by: Howard Hogg
WOMEN IN CARWASH CONFERENCE SPONSORS
The automobile landscape has evolved incredibly. Starting from the first gravity fed gas pump to the now digitally metered pay at the pump version. One thing has always been there for the most part and that is signage and product display.
This day and age people are in a hurry and it’s up to the marketers to slow you down and relax your approach to the gas station experience.
Point of purchase signage and displays are used to encourage impulse purchases and increase sales.
This starts from the time you’re driving down the road to choose the petro station where you’re going to fill her up! POS signage is your first encounter with the initial sale price of the petro itself. Next would be the signage offering the sales of products inside. These are the keys to getting customers inside your station and starting the retail experience.
While customers are filling up they may or may not realize they have read at least two or three signs that have surrounded them at the pump. It’s the visual trigger that sinks in and gets a customer to make a purchase they never even thought of previous to filling the vehicle.
You’ll have the bollard signage, special offers or discounts located on top of the pump, pump hose and handle. Each of these pieces of real estate has been purchased by an individual company or companies aligned with each other to promote a single or combo discount for sale of products. For the larger companies these items would be purchased within their supply chain and sent out to the stations across the country but for the independent station owners it’s still easy to get these items through companies that specialize in offering single or low volume non-custom prefabricated display and accessories such as J&J Display Sales.
The signage mentioned above is a definite asset to take customers off their fast pace and try to make them realize that they need that incredibly cold Pepsi and Mars bar to get them back on the road again. Signage and creative display accounts for a high percentage of impulse shopping at retail. Over 15 per cent on food alone and over 80 per cent because of sale or discounted items.
The second set of signage and display hits the customer as they cross the fuelling area and on their way into pay. You’ll see large print well placed graphics of seasonal ice cream posters in the window along with the LED lit lottery signs reminding you that $20,00,000 is up for grabs. Right below that on either side of the doors rests your firewood, propane or washer fluid displays. Once again these displays can be purchased online. Paint on a piece of plywood saying firewood doesn’t lend itself to a professional looking station.
The second set of signage lends itself to all customers especially many long distance travellers in the winter and summer on the long drive to their destination. It usually starts with filling up the vehicle. Next comes the visual triggers along the way up to the door. You see the lotto sign in the window and realize you’re on the island for a week without a store nearby. If I’m on that island I’m going to need firewood and few magazines to read as well to get me through the fact there’s limited or no wifi. The triggers keep hitting you and you don’t realize it. People are like cattle and will change their direction if told to do so and that’s what visible and uninterrupted signage will do to get your customer to a certain area of the store. The layout of a store will push people to certain sections with the use of angled aisles high demand products and fridge placement. The angled aisles will allow owners to show more facings as customers walk through the door. The fridges are usually at the end of these aisles so you have to do the walk past the beef jerky, chips, the Pepto and lip balm shelves to get to them.
Once you’re in the store you’ll notice petroleum companies have a store that gives a very clean and pleasurable shopping experience. A well lit and organized convenience store is essential to a happy and repeat customer. Messy and unorganized reminds them of their kid’s room.
The encounter of signage and display appears in all colours, LED lighting, cool wording and logos as you move through and that stands out to get your attention. High value places for your displays are areas just inside the door, on the counter at cash and on the visible end cap at the end of the aisles as you stand in line to pay. Hanging displays work very well on these end caps as well as they don’t take away any product space but are simply an extension to the aisle shelving. This could come in the form of clip strips, three or four high wire or plastic product displays only taking up a few inches in depth but spanning the length of a few shelves. Stand alone displays are another tool that can attract the customer to impulse purchases. These will come in the form of permanent double sided or four-sided units that the customer has to pass on the way to cash, once again creating a possible impulse buy. For all the items mentioned from types of shelving to vertical clip strips to fridge door product displays are easily accessible online. Another company is IDL Displays which can satisfy the need for displays and accessories. As for your actual signage production your best bet would to a printer in your area if you’re not ordering a large quantity. They can help you set up using the proper indoor and outdoor materials, graphics and printing.
It's very important to have these key displays and signage mentioned here. The main thing is to have your triggers and attractors but don’t congest the landscape, then it’s too busy and people don’t pick up on the main impulse buys.
A business with no sign is a sign of no business.
Howard Hogg is the president of Dicon Display Inc. based in the Greater Toronto Area. He has been involved with POP display and signage for over 20 years. He has worked with some of the top leaders in (CPG)Consumer Packaged Goods executing display programs with above average (ROI)return on investment. He can be reached at email@example.com For more information about Dicon Display Inc., visit www.dicondisplay.com
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