Although some people would have you believe that everyone does all their shopping online nowadays, it’s clearly not true. Shoppers still flock to the stores after work and at the weekend, looking for a bargain or just some retail therapy. Just look at malls across America on Black Friday, and you can see that not everyone does their bargain shopping on the internet. But just because customers still frequent brick-and-mortar stores, doesn’t mean that they don’t need attracting in. When you’re competing with hundreds of other businesses in the same neighborhood, you need to make sure you stand out. People are visual, so the image your store presents will leave an impact. Create a company customers want to frequent with these tips.
Before you start, you’ll need a concept and an idea of where you want to take the image of your business. You need to think about not only your brand, but the space you have to work with. You can do different things with a large and airy space than you can with somewhere compact and lacking in natural light. You should think about where your store is, in terms of its relation to other businesses and the actual town in which you’re based. Consider the kind of shoppers that you’ll get coming past. And, of course, don’t forget your branding, so your design reflects who you are.
When you first start to consider your concept, you need to find a balance between expressing your brand’s personality and making customers happy. When people enjoy your store and find themselves having fun inside, they’re more likely to buy. Don’t get too stuck on your vision for your brand and what you think customers want. Find out what they do want and give it to them, instead of trying to persuade them to like something that you prefer. Remember that it’s all about them and not all about you. If you want all your business decisions to follow your personal preference, you’re probably not cut out to run a business.
Your storefront is the first thing that people see when they walk past, and it needs to tempt your customers inside. You will likely change your window display regularly, but the main exterior of the building or unit will remain for at least six months at a time if not much longer. You might be limited in what you can do to the outside of your unit, depending on the location and whether you rent or own. Although it’s an important part of the design, it might feel as though you don’t have a lot to work with. There are the wall and window, a sign and perhaps some space on the sidewalk or mall court. But you can do a lot with a small amount of space.
Your sign is one of the most important parts of the storefront. It announces your business’s name and immediately gives people an impression of what you do and who you are. It should stand out among other stores’ signs, so check out all the different options. For example, there are many signs shops that do neon in Oregon, and you could also have a backlit sign, painted glass or a simple plywood one. Don’t forget to check for any zoning restrictions that might limit your choice of sign.
Inside, the layout of your store is more important than how pretty it is (although that matters too). You need to choose a setup that will lead your customers around the premises, showing them your products and drawing them into a sale. There are lots of ways you can improve the attractiveness of the way you display your products. For example, it’s a good idea to place something to the right of your entrance. Customers look left and then right when they enter somewhere new. You can also put displays at angles and create breaks, instead of having long and interrupted aisles that just lead customers up and down.
The most important thing about your layout is that it’s coherent. You need to display your products in a way that has sense and is maximized for grabbing attention. If your potential customers walk in and their eyes are drawn to several different things at once, there is no logical next step. There needs to be a pattern and a process, with displays that catch their attention at various stages of their shopping experience. Although you want them to follow a path through the store, you need them to stop and smell the flowers, taking their time, instead of rushing through.
But what about the rest of your interior image? Layout is one thing, but you need to show your branding in the furniture and decor of your store. Many business owners choose to hire an interior designer to help them work on their ideas. This option is excellent if you can afford it. A professional will be able to get into the heart of what your business is about and help you realize it through the design of your store. However, not everyone can afford to use this service, but there are plenty of easy ideas you can use yourself.
One simple thing you can do to brighten up your store is create a feature or accent wall. Using a bold color on one wall will make the space look larger and give it more personality. You can also keep things looking clean and avoid clutter. Your layout is essential, but it also involves what you use to display your products. You can get inventive and use different kinds of surfaces at various levels to present your goods. Don’t forget to use lots of colors, lighting and even movement. All of these things catch people’s eyes, and that first look is the most important. Once your customers start looking, it’s your products’ job to keep them interested and get them to make a purchase.