Maximizing Sales: How Strategic Signage Placement Can Increase Impulse Purchases

Looking to maximize sales? One marketing strategy that can bring in new customers, promote your brand, and increase impulse buying is to use strategic signage placement.

Strategic signage placement refers to where and how you place signage in your retail store. This is often paired with complementary displays to attract customers during their shopping trip.

There are many benefits and ways to be purposeful about your signage placement.

The Importance of Strategic Signage Placement

With loads of products on the market and tons of retail stores to look through, there are many distractions for customers to navigate. Not to mention they have a cell phone at their fingertips. Attracting customers has never been more difficult. So, how do you grab their attention?

According to a study by Raymond R. Burke and Alex Leykin for the Review of Marketing Research, “...shopper attention is often drawn to distinctive signs and product displays.” These are usually large signs with discounted prices or in-aisle displays.

Shoppers tend to focus on the center of a shelf display. If they like what they see, they will continue to look at other items outwards from the center aisle. If they don’t, they’ll move on.

So, it stands to reason that products placed in the center of aisles and displays will fare better than those in other places. However, you still want to draw attention to the other products. Signs can help direct customers and get them to buy products not in plain sight.

However, strategic signage placement has other benefits for your retail store.

Attracts New Customers

With the increase in the popularity of ecommerce, brick and mortar stores have an even higher mountain to climb when it comes to making sales in-store.

Interesting signage alongside eye-catching displays can attract new customers. This is important for in person stores. The more customers you can get into the door, the better your chances of making a sale.

Signage with bright colors, flashing lights, and promises of good deals are the most likely to bring in new customers.

Add-on Purchases

Signage paired with displays of practical products throughout the store can remind customers of items they have forgotten to pick up. Customers are more likely to make last-minute purchases while waiting in line at the point of sale.

They are in a hurry and see a sign or display that attracts their attention in the middle of an aisle. They realized that this product was on their shopping list. Yet, the wider selection of these items is on the opposite side of the store.

So, what does the customer do? They make an impulse purchase.

These displays and signage give customers a sense of convenience. Instead of having to walk all the way to the other side of the store for their practical item, they can pick it up at this display with a large sign, advertising its low price.

This product may even be more expensive than the ones across the store, but customers are more likely to make this impulse purchase than to walk.

Add on purchases are great for increasing sales. Grocery stores often make use of this strategy. The perceived convenience outweighs any additional cost.

Impulse Buying

In 2018, according to Statista, 50% of purchases for 18-24-year-olds in the U.S. were impulse buys. These spur-of-the-moment purchases are important for small businesses. You can increase impulse buying by placing signs in locations near the checkout area and on end caps.

When the 2020 COVID pandemic hit, many businesses closed their doors or suffered severe monetary losses at their physical stores, but the one constant even during those uncertain times were impulse sales.

Actually, since people conducting in-person shopping had a sense of urgency to get in, grab the items they needed, and leave without coming into contact with anything, it was the use of signage and product placement that promoted impulse purchases even more than usual.

Point of purchase displays are especially good for this. This is because of a phenomenon called “decision fatigue.” Essentially, people can only make so many decisions a day before they get tired. Then, their decision making abilities become impaired.

There are so many new products and decisions to make around a retail store that by the time they get to the checkout lines, they no longer can filter these decisions.

In these moments, people who are waiting in line will look at these displays while they wait. So, signage in these areas with bold colors and sales promotions will increase the desire to quickly add these products to their shopping cart.

Also, impulse buying tends to be a form of therapy to some people. In the moment, there is an immediate gratification that temporarily boosts mood. To increase sales, many businesses optimize their merchandising near the checkout counter.

Some people are more prone to be impulse buyers than others, but a good display with well positioned signage goes a long way towards grabbing customers’ attention. Even staunch shopping list sticklers, can be tempted by a flashy sign.

Provides Essential Information

For ADA compliance, having signs in visible locations is essential. So, strategic signage placement can also help you to comply. This use of signage is important for making sure that all customers are served equally in your retail store.

Other information, such as separate lanes for checkout and returns, bathroom locations, and general wayfinding around the store are also great reasons for strategic signage. Having these in-store will enhance the customer experience.

Signage can also let customers know about products that are out-of-stock or coming soon, giving customers the information they need to plan their purchases.

Creates Branding

The way the signage looks, how it is displayed, and the type of products placed with it creates the atmosphere and feel of your brand.

