How to Maintain an Inviting Store That Attracts More Customers
If you’re the owner of a brick-and-mortar establishment, the first opportunity you have to catch the customer’s eye is your storefront — the display window, your store entrance, its upkeep, maintenance and even color scheme are all factors that play into giving your business the ‘wow’ factor you need to attract consumers.
This can unfortunately be the make-or-break moment for a potential buyer to set foot inside your business, and if you don’t have the right combination, you might miss out on potential revenue. True, a person can’t always judge a book by its cover, but there is a reason they say first impressions are so important.
Try to think of the factors listed above as the components of a 3D billboard representing your establishment’s image. What is your store’s image? It can be anything — trendy, kitschy, upscale, fun, creative, homey etc. — your image is your choice, and its design is up to you.
The important point to point to keep in mind is that you’ll want to make all these factors work together to create a smashing first impression.
Here’s a list of 11 ways you can make your store more inviting and unforgettable:
Try not to be too loud in your decor.
They do say less is more, and this is entirely true where the display windows of your business are concerned. Look specifically at different display ideas, and sort through what vibe fits you and your image best. Make sure your display has a plan — a cluttered window will likely draw the eye of the the curious but not necessarily the consumer.
Make sure your merchandise is what you’re trying to sell.
Don’t have your potential customers get so lost in the shuffle of your image that they forget what it is exactly that you sell. Be clear on what goods and services you offer through your business and use your image to promote your merchandise, not distract.
Show your products’ best sides.
In order to make your products as attractive as possible, you need to not only have adequate lighting for the window, entrance and establishment, but you also need to make sure your routine maintenance is up to par. Investing in proper cleaning equipment for your business is an absolute necessity for creating and maintaining the image you want to sell to customers.
Build curb appeal.
Placement of your items in the display window, outside the store entrance and inside on displays are critical to draw in the masses from across or down the street. You want your establishment to be a place that people pass and say, “Oh! I have to stop in there!”
Use the magnetic pull of strategically placed items — like brightly colored umbrellas arranged together or stacked shapes and pyramids. You want a curb appeal that draws the eye and still remains structured.
Have some fun with your props and products.
Perhaps the use of mannequins is relevant to the product you’re selling. If so, have some fun with the set up. Use them to create poses that suggest activity and movement. Incorporate your products together with the mannequins. It will be both fun and useful for your customers to see how to meld your products into their daily lives.
Unsure of where to begin? Here is a great list of mannequin display ideas to start with.
Utilize your creative genius.
You have your props and mannequins. Now you can really let the creative juices flow. Experiment with colors and patterns to accentuate your product and overall goal of the message you are trying to convey.
Customers like a business that can offer something unique. While more shopping continues to move online, 85% of consumers still prefer to shop in a physical store. Keep those numbers in mind as you create a shopping experience for your establishment.
Don’t lose your theme or objective.
While creativity is a wonderful tool, sometimes it can also get away from you if you don’t continually revisit the message and image you are presenting to potential customers. Come back to the underlying idea of keeping it simple. If you maintain this mentality and couple it with fun and creativity, you are sure to have a winning combination.
Combine brick-and-mortar with online.
While a great number of consumers still prefer to shop in a store, it is important to keep in mind that your customer base will also want and demand a legitimate web presence. Be sure to integrate your web options (i.e. website, platform, partners, retailers etc.) together with your in-store décor plans. People like options. Give them some.
Roll out the welcome mat — even literally.
Sometimes the obvious answer is the best one. Make sure your customers know you are open and that their presence is also wanted. Welcome them with a traditional welcome mat, a homey backdrop or scintillating music. Appeal to the human senses, and you’ll have a response.
Make sure your stock is ready to handle promotional or featured items.
There is no point in highlighting your goods and services with an intricate image display throughout your store, and then not have the sense to have enough of these items on hand.
You can even use a promotional or featured product to help create your store image, but before you choose that image, do a little research to learn about your demographic and market. This will help you design your image around the items your area will most likely need and want — in addition to building up a sufficient inventory for the actual sale and the proper cardboard display stands or signage to promote the items.
Maintaining a successful business is difficult. However, building your store and gearing it toward your customer base will be both a satisfying and fun experience — which will hopefully make the process a bit less painful. Keep the potential customers in your area in mind, and find an image that fits this demographic.
With the right products and image, you are bound to increase your foot traffic in no time, as well as enjoy the fruits of your labor. Remember to revisit your ideas often to keep your store image fresh. The time invested will surely pay off in the long run with more sales and higher revenue. You’ll also have a good feeling of personal accomplishment.
Get everyone on board.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to successful retail store execution is communication among your team. This includes HQ, district leaders, store managers and hourly employees. Everyone has to be on board for your store to succeed.
Develop in-house systems for clear communication, whether it’s team meetings, video conferencing, or emails. Or, if you really want to be hyper-organized, consider using retail communication tools to streamline communication and task management across the whole business..
Only when your teams are aligned on store goals, plans, and to-do lists can you create a seamless customer journey.