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Retailers get creative to communicate with shoppers through in-store signage

4 min read

Restaurant and Foodservice

Signage is displayed in a Safeway store (Photo: NewsCred)

In an increasingly digital age, in-store signage might not come to the top of retailers’ minds when it comes to communicating with shoppers. Retailers and brands alike are always thinking of ways to innovate on mobile applications or social media platforms, but some are keeping an eye in the store and finding new ways to engage shoppers through in-store signage.

Whole Foods’ new Georgia flagship comes to mind as an example of a retailer innovating in the realm of in-store signage. The specialty retailer teamed with SapientNitro to incorporate digital signage to provide shoppers with information about where the foods they buy come from. From digital screens to touchscreens, Whole Foods shows shoppers information including an Instagram feed of produce being grown by local farmers and recommendations for products containing vitamins and protein.

“We wanted to bring in some cool digital elements, but we didn’t want that to detract from the shopping experience,” Whole Foods’ Social and Digital Media Specialist Matt Courtoy told Adweek.

But incorporating digital displays into store design is not the only way retailers are using signage to communicate with shoppers:

Rolling out new in-store programs

Retailers also use signage to help promote new programs at their stores. Take Meijer, whose rollout of its new Ready! for You program incorporated signage. The program, which was launched at all of its stores in September, aims to help shoppers create easy, everyday meals using items they can find around the store. Through in-store and online efforts that include meal displays, sampling demonstrations and Pinterest boards that feature videos and recipes, Meijer is helping shoppers find items that come together to make meals for a family of four that cost about $12 to $15, according to a report from the Grand Rapids Business Journal.

Moving campaign from social media to in-store

In Canada, Wal-Mart is taking what might be considered a backwards path with the Half Your Plate campaign, transitioning the campaign from a social media campaign to an in-store one with the goal of helping shoppers eat healthier, Mobile Marketer reported. Half Your Plate, which was started by the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, was launched over the summer online and on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Wal-Mart Canada will promote the campaign in it stores in an effort to encourage shoppers to fill half their carts with produce.

Putting the spotlight on what’s trending

In-store signage can also help retailers highlight popular products. Trader Joe’s is taking advantage of the pumpkin trend in a big way, offering 68 private-label products in practically every department throughout the store. In what McMillanDoolittle Senior Partner Neil Stern cited as an example of what makes Trader Joe’s a “great merchant,” the retailer is making shoppers aware of its on-trend offerings through endcaps, in-store signage, flyers and demonstrations.

“The way they execute new and newsworthy merchandise on a seasonal basis provides a great glimpse into how they’ve earned their success. Product development, integrated marketing and educated associates all come together to make it happen,” he wrote for Supermarket News.

Helping shoppers find the best deals

Food Lion is also investing in signage as a means of communicating with its shoppers in its new “Easy, Fresh and Affordable” store formats. The retailer is in the midst of a chainwide upgrade, completing more than 30 store remodels earlier this year. The new format is meant to provide shoppers with a more convenient layout that allows for more relevant communication with shoppers, Supermarket News reported. A major part of the new format is new signage that helps shoppers find the best deals while they’re in the stores. The enhanced signage includes information on specials, discounts and everyday values.