How many different retail messages are you pitching from the front of your shop? Too often, we see too many messages in indie retail.

This can confuse shoppers and steer them away from noticing the messages you really want to be seen.

The photo below was taken in a toy shop in London; I visited the store when they were having a sale. They had removed all other in-store signage apart from the 20% off posters. This promotion could not be missed, as no other signs were competing for shopper attention.

in-store signage
Less is more: this toy shop in London is an example of effective in-store signage.

This toy shop demonstrates exactly what I am talking about: a single message repeated throughout the store. This is the best way to capture attention, although you do not have to have exactly the same collateral for the message to be the same.

For example, in a major season, you could use a series of posters and signs as marketing collateral. While the may be visually connected, they can differ to reflect each department in the business. If executed properly, the signage can represent a consistent message throughout.

Below are eight visual messaging (VM) tips that work well in small indie retail:

  • Keep messages to a minimum. Too much information can cause messages to get lost.
  • Repeat a single message throughout the business to ensure consistency.
  • Change your message regularly, at least monthly, but preferably more often.
  • Present your message in different sizes and formats.
  • Don’t use handwritten signs.
  • Only put up supplier signs if they are appropriate to your business and will generate revenue for you.
  • Keep all operational signs, such as refund signs, LayBy T&Cs etc in one place.
  • Every few days, stand at the front door and look in. Check for yourself how your messages are perceived by customers.

A visually busy shop does not ensure the shop will be successful. Less really is more.