First impressions are very critical, and it’s not just when you are interviewing for a job. In marketing and sales, your brand image can immediately repel or intrigue potential customers, either sinking or boosting your potential sales. When you have a brick and mortar, apart from location, the look of your retail location can really be the straw that broke the camel’s back—actually, it’s more than a straw, and more like a sack of flour.
If you are thinking of opening a retail business, these are a few things that you should be thinking of when designing your storefront, some even before you sign your lease.
A shop with more natural light will require less “problem-solving” and allow for you to have better window displays than one that has less. It is very important if you are planning for a minimalist and bright aesthetic which requires sunlight to be complete. Buyers also feel more comfortable in spaces that are light and airy.
The Lease Details
If you have grand plans for how you want the space to look, you’re going to have to closely read what is in the lease agreement. Who pays for painting, flooring, and some of the changes that you want to make to the space. Have a lawyer on board who will be able to check that there aren’t outstanding issues or clauses that could keep you from fulfilling your vision for the space.
Get Good Stuff
This is obvious, especially if you are setting up a retail space. You want to sell quality items that people will want to shop for. Don’t be shy about sourcing from larger and smaller producers, just remember that there will be some paperwork involved, and sometimes region-specific distributors. Read everything properly before signing, and in case of commercial litigation, a lawyer might help you resolve the issue.
Put Your Best Sellers in the Front
You might think that when setting up shop that by keeping the greatest customer “magnets” in the back, you will encourage the buyers to go through the whole shop. That’s not how it works. If they see that there’s nothing interesting up in the front as soon as they walk in, or better yet, through the window, they won’t continue browsing.
Tell a Story
Your shop should have a cohesive story that customers will understand through browsing and experiencing the space. From colours, through textures, and interesting visual elements, there’s a lot to be said about setting up the merchandise and the décor around the store. Stay true to your roots when ordering, getting smaller quantities at first to see how they work within your store.
With the holiday gift season approaching, creating an engaging storefront should be your number one priority as a retail business. Invest in some “good bones” and start layering elements mindfully for a thoughtful and stimulating effect.