The design and atmosphere of a store is everything. If people are unwilling to even come in through the door then client potential is lost. Think of it like those first few moments when you enter an interview and the employer decides in seconds whether you will fit in with the rest of his staff. In the same way as soon as a customers look at the store they know whether it is their kind of store. In a fast paced world people make snap decisions very quickly. So what can you do to improve a retail store?
Plan the kind of customers you wish to attract. A toy store and a music store will attract very different kinds of people. Before opening up spend some time researching other stores that fit into your type. Decide what you like about them? Don’t be afraid to ask people their opinions. The worst thing they can do is knock you back but if someone shares their thoughts with you it could be life-changing.
Make sure it is in an eye-catching spot so that people can find it easily.
You are selling a dream to your customers, the dream of the exquisite crystal vase in their home, the rocking horse that would be perfect for their daughter’s birthday. Use color to attract them. Think about the meaning of color and whether it is tasteful. In a baby shop you may have cozy pinks or pastel blues. In a shop for teens you may want exciting colors or patterns on the walls that stand out from the crowd. Be imaginative in the use of the display window which will attract people through the door. Remember all the seasons and special events taking place so you can capitalize on them such as Mother’s Day and Christmas.
Use music to draw in the customers. If your shop is aimed for teens then use the kind of music they like. If you’re unsure then find out, listen to the charts. For older people you may want gentle music that is a pleasant distraction without irritating them. This will help create a pleasant atmosphere. It will drown out the sound of complaints or arguments in the store.
Nothing is more frustrating to a customer when areas aren’t clearly signed or items priced. A happy customer will be able to find what they are searching for with minimum fuss. For clothes you need size and gender clearly labeled. For groceries have signs for the different kinds of products.
Easy access for buggies and wheelchairs keeps customers calm. Have wide aisles. Use mirrors to create the illusion of space.
It may sound obvious but it is surprising how many stores you enter and the staff don’t seem to care. If staff are helpful and show customer care it immediately creates a pleasant atmosphere for everyone. Potentially unpleasant situations are diffused. Shy customers don’t feel afraid to ask for help and will return again.
The kind of design or atmosphere you have will make or break your store. Make it a pleasant experience for your customers.