If you’re part of the decision-making process for a retail store, we have a vital message:
Stop sleeping on your signage!
Signs can play a critical role in your overall success with brand recognition, identity, and revenue. If you’ve put in the work that goes into creating a profitable business model, but you’ve neglected your retail signage, you aren’t giving your store every chance to succeed!
To be precise, there are three distinct ways signs can help to skyrocket your sales in the retail space:
Bring in new customers.
Generate more sales.
Help customers find their way around a store.
Let’s take a closer examination of why designing your signs with a strategic approach is critical to your overall success!
1. Signs Bring in New Customers
Did you know that 50% of potential customers will drive by and not find a business because the signage was either small or unclear?
That statistic alone is reason enough to pay specific attention to the design of your signs!
You could miss out on starting a lifelong relationship with a customer just because your retail signage didn’t stand out or send the right message. If you assess the lifetime value of a customer, that could potentially cost you thousands of dollars per person over a sustained period.
Then, multiply that by how many other customers aren’t visiting your store because of a poorly conceived sign…the missed opportunities missed will keep you up at night.
But let’s not strictly focus on the negative here. People who never would have known about your store otherwise can be directed there via effective retail signage!
Also, signs have a way to reinforce brand awareness even if they’re well established. There’s research citing that 35% to 46% of first-time customers learn about a well-known business because they saw a commercial sign in passing!
2. Signs Generate More Sales
Look at your signage as the first layer in your sales and marketing strategy.
When you get more people coming into your store, with appealing products and top-notch customer service, sales will increase exponentially.
It’s the natural flow of things. You can’t sell your products or services to keep those profit margins soaring if nobody’s visiting you!
Your messaging design gets people into the door, so they can be given a chance to fall in love with your retail business. In proving this point, sales increased from 2.5% to 7.1% when stores installed signage to sides of buildings that were previously without such messaging!
It’s a direct correlation and proves why store owners and leaders need to put significant amounts of energy into the design and written communications on signs.
There’s further research delving deep into how much a store’s signage impacts overall sales. There was a study from the University of San Diego on behalf of the California Electric Sign Association and the International Sign Association. Those involved ascertained that there was a 4.75% boost in annual sales for businesses that added one sign.
Now, imagine you’re earning $1,000,000 in overall revenue per year. One commercial sign could help generate $47,500 more in sales. From there, imagine if you add two or three new signs and the impact it could have!
3. Signs Help Customers Find their Way
Not only do signs help people arrive at your store, but they’re also integral to helping your customers once they’re on the premises.
Useful signage throughout your establishment can help people find departments and products they wouldn’t see without it.
Put yourself in the shoes of a consumer and think about all the times you’ve been at a store and given up finding a product because it was too confusing. Designing clear wayfinding signs mitigates that issue, ensuring a seamless shopping experience!
This kind of sign-related strategy can encourage customers to purchase items they weren’t initially planning to buy. There have been studies stating the around 50% of impulse purchases stem from wayfinding signs pointing customers to one location throughout a store.
Beyond that, you should contemplate the entirety of the customer experience at your store. It doesn’t begin and end with the products or services you’re selling!
As such, wayfinding signs are ideal when directing customers to amenities like parking, entrances, checkout, and customer service areas. Such measures alleviate much of the stress that can be prevalent while shopping, especially in a busy store (as yours will be with all your new signs!)
Taking This Blog Seriously is a Positive Sign
We understand that with all the moving parts that go into running your retail store, some aspects of your strategy can fall by the wayside.
However, some strategies are far too integral to your success to be overlooked – such as ensuring you have effective signage. There’s an exponential chance for growth and success when leveraging the value of well-designed signs.
Smart, well-designed signage can do many good things at once.
Truly great signage can send the right message while at the same time reinforcing your brand and giving your clients or customers a better experience.
But here’s the thing…a sign can’t do much of anything if it’s not nailing its most basic function: communication. Readability should be priority number one!
