University of South Carolina Professor Asks Business Owners to Evaluate their Electronic, Changeable-message Signs

Hendrikus E.J.M.L. van Bulck is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration at the University of South Carolina Sumter. He teaches marketing, entrepreneurship, small-business management, financial management, accounting and strategic management. He is also a partner in Van Bulk Partners, CPAs, LLC, where he is responsible for corporate planning and business valuations. 

Van Bulck surveyed the 36 Sumter businesses that had programmable, electronic, variable-message signs (EMCs) for their businesses.  The businesses included 20 retail stores, five gas stations, six service-oriented businesses, five fast-food restaurants, five pharmacies and three banks. Here are some of their observations:

More than 85% of the respondents said the EMCs “helped bring in more customers", and 25% “strongly agreed.”

83% said the sign “measurably increased sales.” 17% “somewhat disagreed,” but no one “strongly disagreed.”

89% agreed with the statement, “The LED sign makes people more aware of the location of the store.”

Only 8% said “Customers found such signs unattractive.”

92% said the signs “were easy to update.”

89% would “recommend the sign to other businesses.”

Study: The Value of Signs

Formal Report: Details