With more and more stores electing to do their trade online, it’s become an incredibly competitive and highly stressful retail environment. For those operating brick-and-mortar retail shopfronts, it’s become more important than ever to provide a meaningful, enticing store which offers shoppers an excuse to visit over the convenience of online retail.
Featured below are four ideas on how to capture maximum customer appeal and retention through the design of your storefront.
Neon signs provide movement, colour, texture and a fun, modern edge to your shopfront. They’re an inexpensive and classic way to direct visual attention to your store, while also being cost effective to install and operate. Neon signs can convey a range of different aesthetic styles, as well as interpreting and representing important information.
An example of a memorable and effective neon sign is the Skipping Girl Vinegar sign in Richmond, Melbourne. It is so well known and treasured that it has been replaced multiple times due to public outcry. Other than reinforcing brand recognition (the sign is arguably more well known than the product), it’s a playful and well-remembered image which has stood the test of time.
Be Playful With Promotion
If you’ve ever been trapped in a modern shopping centre, one of the first things you would have noticed would have been that, after a while, most shops blend into one another. Unless there is something particularly outstanding or memorable about a particular shop, it will blend into its environment.
A memorable, enticing shopfront uses colours, shapes and textures to their best advantage, and finds a way to draw potential customers in by differentiating their self from their surroundings. In order to do this, you will need to be playful. Use your imagination and make your products and services come alive. This can be achieved by using such standout marketing tools as lightboxes, panel signs and fabricated lettering, as these give your store a standout quality that will surely draw the eye of potential buyers.
Use the iconic Australian love of the ‘big things’ (the big banana, the big merino, the big prawn) as an example of how to playfully persuade your customers into remembering and supporting you.
If you’re fortunate enough to have been reviewed or mentioned favourably in the media, don’t be afraid to display or capitalise on this exposure. Smart businesses use exposure to lend their business an air of authenticity and prestige. As an example, let’s imagine a restaurant which has been featured in a Lonely Planet guidebook. This restaurant can photocopy and enlarge the feature and place it in their window, with a larger sign noting ‘as featured in Lonely Planet’.
Providing a differentiation and reference point for potential customers may be all that’s required to increase foot traffic to your storefront. If you can find a way to present this information in a visually compelling and more interesting manner, then that’s even better. Offering and advertising some type of discount to customers who have noticed a mention or review in the media is another way to generate more customers.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
This may seem overly simplistic, but if you want your shopfront to look its best, put forward your best wares. Do you have an exciting or particularly covetable new product line? Does your store sell something that is specialised or otherwise hard to find? Hiding your most sought after items tucked away in the back is only going to lose you potential customers.
Display your best and most specialised products front and centre.
Customers seeking special items will be automatically drawn to and alerted to your display of wanted wares, and this is sure to increase foot traffic as a result.
In the end, no matter which retail sector you operate in or what your customer base consists of, don’t be afraid to stand out. Bland businesses offer nothing new to an already crowded retail landscape – and in that landscape, you want to be a landmark and not landfill.