Do Signs Help First-time Customers Find Stores?

Signtronix is a California-based sign manufacturer that creates signs for small independent businesses nationwide. From 1996 through 2011, it asked its customers (retailers) to ask their first-time customers (shoppers) how they first found out about their store. Over this 14-year period, 46% of these 13,040 first-time patrons said they’d heard about the retailer because of its on-premise sign. Other possible responses were “word of mouth,” (37%) and “Yellow Pages,” “newspaper,” “radio” and “television,” all at less than 10%. Here were some of the initial verbatim comments from new sign owners (as reported in the June 1998 issue of Signs of the Times magazine):

  • From a Lebanon, IL cleaners: “We have added 20 new customers who didn’t know we were here.”
  • From a Cedar Springs, MI picture framer: “Our business has increased 30-40% because of the sign.”
  • From a Santee, SC BBQ restaurant: “In the first week of the sign being hung up, our business increased by at least 60-70%.”
  • From a Bradley, IL comic-book store: “Ninety percent of the new customers came in because the sign attracted their attention.”
  • From a Cookeville, TN tattoo shop:  “No more than 10 minutes after putting up the new sign, two customers pulled in.”
  • From a Clover, SC flower shop, three weeks after getting a new sign: “I have gotten about 30 new customers.”
  • A San Fernando, CA car dealer said sales increased by $6,000 net per week, so the sign paid for itself in less than a month. He decreased his other advertising from $16,000 to $12,000 per month.
Wade Swormstedt

Wade Swormstedt

Wade is Executive Director of the Foundation for the Advancement of the Sign Industry. Formerly he was Editor and Publisher of Signs of the Times magazine.

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