purchase), and that their experience in the store will have encouraged them to expand their relationship with the brand through more purchases and future visits. The experience they have will affect how likely they are to continue that journey, not to mention how likely they are to recommend the brand and the location to others.
Wayfinding signage is a key component to creating an in-store experience that feels effortless while also guiding customers to exactly what your brand wants. Footpaths and signage together can help draw people to the areas of the store where they want to go while also bringing them past other displays and zones, where they might see something that catches their eye. This can be an effective tool, for instance, when brands want to get more attention on underrated products or departments: place those items on the path between customers’ entry points and the most popular “destinations.”
Designing Effective Wayfinding Signage
When you produce wayfinding signage, readability should be the number-one concern. Ensure that the signs are placed in clearly visible areas and in appropriate sightlines, and design them with lettering that is large enough to be clearly read, uses enough contrast to ensure they pop against any backdrop, and uses a simple, easy-to-read font.
For maximum effectiveness, wayfaring signage should also be relatively simple and remain consistent. If your brand has a signature lettering style (one that is easily read from a distance) or a signature color palette, using those can help to subconsciously reassure customers that they’re being guided by a brand authority. Signage may also be especially effective and engaging if it is coordinated with other environmental graphics, such as wall murals.
Priority Graphics has the expertise, equipment, and resources to develop wayfinding signage for all your needs. We can design signage that fits with your location’s physical dimensions and layout and matches your current branding. Then, we can fabricate in a variety of substrates and techniques, including plastics, acrylics, die-cut lettering, and more. Our trusted team will install the signage, and, when it’s time to make a change, we’ll be there to uninstall and revamp as needed.
Talk to Priority today to learn more about how wayfinding signage can transform your in-store experience!