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The growing impact of floor graphics

The growing impact of floor graphics

Over 70% of purchasing decisions are made at, or near, the point of sale.  However, this real estate is limited. More businesses than ever are therefore thinking outside of the box and discovering the power of placing floor graphics directly in their consumer walkways, with impressive results.

Heads up!
Your customers are looking down.

Designers have been using digital printing for some time to provide an added touch of customisation to walls and other small surfaces. Yet there is one surface that is commonly overlooked as an opportunity - the floor.

Over recent years we have come to realise that design does not have to stop at the walls! In fact, since floors are often the largest surface in the room, the use of printed floor graphics can have a significant impact on the atmosphere of a space. More importantly, a good floor design can help a retailer effectively respond to their visitor’s behaviour.

The US-based Centre for Advanced Retail & Technology (CART) conducted a three week study on the effectiveness of floor graphics. They found that sales of products featured with floor graphics increased by 17.2% and that shoppers who stopped in that product area increased by 280%. In fact, the researchers found that when floor graphics were placed in front of displays, a massive 64% of shoppers stopped and engaged with that product.

As a marketer, the adaptability of floor graphics allows you to easily respond to campaign requirements by providing an outlet for targeted promotions applied to a specific product. These advertisements work on a very simple principle - people naturally look down a lot whilst walking so they don’t stumble.

The greatest strength of a floor graphic is the value of the floor on which it is attached. When consumers look down, they process messages in a more meaningful way than when they look up.

Going for Gold

Graphics placed on exterior walkways and entrances are also able to escape the eye level barrage of signage, ads and displays. As a result, they provide the opportunity for meaningful engagement, such as communications and signposting.

When the Commonwealth Games announced that Australia’s Gold Coast would be hosting their 2018 event, the organisers had the logistical nightmare of how to create a signage infrastructure to guide the 1.2 million visitors around the various locations and venues. They chose to create a vibrant network of floor graphics on the pavements across the city, consequently a massive volume of floor graphics material was required.

Wide format supplier Starleaton was involved in the important decision of what media would be best suited for the difficult task.

Starleaton’s CEO Ben Eaton wasn’t daunted by the challenges of the project. “We have always had a strong attitude of collaboration with our customers, and one of our key differentiators has always been our teams experience and product knowledge,” he says.

It was eventually decided that AlumiGraphics Grip, a pliable aluminium foil with a durable, high friction coating, would be the material of choice. It was chosen not only for its outdoor suitability, but also for its ability to directly print and install without lamination, cutting down on precious production time.

“Our business is proudly celebrating 40 years since it’s foundation, and the benefit of having such a long tenure is that we have had time to refine our product offering. We are able to cover a wide spectrum of customer requirements and are proud to work with some of the best quality suppliers in the world,” continues Eaton.

Don’t slip up

The key to an effective floor graphic campaign is in the design but also in the use of the right product for the job. Floor graphics must withstand pedestrian, trolley, and sometimes even vehicle traffic and still look good to deliver the clients image and message. The graphics must also be removable for short term installs without damaging expensive retail flooring.

However, all floor medias are unfortunately not created equal and whether you choose a product that allows you to print direct, or one that requires lamination, there are a few criteria to consider:

•  Environment – is the installation indoor or outdoor?

•  Foot fall – is the installation in a high traffic area?

•  Slip rating – does the product you are using meet the Australian and New Zealand slip resistance standards?

•  Timeframe – is it a short-term or long-term installation?

•  Surface type – is it a carpet, concrete, tile or other?

Again, Eaton is not daunted by the plethora of challenges that are unique to floor graphics. “We are constantly getting feedback from our customers about new surface types that they need to install on, or new finishes they need to achieve. We simply get out there and make sure we hunt down a solution that works for them,”
he says.

“Luckily manufactures such as Neschen and Alumigraphics have anticipated the rise in demand for floor graphics and are constantly working on new improvements,” explains John Buitenkamp, Product Manager at Starleaton.

“In the last year alone Alumigraphics have launched two new outdoor products, and Neschen has expanded their short-term ‘Print N Walk’ range to include a new transparent version. Alongside our existing range of Neschen laminates that provide a longer lasting finish, and our long-term direct print Helixx AntiSkid product, we’re pretty comfortable that we are ready for whatever challenge our customers throw at us.”

Floor graphics are not the newest product on the market, but they are now more relevant and useful than ever. There is an impressive novelty to high-flying advertising like aerial banners or bill boards, but given that the average customer’s vision isn’t oriented upwards, these high-profile marketing tactics may be on their way out. 

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