There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had a major – mostly negative – impact on retail stores over the past three months and threatens to do so for much longer. With online shopping becoming the ‘new normal’, sales have slumped across a number of high street brands – with some well-known names even closing for good.
Almost two weeks on since shops have been allowed to reopen their doors to the public, we take a look at how retailers can make the best use of print to entice shoppers back into their stores…
It’s no secret that a great window display has always been a compelling way to draw in the crowds, and that hasn’t changed following the closures due to the Coronavirus. An eye-catching shopfront not only lets people know that you’re back open for business, it can also be used to promote relevant items – such as loungewear for home working attire – and send timely messages of hope.
Bright lightboxes bearing slogans such as ‘have faith’ or ‘stay safe’ advertise to potential customers that although you may be open for business again, you are aware of the situation and are taking the pandemic seriously.
Given the option, a passer-by will choose to enter a store that looks ‘safe’ from the outside. Through the use of impressive free-standing entrance graphics detailing the precautions taken, you can ensure that your space becomes a part of their shopping journey.
This doesn’t mean that product merchandising should take a back seat, but rather that by using printed signs which highlight the measures taken following COVID-19 – including the number of shoppers who can enter the store at any one time, the one-way system in place and the provision of hand sanitiser prior to entering – the shop will become an obvious safe choice for them to visit.
Again focusing on post-COVID-19 rules and regulations, a store that signposts the correct way to walk around – via the use of both wall and floor graphics – will mean that a seamless shopping experience, completed with no unnecessary fear on behalf of those inside, is more likely to make your space one that people will gladly return to.
Other signs – advertising the request for contactless payments only and to remain two metres from other shoppers, for example – will all go some way towards instilling a feeling of safety in your spaces.
Make it bold
Putting all the essential safety signs aside – which are a necessity if you want to continue to remain open and trading to the public – remember why people were drawn to your shops in the first place. They want to venture out of their homes to buy their non-essential items – for the first time in months – and therefore the same rules apply as did before the pandemic.
Signage advertising products – and particularly offers – is therefore still an essential part of the customer experience and will stand out in a sea of COVID-related rules.
Bold, bright and illuminated wall or free-standing graphics should not be a thing of the past – your store can still remain aesthetically pleasing, despite the need for these enhanced measures, so make sure the necessary signage remains on brand rather than plumping for a generic, off-the-shelf option.
Get your signage right, and people will no doubt enter your stores time and time again. It’s these first steps that will make all the difference as we start the journey back to normality once again.
For more information on Leach’s complete range of social distancing and wayfinding collateral, please send us a message.