A survey by Aisle 411 discovered that 84% of shoppers have difficulty finding products on store shelves.  As a result 20% of shoppers leave the store without buying what they went in for. The result is customer frustration and lost sales.
Making products easier to find
The first step to ensuring that customers have less difficulty finding products in stores is to help them easily identify the area where the products are likely to be. Many retailers have got a lot better at helping shoppers identifying categories within a store with good signage. However, some are still not looking at signage from a customer’s point of view. For example I recently went to collect a product that I’d ordered online. As I entered the store there was no signage to tell me where to go for click and collect. I walked to the rear of the store and only saw a sign when I looked back towards the door. Collections were right next to the door where I came in. It should have been visible from the moment that I walked into the store. My recommendation is that all retailers have a category map right by the door so that shoppers can easily locate products and services within the store.
Finding the specific product 
Having identified the likely category area for the product the next challenge for the shopper is to find it on the shelf.  Sometimes it’s easy because the product is large or on display and the shopper knows what they are looking for. Where this is not the case shoppers look at shelf edge signage to find the product that they want.  If the shelf edge signage mainly consists of identical small white labels with a price and product name in very small print it doesn’t help much, particularly if the product name has been abbreviated.  Having a complete product name on each label increases the chances of finding the required product significantly but it still does not make it easy enough.
There also needs to be some larger promotional signage across the category area with more product information. This not only makes it easier to find products within the category but also increase sales by providing “reasons to buy” on the signage. This will result in more shoppers buying what they came in for and often buying other products at the same time. Much better than leaving without making any purchase.
Retailers have realised that effective promotional signage does not always need to only feature price offers in order to add value to shoppers. As well as helping shoppers find a product and make a buying decision it also help retailers increase margins. The wider value promotional signage is increasingly being recognised by retailers.
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