old navy digital signage

15 top digital signage retail tips – updated

It’s all about making your mark in retail. It can be challenging to stand out against the competition, and companies invest large portions of their budgets into marketing, which means the importance of making a statement in the industry should be a top priority for brands. As competition soars, brands are tasked with finding the most entertaining, educational, and innovative ways of connecting with customers through retail signage.

In this post we bring you a selection of advice that can help you make the most of your signage when it comes to implementing it within a retail environment. Let’s get started…

1. Get inspired

When you’re trying to turn heads in the world of retail it can be difficult to know where to start. If you’re working in an industry such as the restaurant sector, most of your decisions will be made for you (you’ll be looking at a menu board, and special offers). But other areas of retail provide more choice, and in our post on inspiration in digital signage advertisising, you can hopefully find that spark that ignites your next project.

2. Use the latest technologies

Experience and context and two areas getting a lot of attention in the world of digital signage. The days of some animation and sound being enough to impress are long gone, and now you make
waves by adding an extra dimension to your signage (via elements such as interactivity or real-time updates). Our guide on Eddystone from Google provides you with the insight around beacon
technology, which is probably the hottest tech in signage today.

3. Composition

We’ve covered a few areas of signage design in this post, but the easiest of the key design principles to stick to is the rule of thirds. If you are a keen photographer, you will already be familiar with this rule. The idea is that you split your screen into a series of nine equally sized rectangles, and place the content that you want people to engage with at the intersecting lines of these rectangles. Also, use thirds to section your content (maybe a third is an image, with the other two thirds dedicated to text).

4. Choose fonts wisely

This is common sense advice, but it’s always worth being explicit about the use of fonts in a project. Ideally, you don’t want to use more than two font styles in a screen. You can do it, but it takes a lot more skill to combine multiple fonts, so approach this one with caution. Also, consider legibility. Script fonts are often difficult to read, and as you’ll be using large text, serif fonts are best avoided, too (these are best used for large chunks of text).

5. Location, location, location

Where is your sign going to be placed? In the world of retail, there are three key areas that you’ll usually place signage: a point of transit; a point of sale; and a point of wait. A point of transit refers to people on the move; they don’t have the time to stop and engage, unless you’re helping them with that task, such as wayfinding. So think of eye-catching billboards as your inspiration. For point of sale displays, your audiences is in the act of paying for something; they are still time poor, but throw up a great offer and you’ll have them hooked. Lastly, a point of wait gives the most creative opportunity. People have time, and in many cases are looking for a distraction (such as bus stops). In these cases you have more time to use tech such as beacons, and also throw in more engaging content, such as trivia and even a little story-telling.

6. Don’t be put off by lack of budget

Although, as we stated above, marketing can be a costly undertaking, and signage is an area that we often assume is going to be costly. However, depending on your requirements you can test whether it’s right for you no a relatively small budget. For example, companies like ScreenCloud (who we covered recently on Display Insights) enable you to transform any HDMI-enabled screen into signage for hundreds rather than thousands of pounds. And you can always check out some digital signage templates to save on design spend.


7. Keep your distance

From what distance are people going to be engaging with your signage? It’s probably one of the most important questions to ask when you look to introduce displays in retail, but it’s also easy to overlook (or misjudge).  Things you need to consider include display dimensions, viewing angle, type size, and character counts for text. We’ve pulled together this handy Digital Signage Distance Guide, which will help you answer these questions.

distance main

8. Generate advertising revenue

The majority of retailers will also be working with other suppliers, and in-store signage gives them the perfect opportunity to push their own brand within your store. This provides you with the option to charge your suppliers for inclusion in your digital signage, and depending on the number of screens and stores, this can generate a significant amount of new revenue.

9. Put offers front and center

It’s never been harder for traditional retail outlets to compete with their online counterparts, but one option is to push special, in-store offers. Are these recommended long-term? The jury is still out. But if you choose to introduce special offers, digital signage is a fantastic way to not only draw attention to them, but to also ensure that they are always up-to-date.

old navy digital signage

10. Get your copy right

Important as images, video and sound are, there’s still no substitute for amazing copy writing. If you have a special offer, don’t hide it in a paragraph of text. Bring your core message to the fore, and present it big and bold. If you’re giving something away, emphasise ‘FREE’, and if there’s a saving to be had, tell people exactly how much it is.

Product launch tips for signage in retail

We asked Alexandra Stavroullakis, Content Marketing & Social Media Manager at Your Favourite Story, to give us her top five tips for using digital signage in a product launch.

At Your Favourite Story, we’ve worked with our clients to launch products in local and international markets for over 11 years. Our clients all have very different needs and customer bases, but each want to successfully market their product and ultimately make money. Digital signage and touch screen innovations have proven that they can make a huge impact on launches. Here are my five tips for using digital signage in your marketing strategy to effectively launch your product or service. (And if this involves open-air media, check out our digital signage outdoor tips!)

Find out what digital signage could do for your business

11. Keep your designs clean

It can be tempting to jam pack your digital signage retail screen with content, but it seriously diminishes the value of your main piece of content. Keeping a clean design strategy and making it as easy to use as possible will avoid confusion at live events or when the screen is left in public spaces. Think about adding a call to action to invite your customer to interact, as it can sometimes be confusing on larger digital screens.

Designing your screens for different uses is important, especially when it comes to touch screens, often it can be difficult to tell if an element on the design is interactive so it’s important your designs guide users to the content you want them to try.

Digital signage retail main

12. Use different screen sizes

Bigger is not always better! Digital signage retail screens of various sizes can engage customers in different ways and add value to your product launch strategy. Smaller screens feel more personal so content should reflect a more personal tone. When working on a variety of screen sizes, it’s important to create designs that are responsive, this will save your business time and money in the long run. Responsive designs mean your images and content will resize on different devices to display correctly, many brands launching using digital screens often forget to take adaptive design into mind. Think about where you place your digital screens, as certain events require larger screens and some will feel overloaded by a big screen.

Digital signage retail different screen sizes

13. Don’t be afraid to experiment

Digital signage retail uses can range from purely informative signs – such as those found in restaurants or displaying information to a more interactive use for screens such as interactive gaming, POS tools and AR. Businesses have been experimenting with different ways to combine interactive signage within store locations. Rebecca Minkoff saw an increase in sales after integrating interactive change rooms into its digital strategy. Using ‘connected glass’ the brand turned change room mirrors into a perfect shopping companion. Customers are able to request additional sizes and products to be brought to them while they are trying on products, while also exploring similar styles and curated items to match what they are trying on.

14. Think about usability

Growing up you were told “do not touch”, well now brands are inviting users to not only touch, but interact with digital screens. One important step of integrating digital signage into your product launch is determining who will be using the screen and how accessible it should be. That means deciding if touch screen features will be used or if the digital screen will be focused on display. We’ve seen a wide range of screen options; one great example of digital screen use can be found on the London Underground, which recently spiced up its strategy by adding digital signage into most platforms, or multiple screens through the escalator ramps. This not only saves money in printing, but also saves time as they can be easily changed with the next content offer.

Digital signage retail on the Tube

15. Bring the noise

Sound is a fantastic addition to any digital display or touch screen device. You don’t want your display to just be eye catching—adding sound to your displays is a unique way to capture the attention of your customers. Recently an anti-smoking campaign created a very one of a kind campaign, and although a bit controversial, the message did come across nicely. One major caveat, though, is that you’ll have to determine the setting your digital signage will be displayed in, as sound may not be the best option during large noisy events. After all, the last thing you want is your display’s sound competing with other noise nearby and pushing your customers away from your signage.

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