14. Use colorful, professionally-printed signs to encourage impulse sales

April 13, 2015By 99 Ways to Make a Positive Difference in Your Pharmacy, Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog, Independent Pharmacy

Signs, signs, everywhere signs (at shelf)

by Aaron T.  for our 99 Ways to Make a Positive Difference in Your Pharmacy blog series

Signs are an important part of retail merchandising. They are a visual display tool that can highlight your front-end product offerings and draw attention to specific items you want to promote. Dynamic, engaging signs can have a powerful influence on customer decisions. According to the Point of Purchase Advertising Institute, product sales can increase up to 65% with shelf talkers.

Point-of-purchase signs – the ones that are at shelf – are an excellent method for encouraging impulse sales. You can use signs to point to complementary items that may help in the treatment of a condition, highlight a discount or coupon, and at-shelf signs can be used to educate and inform customers. Effective signs can be your “silent sales force.”at-shelf signs

At-shelf signs can also generate a positive customer experience. Shoppers that feel uncomfortable engaging with you or your staff, perhaps because they don’t feel well, or may have to purchase products that embarrass them, might appreciate signs that offer information about symptoms the item treats, or that point out savings available. In these situations, signs that point to complementary products can also help build that sale.

New shelf-signs are included as part of our monthly TEMPS® program that is sent to participating independent pharmacies. Our analysts go through a thoughtful process using specific criteria to determine what signs are created. If you are not using those signs, you should! If you are not receiving TEMPS, develop a sign selection process – some sort of strategy – to determine what products to sign and when – weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Consider these options for signs: to create more awareness of slow-moving items, highlight high margin products which can lead to increased profits, and spotlight different products each month to keep it fresh and exciting.

Take into account the number/ratio of items you want to sign and where they appear throughout the store. Make sure there is a good balance and a particular department isn’t overcrowded with shelf-signs. When writing and designing the signs, keep these things in mind:

  • The expectations and needs of your customers
  • Accuracy of information (spelling, product information)
  • Making a consistent impression (use the same colors, tone, and fonts)

You can enlist a local designer and printer to help create a familiar look and feel for professional-looking signs that will benefit your business. Shelf-signs are a cost-effective tool that can boost your front-end sales.


Aaron helps maintain and develop HRG’s master item file, including fine line categorization and retail pricing strategies. He is in charge of our quality assurance program and is responsible for data integrity. Aaron also manages client specific pricing files and the sign file process. In addition, he interacts with internal and external clients to secure product information related to manufacturers’ package samples, UPCs, pricing, and marketing materials.

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