There’s no doubt that online retailing is increasing in importance year-to-year, but some 2015 research suggests that traditional brick and mortar stores remain highly relevant and perhaps dominant within the retail market. So much that even massive online retailers such as Amazon are now opening physical stores.
The survey suggests that 87% of consumers are shopping in store as often as they did in 2014; that as many as 85% of consumers still prefer to shop in store, and that this figure is primarily driven by a desire to be able to see and handle the physical products before purchasing.
Surprisingly, it also seems that mobile shopping is not increasing as it has been frequently predicted. 50% of respondents report using their mobile devices only to research products, more than 60% for price comparison purposes, and, perhaps most importantly, 46% to find the location of the closest relevant store.
Young people between 18-34 years of age – the so-called “Millennials” can be a significant market for brick and mortar retailers. Some 90% of people in this demographic report planning to shop in-store at least as often as in previous years. More importantly, some 87% admit to having left stores having spent more than they intended upon entry.
All of this means that effective in-store marketing is as important as it ever was – and large-format display advertising should be a major part of this.
Large format display can include such elements as:
- In-Store Retail Sign Displays
- LED signs
- Large Format LED In-Store Display
- Window Displays
Posters are of course nothing new, and have been effectively used by retailers, Hollywood, sports promoters and Governments for many years. The reason for their enduring popularity is simple: they work!
There’s good evidence that vision is overwhelmingly the most powerful of the human senses, so that well-designed colorful posters are a particularly effective way of attracting immediate attention and also creating messages which will remain long in the mind of the prospect or customer.
Modern large format printing makes it easy to produce compelling images in a variety of sizes, making them adaptable for use in floor, shelf or counter spaces which might otherwise be unusable.
So whether the objective is to achieve an immediate sale or to focus on long-term brand building, posters should be an integral part of any large format marketing campaign.
All the advantages of posters apply equally to banners, which can today be easily produced on a variety of hard wearing and weather resistant material. The main difference is one of size; the generally larger format of the banner makes it especially suitable for the high-ceilinged Big Box or discount type store.
Types of banners may include:
- banner stands
- customized flags
- customized vinyl and fabric banners
- pole banners
- suspended ceiling display banners
In-Store Retail Sign Displays
Modern technology now makes it possible to place high quality and accurate images directly onto all kinds of surfaces, including, walls, floors and ceilings.
Better still, colorful images, graphics and corporate logos can now be produced three-dimensionally on a wide variety of materials, including wood, vinyl, plastic glass and metal, giving options for a huge range of high-impact effects. Therefore, this kind of signage has numerous possible applications.
Particularly in larger stores, directional signs can be very effective, not just in guiding customers towards the products they’re looking for, but also in reinforcing corporate branding.
The same effect can also be achieved with an imaginative use of floor designs and wall designs to build brands, create an engaging and welcoming atmosphere and trigger buying emotions.
Traditional banners and posters remain very effective, but there’s also an important place for electronic signage within your store. Brightly illuminated screens can be mounted in a wide variety of locations within retail outlets and the great thing is that their messages – special offers, discounts etc – can be changed instantly from a manager’s computer.
Large Format LED In-Store Display
Related to but not quite the same as LED screens, LED display advertising can be an extremely effective way to advertise in store. Modern LED displays can deploy bright and visually attractive messages over large surface areas throughout the store or at a point of sale.
Single sided or double sided LED panels allow for the easy interchange of images and can accommodate a wide variety of sizes. Today it’s also possible to have images wrapped around columns and other curving surfaces.
They might seem old-fashioned to some, but well designed and produced window displays can still be a very good in-store marketing strategy.
Granted, it’s not easy to attract the attention of busy passers-by who are likely to be focused on their mobile devices. With good planning and design, it’s certainly possible.
It’s not just a matter of assembling a few good selling products and putting them in the window. To differentiate themselves from their competitor stores, successful window displays need a combination of a good focal point, lighting, and, perhaps above all, a narrative or theme element.
The theme you choose will depend on the niche you are in and the season in which you are selling, but whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, the hunting season or summer, there’s sure to be a way to make your core products stand out.
It’s also crucial, though, to have an effective focal point, and this is best tested from the point of view of the passer-by. Get outside to assess the size of the window, the prospective customers’ eye level (including from the other side of the street) and decide where the focal point should be. This procedure also makes it easier to determine the possible effectiveness of other features such as hanging items, banners and placards.
