Which Retail Signs Have The Greatest Impact?

Signs are crucial for retail businesses to communicate their brand and products to potential customers because without signs, people simply do not know what you have on offer.

Despite the age of the internet where conducting business online is nowadays a norm, many retail based businesses still rely on their premises to win customers. Be that a cafe, a restaurant, a shoe shop, a hairdressing salon or an estate agent, the message you place on the premises can make a big difference to your flow of customers.

In theory, the larger the sign and the more people it is exposed to, the greater the impact. For this reason, signs must be strategically placed for it to make the most impact. In this blog, we will look at the retail signs that generates the most potential business.

Pavement Signs

Probably one of the most important signs for any retail business is a pavement sign because this attracts people walking by. This sign helps overcome the biggest hurdle in developing a relationship with your customers and also creates the first impression with them.

The message and the style of your pavement sign is crucial in winning the business. A poorly written sales message will drive customers away from your shop, whereas a compelling message will attract customers through the door.

Almost just as important but subconsciously to passers-by are the style and quality of your pavement sign. A cheap and tatty pavement sign will communicate a cheap and tatty shop. The pavement sign is your opportunity to communicate any special offers or best selling products to passers-by.

Cafe Barriers

Another powerful sign that is similar to pavement signs is the cafe barrier. These are mainly used by cafes and restaurants but can be a very effective sign to communicate your brand.

They also give your customers a sense of privacy whilst dining and helps give your business a good impression.

Lamp Post Banners

These banners can lead people walking in the streets to your shop. They don’t even need to be walking past your shop as lamp post banners are designed to be placed on lamp posts outside in the streets or in forecourts and inside in shopping malls. Lamp post banners are one of the best signs for raising brand awareness and creating a lasting image on people’s minds without them visiting your shop.

Cable Displays

Cable displays are primarily used inside shop windows but they can also be used inside the shop. Their advantage like pavement signs is that passers-by can see the products on offer like properties in an estate agent.

The advantage is that retail businesses can display more products unlike pavement signs where limited information is displayed.

Their drawback is that they don’t capture as much attention as pavement signs which is larger and more prominent. Nethertheless, cable displays do drive customers into the shop if they see something they are interested in.

Window Stickers

Window stickers are similar to cable displays and the aim is to attract passers-by via the shop window. They are similar to pavement signs in that you can display sales, special offers and specific products using a large sticker to attract attention. Whenever there are special offers or new products, the window sticker is on par with the pavement sign in terms of effective promotion.

Menu Boards

Menu boards are most suited for food businesses or hair salons. There are two types of menu boards, wall mounted menu boards and menu stands. Which one to use depends entirely on the layout of the retail premise such as the amount of space available and the floor layout.

For maximum effectiveness, it is best to use a combination of wall mounted menu boards and menu stands. It is important that the design and colour of the menu is consistent throughout.


Perhaps one of the most versatile forms of retail displays is the chalkboard. This sign eliminates the need to reprint posters or menus when items or special offers updates.

Chalkboards are most commonly seen in pubs and restaurants and is normally used for promoting a special deal. You can say it is the pub or restaurant equivalent of the pavement sign.

The above are some of  the most effective advertising signs for any retail business. But which one makes the most impact?  First let’s discuss the art of sign selection and placing. 

The sign you choose to use must blend in with your environment so that it doesn’t look out of place. Perhaps the most effective sign strategy is placing the signs at strategic points.

Promotions and new products should be promoted visibly outside using pavement signs and window stickers to make passers-by what is on offer.

For brand awareness and letting people know your presence, lamp post banners are highly effective.

The advertising signs you choose to place inside the shop should reinforce the message from what you have displayed outside.

Consistency is key when advertising. Remember a person walking past a shop for the most part has no intention of entering the shop and the shop owner has to provide some incentive for the person to actually physically enter and find out more. Huge discounts, buy two get one free, new novelty products, special events and special deals will all attract people to enter your shop and find out more if the incentive is strong enough.

Because of their potential for displaying a powerful incentive to passers-by, I would conclude that pavement signs and window stickers are the signs that give the most impact for a retail business and  are the signs you should definitely outside your shop.