All your graphics and signage, from pole and pylon signs to awnings and window graphics, must be clear and readable. That all comes down to key features like font size, colour, choice of type, sign placement, and lighting conditions.
Don’t leave all the work to architects and brand experts – work with an experienced sign fabricator and installer who knows the fundamentals of creating an effective commercial sign!
2. Minimize Clutter
Successful signage strikes a balance between quality and quantity.
Sure, you want to give yourself the best chance to get your message out there – and that means strategically placing different signs in different locations. You’ll want a tall, permanent pole-mounted sign to catch the attention of drivers, of course. You might also place smaller, temporary lawn signs to draw attention to sales and draw in foot traffic.
Trouble is, temporary lawn signs, posters and other promotional material can easily become distractions. When you have too many signs, you run the risk of “watering down” and reducing the impact of your main signage.
This is exactly the reason why most major franchisors lay down the law with their franchisees, placing strict guidelines on the use of small, temporary promotional signage!
In other words, you shouldn’t clutter up every inch of your real estate with signage. Focus your attention on creating high-quality permanent signage and go easy on the temporary ones!
3. Make Signage Part of Your Management Practices
“If you want design excellence, you need to reward it.”
Successful retail and restaurant brands take sign design and deployment seriously! The higher-ups at Buffalo Wild Wings see the value in giving each location the right look and “feel” and treat it as integral from the ground up.
To that end, staff at the company are held accountable for signage and rewarded for a job well done.
Successful retailers are built on community outreach, and one of the best ways to foster customer loyalty is to match your signage to the character and scale of the neighbourhood.
In other words, it pays to fit in!
No one likes it when a business rolls into town and sticks out like a sore thumb. On the other hand, storefronts that make the effort to belong to (or even enhance) the area earn customer goodwill from day one.
The success of this approach to signage is clear in places like Uptown Waterloo and Downtown St. Jacob’s, where successful business use a variety of electric signs, awnings, window graphics, wall murals and other displays in harmony with the historical character.
This is why it always pays to work with a local sign contractor who knows the community (and any applicable sign regulations) inside and out.
5. Use Quality Materials
We get it: retailing is a cost-sensitive business. Sometimes, it feels like a race to the bottom.
Many franchisors and developers have a reputation for putting cost-savings over quality whenever they can be found. Unfortunately, that often includes the quality of their commercial signage.
But leading companies know the value in effective signage – and understand that investing in quality materials will yield a higher return on their investment in the long run. They also establish relationships with qualified sign fabricators who take a role in the development process.
Get the Most Out of Your Sign Investment
Remember: your commercial signage is the first impression most people get of your business.
An effective, clear, and well-designed sign is one of the best investments you can make in getting people through the door.
We’re here to help you get the most value out of all your commercial lighting and signage. Call Sign LITE for fabrication and installation of illuminated and non-illuminated signs for your Southwestern Ontario business. Our certified technicians are also standing by to repair and service your existing on-site signage quickly and effectively.
Admit it: you did a double-take when you opened your hydro bill last month.
These days, who doesn’t? For many Ontario businesses, utilities are consistently near the top of operating expenses.
That’s why it’s become increasingly important to lower your energy consumption in all areas ‒ including your signage.
Should You Retrofit Your Sign With LED Lighting?
The good news is, the sign industry has stepped up to meet your energy reduction demands.
Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and strip lights can drastically reduce what you spend on your indoor and outdoor commercial signage. And thanks to LED sign retrofits, you don’t have to invest in a whole new sign box or cabinet to do it.
Still, when your goal is to cut costs, you’ve really got to consider whether investing in any kind of sign upgrade ‒ even a basic retrofit ‒ is really worth the money.
Sign LITE has completed commercial sign retrofits and installations across Ontario.
Truth be told, without knowing about your business, we can’t say for certain whether an LED retrofit is right for you.
We can only share what we’ve seen firsthand in our experience as sign installation and service technicians.
Sign LITE has been servicing business owners across Southwestern Ontario for the last 40 years – since before LED signage was really even an option. We basically had front-row seats to watch LED lighting technology evolve!
