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Using Signs to Increase Footfall in the Covid-19 Era

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

This guest post was provided by our friends over at Red17.

black a board with white writing promoting positive message

You don’t need us to tell you that 2020 has been a difficult year for many businesses. Those based on high streets have been particularly hard hit by lockdowns and the ever-changing restrictions focused on maintaining Covid-safe premises.

Ambitious businesses are always looking for ways to tackle and leverage new challenges to strengthen their offering and increase future profits. Of course, there are several ways this can be done in the current climate.

Here at Red17, we know a thing or two about signs and how to apply them to effectively promote your business. In this article, we walk you through how you can use signs to grab your customers' attention and increase footfall during this challenging time.

Tap into Busy Streets

Your average shopping street has yo-yoed somewhat this year. We have seen times of eerie silence during complete lockdowns in contrast to times of relative hustle and bustle as people attempt to return to some form of normality.

busy shopping street on a cold winters day

With this on-again, off-again flow of traffic, the times of increased activity become incredibly important to businesses who rely on footfall such as shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Practically, this means that businesses have a much shorter window of opportunity to attract customers and generate the profit they need to survive.

Deploying tried and tested forms of promotion during these times will help you grab attention. With many businesses remaining closed, even during periods where they could be open, promotion is also a good way to highlight that you are open and ready for business.

For example, a well-placed and well-designed a-board can help grab attention in areas of heavy footfall and push potential customers towards your business. You can use an a-board to communicate key information ranging from opening hours to offers that you are currently running. Using a large poster case, with a well-designed poster can have a similar impact.

During these times it is more important than ever to use smart design on any a-board or poster you use to promote our business. Competition for customer attention is higher than ever and you need to earn that attention to generate profit from it.

Smart design also offers you an opportunity to communicate the brand and tone of your business – helping you develop a voice that speaks to your customers on their level. This is likely to be well received, especially by those who have spent considerable time isolated from others.

Communicate Key Messages

Communication has always been an important part of business. Those who can effectively communicate with their customers will earn their trust and therefore benefit from increase loyalty and footfall.

Leveraging signage is a great way to communicate with your customers in a way which also allows you to maintain a safe social distance. In this section, we explain how key messages can be communicated with signs.

Covid Safety Measures

sign in front of ticker barriers warning people to wear a mask for safety against covid-19

Every business that deals directly with customers will need to communicate the processes and procedures that are being taken to keep everyone safe. Typically, these measures will be highlighted outside business premises through the use of a clear poster or a-board.

Not only does using signs in this way help you inform customers what is required of them to keep each other safe, but they can also be used as an opportunity to highlight the additional measures you are taking as a business to ensure safety for all.

During a time where consumers are highly aware of the safety of their environment, the extra measures you put in place can be a competitive edge over your competitors if communicated correctly.

Special Deals

Many people have been living on a reduced wage over the last year. Although people are looking to spend, both as a way to give back to the local economy as well as to indulge in a little ‘retail therapy’, they are also looking for a great deal so they can get more ‘bang for their buck’.

For this reason, if you are able, it is a great time to run an attention-grabbing deal. This in turn can be promoted by using your onsite signs, such as a well-placed a-board or poster.

By combining attention-grabbing deals with other crucial information on your signs, you will ensure that the information is both noticed and digested as a result.

Opening Hours

This year has been somewhat confusing when it comes to shopping. With various lockdowns and tier systems coming into play, it can be difficult to know what is open at any one time. As business owners assess their circumstances, further confusion arises as many decide not to open when they can or change their opening times to allow for proper cleaning.

neon shop open sign in red yellow green and blue

Clear signs can help you communicate two key pieces of information to your customers:

1. The fact that you are indeed open

2. Exactly when you are open

Although you may be able to communicate this information online, for businesses that rely heavily on footfall, a physical sign is going to help you deliver this crucial information in a way and at a time that is ideal for your customers.

Changes in Operations

We have already discussed in some detail how this year has been highly unpredictable for business owners, leading to rapid changes needing to be made in a very reactive way.

Physical signs can help you quickly and easily communicate these changes to your customers. Although permanent signs are more difficult to change, blackboard signs and posters can quickly be updated to deliver the most up-to-date information.

Take for example the government announcing a new lockdown that is going to come into effect within just 24 hours. Once this news has been received, a business owner may quickly draw up a blackboard sign highlighting when they are closing and any other information such as the availability of home delivery once the lockdown comes into place.

Signs for the Covid Era

The smart use of signs is a great way to tap into the attention of your customers, especially during a time where demand for their attention is so high. Using the right mix of online marketing and signs will ensure that you can communicate both that which is crucial in keeping your customers feeling safe, as well as that which will entice them through your doors.

Business Bio

Red17 are the UK’s leading online supplier of sign, print and display products. The team at Red17 have extensive experience in helping businesses leverage signs to increase efficiency and promote themselves in a way that grabs customer attention in the right way, at the right time.


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