It’s also important to arrange the internal lines of the window display so that they draw prospects’ eyes towards the focal point, and of course to use vivid colors and interesting accessories.
But don’t overdo it. Too much visual information received at once can easily overpower and confuse a prospective customer’s senses, leading to a negative reaction. So don’t clutter the display with too many items or products which may distract attention from the focal point.
Finally, window displays must of course always be well light. This isn’t just a matter of ensuring visibility on gloomy fall and winter evenings. The use of colored lighting, light and shadow, can be a great way of creating atmosphere and attracting attention.
However, effective a window display may be, it’s also important to pay attention to so-called “Point of Purchase” (POP) marketing.
Why Do In Store Signs Matter
There’s evidence that point of purchase display in-store advertising can be extremely effective, because it is here that everything comes together. The customer has selected their product, they’re ready to buy and therefore psychologically more likely to be influenced by compelling in-store display advertising.
Research suggests that:
- 82% of buying decisions are made in store
- 62% of shoppers make impulse buys in store
- 16% of impulse purchases were made in response to in store displays
Large supermarkets understand this very well, which is why they put displays of candy and magazines at their checkouts. The larger format displays can also be very productive and one of the major benefits of in-store advertising.
The keys to success are:
- Placement– Ensure that all in-store advertising messages are positioned so as to catch customers’ eyes as they approach the checkout
- A specific and compelling offer– Point of purchase is not the place for generic branding or logos, the customer already knows about those. But a new and inviting offer may still attract attention.
- Brevity– Research suggests that point of sale displays have only a few seconds to grab and retain customers’ attention. So it’s no good presenting a long menu of offers and benefits. Instead present a single powerful offer in easy to understand form. Large format display particularly lends itself to this.
- Timing– It’s tough to make an offer stand out when every store in the country is running Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas promotions. So why not consider running large format display advertising campaigns during relatively slow periods of the year.
How To Prepare & Produce Effective Displays
Until relatively recently, large format display advertising was both expensive and labor intensive, but the advent of modern large format printers has made it far more cost effective and time efficient.
These machines allow for the quick and easy production of large-scale posters, banners, wall decals and signage. They typically use Ultra-Violet (UV) inks which work well on a wide variety of display services including paper, cardboard, vinyl, wood, glass, ceramics or metal.
They also offer vibrant colors and image clarity, making them ideal for in-store displays. Perhaps best of all, they can be readily integrated with and managed from most IT systems; and their speed and versatility means that in-store advertising campaigns can be tested and if necessary revised within a matter of days or perhaps even hours.
So whatever the size of the store or business, large format printers can be a great marketing tool. If purchase is not an option, there are now some very affordable leasing options available.
As effective as large format printing can be, there’s no doubt that it’s becoming ever more difficult to attract the attention of customers. And that’s where special print effects can be really helpful.
There are a number of great effects which can now be easily produced by modern printers. These include embossing, debossing, die cutting and foil stamping.
Embossing is a means of creating attractive 3D effects using metallic dies. By a computerized process, the dies are crafted from a reverse image of the source graphic and heat is then used to push the design above the surface of the paper.
Essentially the reverse of embossing, debossing uses dies to create a depressed image on the surface used.
Both embossing and debossing techniques allow excellent opportunities for the design and creation of eye-catching images.
Foil stamping is a commercial printing process which involves a metallic heated plate (die), a foil and an adhesive. The required image – usually , making it permanently adhere to the surface below leaving.
Hot stamping dies are graphic images, logos or text that are photo etched or machine engraved on a metal, polymer, or silicon material. Dies are the only way to make logos and graphic designs for hot stamping. They add the beauty of personalization to your product with our wide range of foil products.
The success of any marketing campaign always depends largely on the effective use of professional creative services depending on the type of campaign, these may include:
- a highly skilled and experienced marketing copywriter
- expert graphic design
- the ability to source or create, size and adapt high-quality images
There are very few small to medium size businesses which can afford this kind of expertise on their full-time payroll, and the short-term hiring of specialist contractors can also be expensive.
That’s why Ballantine has prospered since 1966 by offering a one-stop solution to these challenges. Our highly experienced creative and design teams will liaise closely with you to help you plan, create and deliver a profitable large format marketing campaign which can if necessary be easily integrated with any of your online campaigns and will also help build your brand.
Call us today for expert advice on your marketing materials.
I'm the Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, a family-owned and operated direct mail & digital marketing company based in New Jersey. and started in 1966 by my great uncle!