Today, we routinely help businesses achieve savings of hundreds, even thousands of dollars in annual energy costs through LED lighting and sign retrofits.
Here is why, by the numbers, LED sign retrofit is well worth the investment.
1. LED Signs Operate at 80% Efficiency
All forms of lighting (including fluorescent tubes, LEDs and neon) turn some of their energy into heat instead of light. However, LED lamps are engineered to minimize energy waste as much as possible.
A sign box or cabinet retrofitted with LED lights will convert at least 80% of its energy into light, generating the same amount of light at less than 50% of the operating cost of traditional fluorescent tube lights.
At a cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of 20.8 cents (the on-peak rate for small businesses as of January 2020), the difference between fluorescent and LED lights is around 236.52 watts, meaning you could save $49 a year for every light you retrofit.
Sign LITE services outdoor and indoor commercial signage, like this brilliant sign at a food court in Ontario.
3. LED Lights Have a Lifespan of Over 25,000 Hours
Of all the light sources available for commercial signage, LED signs last longer and deliver the best long-term performance by a mile. Many LEDs have a rated life of up to 50,000 hours, with low-end LEDs offering up to 25,000 hours and the top-rated bulbs lasting 200,000 or more. This impressive lifespan means you’ll go far longer between fixture and lamp replacements than with fluorescents!
Newer fluorescent tubes have a much longer lifespan than their predecessors, but even the high-performance products tend to need replacement after 15,000 hours’ use. Fluorescent lights also lose efficiency with age, requiring more current is required to achieve the same lighting output.
Although LEDs do lose efficiency as current and heat output increase, the drop is relatively low compared to fluorescents, so you can hold off on replacing LEDs for longer.
5. An LED Sign Retrofit Can Be Complete in Just a Few Hours
Don’t believe it? Check out this video of a technician installing an LED sign kit in under an hour. Better yet, you’ll see how it compares to a fluorescent sign installation!
Many existing fluorescent sign cabinets use T12 lamps, which lends itself to a fast, one-to-one LED retrofit. Signs comprised of individual channel letters can also be populated with LEDs. No two signs are exactly alike, but there’s always a solution ‒ and often, it can be said and done in an afternoon.
Another job well done. Canada's most trusted brands trust Sign LITE for sign service and installation!
Learn More About LED Sign Retrofits
Reducing operating costs requires some tough business decisions, but this is one decision that won’t keep you up at night! Switching to LED sign lights is easy, and it can save you hundreds or even thousands in sign repairs and maintenance costs.
Sign LITE has a modern fleet of vehicles and equipment ready to service your commercial sign in Southwestern Ontario. Our certified technicians are capable and qualified to retrofit your signage quickly and effectively.
Illuminated signs are fixtures of our modern city landscapes. It’s hard to imagine life without them! But few among us really stop to think about what it costs to keep those beacons alight 365 days a year.
Granted, sign lighting usually isn’t the biggest drain on your monthly expenses. Thanks to solid-state lighting, the overall energy footprint of electric signs is fairly insignificant.
Still, every illuminated sign you install at your locations does add to your overhead. We can help you keep those costs as low as possible ‒ without compromising on the beauty and effectiveness of your signage.
Here are several ways to reduce what you spend on operating your electric signs!
Call a sign lighting professional for help fine-tuning signs at your location. Not only could it reduce your hydro bill, but it’ll ensure your sign gets noticed for the right reasons!
2. Get an Energy-Saving LED Retrofit
The promise of brighter, more efficient LEDs has encouraged their use in all sorts of outdoor lighting applications, including parking lot lighting and backlit signs.
In fact, sign manufacturers have been leaders in championing the adoption of LEDs! By the time LED lamps became widely available in the mid-2000s, we’d already been using solid-state lighting for over a decade.
Today, LED lighting is often the single most energy-efficient options available for commercial signage by far. LED bulbs last 25 longer and use 75% less energy than fluorescent bulbs.