You can use signage to influence the feel of your store. The use of colors and even wording can influence buying decisions, so placing your signage in the best places around your retail store is important.

If your displays and signage look messy and disorganized, that can affect the way your brand looks. You want your font, messaging, and advertisements to look as neat, organized, and convey the right mood for your target audience.

The Best Ways to Strategically Place Signage

Now, let’s look at some strategies for placing your signage in strategic locations around your retail store to increase the likelihood that your customers will make unplanned purchases.

Sign Visibility

First of all, a sign needs to be visible. Eye-level signs do the best. However, eye-level is different based on where you are placing your signage. For example, in a storefront display, place the signage slightly above eye level to create the desired effect.

If the sign is on the street, you’ll want it at walking level. In a store, the center of a display or aisle is a great place. Eye-level on a shelf is also another optimal choice.

You will want your signage to be visible from a distance, so potential customers will see them, and stop to browse. So, make sure your font is large enough and clear enough to be seen several feet away.

Avoid blocking your signs with large objects or overlapping signs. This will keep your customers from seeing your signage.

Angle and Orientation

Think about the flow of traffic in your retail store. You will want to place the signage facing the perspective of your customer. Imagine how the customer would walk up to your display or signage. Would they be able to see it easily? Could they read it clearly? Would it catch their eye?

You may have to move it around a couple of times to get the right orientation. Make sure to not cover up your product or interesting display props while placing your signage.

Your signage should be angled for clear visibility. Try to get it to where a customer can see the sign clearly from several different angles.


You want to give your signs the best chance at being seen, so make sure they are placed in well-lit areas. Natural light, like a window, works really well for giving plenty of light for your display and signage. Backlit signage can also help customers see your sign if you have a darker store or if it’s nighttime.

You can add artificial lights to your display to emphasize your signage. Plus, signs with more flare to them typically grab attention more easily. Be careful not to overdo it, though. You don’t want to hurt your customer’s eyes or create a display that is over stimulating. Simplicity is key.

Digital signs with flashy lights are a lot easier to see than static paper signs, so many retail stores are switching to them. Digital signs come with a lot of different colors and images that can attract customers from a distance.


Try not to add your signs in a cluttered environment. You want your signage to stand out from the rest. Having bright colored signs that contrast their surroundings will give them the extra emphasis they need to be seen by your customers.

For example, if you have white shelves, white, paper signs are not contrasting enough. Neon yellow or pink could do the trick. On the opposite side, if your store has darker tones, light tones will stand out better.

Also, think about what you have around your signage. If the area is messy or an eyesore, the signage will draw attention to those elements, as well. You want to place your signage and displays in places where they will promote the best look for your store and merchandise.


The words you use on your signage also impact purchasing decisions. Customers are more likely to buy products with signage that state they are “bestsellers,” “limited-time offer,” or “buy one, get one free.”

Customers buy impulse items that they perceive they are getting at a low cost. They don’t mind adding on more products if they believe they are saving money.

Wording also impacts the way your target audience perceives products they are purchasing. Using positive and exciting adjectives to describe sales, promotions, and products can make them more appealing.

Types of Signage

The type of signage you use can make a big difference, as well. Many people go for traditional paper or static signage that needs to be replaced regularly throughout the store. This type of signage has been used for a long time and it works fine.

However, digital signage is an up and coming market. The digital signage market is projected to increase to a 6.9 billion dollar industry in the US by 2025.

Digital signage has many benefits. You can create flashy signs with colors and graphics sure to draw customers’ attention. It is easy to change these signs when the promotion is over or you need to change displays.

Also, digital signage is better for the environment because it uses fewer materials than constantly replacing paper signs. Digital signage also is more cost efficient in the long run.

You generally have a large upfront cost at the beginning that evens out over time. For these reasons, many business owners are changing to digital signage to place in their retail stores.

If you are shopping for a digital signage and business TV service, Loop TV is a free unlimited business entertainment service that offers a large selection of music videos, sports, lifestyle, news, and kids channels for your retail business.

Our sophisticated signage solutions are perfect for your site, in-store promotions, and more.

Final Thoughts

The strategic placement of signage is a great way to maximize sales. You can draw in new customers, influence buying decisions, promote your brand, and create an impression of your retail store by the way you display your signage.

Keeping signs at eye level, considering the environment, colors, fonts, and wording of your signage can make or break how effective your signage is. You may even be ready to move from static, paper signage to a more sophisticated digital signage.

Either way, moving your signage to the best locations is an easy marketing strategy that you can go out and try today.