In retailing, first impressions matter.
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When somebody visits your store for the first time, they may be deciding whether or not they will become a customer for life.
Given that fact, smart retailers take every possible step to enhance their store to impress and woo consumers.
It all starts with the store image. Every store has an image, which can be controlled by the store owner.
Customers judge your business based on the appearance of the premises, both inside and out, and by the type of merchandise and services offered.
Therefore, each business operator must decide what image he or she wants to convey and then take the necessary steps to cultivate that image.
Here are a few tips for creating a great store image.
The Image Needs to Fit the Offering
Create an atmosphere that corresponds to your product line or service.
For example, in a store selling luxury goods, people will expect carpeting, nice fixtures and papered walls. Of course, giving a luxury feel costs more money. However, the costs are worth it because the nice atmosphere will generate more sales.
Keep It Clean
Consumers prefer stores that are clean and well-organized. They dislike stores that are boring or overwhelmingly cluttered.
As such, you need to make sure that before you open your store, you've ensured that it is spotless and will be a welcome sight to new and existing customers.
Parking Areas and Sidewalks
Keep parking areas and walkways clean. If your winters are tough, be sure snow and ice are removed. Parking lots should also be well lit. After all, customers want to feel safe.
Decor is critically important. The interior decor must be conducive to customer buying. Attractively painted or wallpapered walls are essential. In contrast, an ugly decor reduces customer interest and makes them feel uncomfortable. To offer a superior store design to customers, you may want to contract a professional store designer for assistance.
Well-planned aisles help customers find the merchandise they want and expose them to impulse purchases as well.
Good Store Lighting
Show me the light! That's what customers think when they walk into your store. Bright, friendly lighting leads customers to stick around and shop. In addition, special lighting techniques can be used to accentuate your products and draw the eye.
The sign on the outside of your store is critical to attracting customers. The sign is what gets them in the door. If you are going to invest in store image and limited funds, we strongly recommend that you steer as much money as necessary to the budget for your exterior signage.
The Bottomline on Store Image and Store Design
Stores that do well don't take their store image lightly. They constantly look at the store design and store layout through the eyes of customers, and they frequently make improvements that will be sure to keep customers happy and entice them to come back again and again.
Use these tips wisely and you'll be on your way to great store image!