Not ready to replace your signage outright? We can retrofit your single or double-sided sign cabinets on-site. Call us to get an LED sign retrofit quotation!
3. Install Illuminated Sign Controls
Chances are, you’ve got some type of automated control system for your exterior lighting already, like an on/off timer based on the time of day. But what about your illuminated signage?
You wouldn’t wait until something goes catastrophically wrong to get your car serviced, would you? Don’t let it happen to your illuminated signage either! Preventative maintenance is crucial.
Treat your signage as an investment, The more you keep up with scheduled service, the longer your sign is likely to last ‒ and the less likely it is incur unexpected repair costs. Proactive maintenance could save you a lot of money over the course of its lifetime.
As an added bonus, Sign LITE provides our customers with our innovative Night Watch program at no extra cost! This involves a regular, after dark inspection of your location and a next day report of any locations that need attention. It’s the easiest way to identify quick repairs before unnecessary (and often costly) problems develop!
This is one of the simplest and fastest ways to cut your costs down a notch, Obviously, a sign that’s covered in dirt, grime and cobwebs doesn’t shine nearly as bright as it should!
By some estimates, cleaning up your outdoor lighting (including illuminated signage) van make them 20-30% brighter at no additional cost whatsoever.
Always follow the steps outlined in your sign’s maintenance manual when it comes to cleaning. Be careful, as the surface could suffer damage from certain cleaning chemicals. When in doubt, just contact a sign lighting service professional!
Your sign is the first impression of your business. A well-functioning, energy-efficient sign is money in the bank! To learn more about keeping your sign at its best, contact the service professionals at Sign LITE today.
On the other hand...there are times where it makes more sense to retire an old sign that’s showing its age.
Here are a few things to consider when you’re torn between sign repair and replacement. And if you’re still undecided, you can always reach out to a certified technician for a qualified opinion on your specific case!
There’s no denying it: clients and customers tend to judge a book by its cover. Your primary signage is one of the first things people notice about your business. When a sign falls into neglect, people might assume you’re going through hard times or worse, that you’ve gone out of business. A few dents and scratches may not make a difference, but a long-dead lightbulb or rust definitely will!
Having your sign serviced should do the trick, but if the signage is too far gone, it is well worth investing in a replacement. Your business depends on it!
Your Sign vs. Your Image
Of course your signage should reflect your current colours, logo and message. Minor changes to your brand might not necessitate a new sign, so long as it’s still recognizable. But when you’re already debating between repair and replacement, a change of branding is a big point in favour of the latter!
Concerned about an old, electric sign affecting your hydro bill? You could start saving yourself a lot of money on utilities by having it retrofitted. There are numerous retrofit options available for various kinds of electric signs, and it’ll likely cost less than having the whole thing replaced outright.
Some types of electric signage are just too outdated to service or repair efficiently, especially if the necessary parts are no longer available. A decades-old sign could very well cost more to repair than it would to replace. However, there may be retrofit options available that will bring it up to speed with modern technology while preserving the vintage look.
As times change, so do sign bylaws. If you know there are some more restrictive rules coming down the line, you might consider foregoing your annual service and replacing your signage to align with the new bylaws now. The opposite might also be true: maybe a change in bylaws has unlocked the opportunity to upgrade to bigger signage.
Need Sign Service or Replacement?
Whether you’re looking to have a sign repaired or have your heart set on replacement, it’s always worth speaking to a certified technician for a qualified opinion! We’ve been helping Southwestern Ontario businesses with illuminated and non-illuminated signs for over 40 years. Get in touch to learn more about our sign repair, retrofit and new sign manufacturing services.
Follow the steps outlined in your sign’s maintenance manual to clean off any dirt, grime, insects, cobwebs or other contaminants. Don’t assume that any old cleaner will do ‒ the material could react badly and suffer damage from certain cleaning chemicals. When in doubt, you can always call a signage professional.
It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it, and it’s much easier done in the fall than in winter!
