If you have spent any time with the team at SMCo Thrift – be it in person, reading a newsletter or blog, or watching a video – you know we are 110% focused on asking for donations when it comes to advertising and exterior signage. We invest our limited dollars to reach the donor since his or her donation provides the product to sell to customers.
But once you step foot inside any of our stores, you quickly see our focus moves to the customer. The customer is there to shop – to find a bargain, something to resell, or just because he or she enjoys the thrill of the hunt. We work to make it a pleasant and memorable experience. When done well, the customer is drawn to become a part in your mission.
Here are a few ways you can serve your customers in the same way.
Protect Your Brand
Do not detract from you brand.
- No handwritten signs.
- No mismatched signs.
- No stained and faded signs.
- No out-of-date signs.
We’ve seen signs printed on donated multi colored paper. While thrifty, an opportunity is lost to reinforce your brand and differentiate your thrift store.
Signs should not be taped to painted walls or windows as they look sloppy and leave a marks. Advertisements from other events not affiliated with your organization take attention away from your organization. Consider if the items you’re displaying are building up or taking away from your brand.
Design a Consistent Sign Package
Your interior signs should include large category signs that are clear, uncluttered and match your brand’s image. Use easy-to-read directional signage (e.g., fitting rooms, restrooms, employees only, etc.) consistent with the brand. Temporary signs, that let you know what’s new and what specific things might be important for the day or the week, should be printed on a consistent template and laminated or placed in a sign holder.
Leverage Your Checkout Counter
Your customers spend some critical time around your checkout counter, either waiting or in conversation with your team. Of all places, this area should be clear of clutter and only include important information branded correctly. Too often, checkout counters are littered with handwritten do’s and don’ts, another organization’s “sign up” information, or simply “stuff” that has collected over time. Where you engage your customers in conversations needs to be distraction free so your team can invite them to become part of your mission.
Making a Difference
Finally, customers need to know the difference their purchase makes. What did their purchase support? Meals served, houses built, veterans supported, tuition paid, patients cured. Whatever your mission, it should be communicated well in your store. Consider posters in strategic places with images of your organizations impact. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Or consider a board with up-to-date statistics. If capital allows, consider a TV with looping slides or a video.
Your interior signage does not have to be expensive. It does need to be consistent, clean, and clear of clutter. And most of all, it needs to enhance your brand.