2. Replace Burned Out Bulbs
Swap out your dim or flickering bulbs before the temperature falls! As winter gets closer and the days get longer, you’ll need your electric sign to shine as bright as can be.
Mounting a ladder to replace burnt-out lamps requires a great deal of care and caution at any time of year. Doing it in the winter, when surfaces are slippery and the cold nips your fingers, only adds to the risk of injuries and broken bulbs.
3. Repaint, Reseal and Refresh
Notice a few spots where the paint has chipped or the colour has faded? The nasty weather only accelerate this kind of deterioration, adding to the expense of touching up your sign next spring.
Now’s the best time to deal with any chips, cracks or faded areas and apply a new coat of weatherproof seal to protect your signage from snow and ice.
By the way...have you noticed condensation building up inside your electric sign? Has it taken on water during the last few rainfalls? Then it’s definitely time to look at having the sign resealed, too.
Once winter comes, any moisture inside the sign will freeze, expand and unfreeze as the temperature swings.
4. Protect Your Electric Sign from Power Surges
Between fallen branches, heavy wind and road accidents, the odds of power lines arcing this winter is high. This increases the risk of a nearby power surge, which can take out your sign’s electrical components in an instant.
Make sure your signage is properly grounded and equipped with surge protection.
5. Inspect the Structure from Top to Bottom
If recent history has taught us anything, it’s to never underestimate winter’s wrath.
We’ve been through a series of particularly nasty storms the past few winters in Ontario that have ripped trees from their roots and snapped huge branches like twigs. You don’t want your sign getting caught in that kind of weather if it’s in poor condition to begin with. Remember: you could be in a lot of hot water if your sign breaks loose in heavy winds and damages someone’s property.
Before the ground is covered with snow, have your signage inspected from top to bottom by a sign service professional. This will include checking for broken or loose fittings, replacing rusty chains and wires, and ensuring the sign is fully secured to its structure.
Have Your Sign Serviced This Fall
Your outdoor signs are a major business investment. Not only does it project your image out into the world, but it carries a hefty price, too! Having your sign serviced today can save you a lot of work next spring.
Sign LITE has a modern fleet of vehicles and qualified technicians standing by to service your on-site signage. Call us or contact us online to book your fall service appointment today.!
Signs are a key part of branding any successful business. Your sign is your first opportunity to make a good first impression on potential customers, so it only makes sense to make it your best.
Crafting the perfect sign for your business does require some planning to get it right:
The first step in deciding on the right style of signage for your business is to learn about what the local regulations will allow.
Cities, townships and counties all have by-laws governing placement and installation of retail signs. It’s a good idea to become aware of any permits you need, before you start. Nothing can be more disappointing than becoming excited about a sign design, and later having to remove it!
Provincial or territorial laws govern size and placement of highway billboards, such as pole height and distance from the road. If your building is leased, or if you are located in a shopping plaza or mall, you will need approval from your landlord.
A sign is an investment. It makes sense to get the largest size and the highest quality sign you can afford. Keep in mind, it is also the least expensive but most effective form of advertising. A well-designed, well placed sign can generate huge profits, especially when part of an overall marketing strategy.
Additionally, your sign should be low-maintenance and last a number of years. It needs to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week telling people who and where you are.
The design of your sign should be a reflection of your brand and convey the kind of services you provide. Your sign communicates with passing pedestrians and motorists as an invitation to come through your doors and do business with you. The type of sign you choose should make it easy for anyone to find you, dar or night.
You'll need to consider shape, size, structure, and materials.
Signs can come in many shapes and sizes, as small as a countertop sign, and as large as a highway billboard, illuminated or not. They can be crafted from different materials such as acrylic, lexan, wood, metal or glass, each with their own set of pros and cons
To be effective, your sign also needs to be noticeable and readable.
How you maintain your sign will reflect the image you project to your potential customers. Some signs are cirtually maintenance-free, others - such as signs made from wood may need repainting or varnishing. The visual of an illuminated sign is second to none. Keep in mind that lighted signs may need light bulbs or tubes replaced from time to time.
For energy consumption, consider an LED retrofit. LED light offer superior illumination with lower operating costs. Contact us today for a FREE estimate.
However, people who see the property for the very first time are bound to notice its flaws, especially those who are scrutinizing it as a prospective buyer. Even minor faults could raise questions about the costs of restoration.
Is it feasible to remove that graffiti, or will we have to paint over it?
What will it cost to strip and restore that rusted railing?
If the owner hasn’t bothered to replace a light, what does it say about their care for the rest of the property?
As a seller or manager preparing a commercial property for sale, you should endeavour to view the condition of the property with fresh eyes. Think of the impression it makes on someone seeing it for the first time.
Making a small investment in exterior repairs and restoration can go a long way when it comes to winning over buyers.
2. Cost of Upkeep
Energy expenses can be substantial here in Southwestern Ontario, even for small businesses.
Prospective commercial property buyers pay close attention to the efficiency and overall condition of any appliances, lighting, and other building systems that come with it. It counts as a strike against the property when the equipment is outdated or inefficient.
On the other hand, energy-efficient appliances and lighting can be a strong selling point.
Upgrading a property’s heating, cooling, and lighting systems can significantly increase its value and reduce risk in the eyes of a buyer.
That’s one of the last things you want prospective buyers to contemplate when they see your property.
Having a clean, brightly-lit parking area is a big point in favour of any commercial property.
Need Help Preparing Commercial Property for Sale?
SignLITE supports property owners and property managers on commercial restoration projects across Southwestern Ontario. Our services include professional graffiti removal, commercial sign repairs and restoration, LED lighting, other outdoor commercial and industrial lighting, and interior and exterior media blasting.
Contact us to get your commercial property in shape in sell.
A hundred years ago, neon lighting was the cutting edge of sign illumination. That began to change in the 1960s when fluorescent bulbs presented as a safer and more efficient option. Now, businesses in Canada and abroad are increasingly abandoning fluorescent bulbs in favour of LED sign retrofits.
Here’s how businesses can benefit from an LED sign retrofit.
A Brief History of Sign Illumination
The history of neon lighting begins long before its heyday in the 1920’s and 30’s. The technology originates from the lab of two German physicists in the 1850s, who discovered how neon gas emitted a bright red glow on contact with an electric charge. Mixing other gases produced a wide range of colours.
The intensity of the light made in unsuitable for ambient or task lighting, but perfect for creating eye-catching signage on storefronts and roadside displays. A French inventor named Georges Claude sold his first neon sign in 1912, and the rest is history; neon quickly became the standard in sign illumination.
Towards the latter half of the century, the appeal of neon lighting began to fade, and a new lighting technology took the spotlight. Fluorescent bulbs were safer and more energy-efficient than neon lighting. Many businesses replaced neon signage with plastic sign cabinets illuminated by fluorescent bulbs.
Until recently, fluorescent bulbs were the number one choice in outdoor commercial lighting. That changed with the proliferation of light-emitting diodes or LED lighting. LED sign retrofits are more affordable than ever, and the ongoing benefits of LED lighting make them the smartest choice for the bottom line.
Benefits of LED Lighting in Commercial Signage
LED lighting is one of the most energy-efficient lighting options available for commercial signage today. It lasts 25 times longer and uses 75% less energy than fluorescent bulbs, which dramatically reduces ongoing maintenance and operating costs. A high-quality LED bulb can last 25,000 hours or more, which translates to three straight years of 24/7 use!
Switching from Fluorescent to LEDs with an LED Sign Retrofit
In many cases, it is possible to replace HO fluorescent lamps in sign cabinets with energy-efficient LEDs. An LED sign retrofit gives you the benefits of LED lighting without the expense of replacing your existing signage altogether.
There are many systems available for retrofitting single and double-sided sign cabinets on-site. However, making the switch from fluorescent to LED lighting is not as simple as buying a retrofit kit. If your sign is due for a re-lamp, Sign LITE can help you find the solution that works for you.