The saying that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover has never been an easy one to apply in real life. We make snap judgements based on first impressions of people, places and products. This is especially true when we walk into a business or shop.
Having the right first impression can make all the difference when converting visitors to your business into paying customers. Here are a few ideas to consider when designing your shop and presenting your business:
Think logically about signage and windows
Your signage should be appropriate to your product and convey an image your target market can relate to. In the same sense, make sure your window displays are inviting, and a good representation of the newest products in store. Be mindful not to clutter up your windows, and change them often to keep things fresh.
Your brand image should be clear and consistent throughout your shop, so keep your identity in mind every time you change promotional displays.
Provide enough “white” space
Finding a middle ground between too much and too little stock in your shop is tricky. You don’t want cluttered shelves and display cases that make it difficult for your client to find what they are looking for. If your shop is too empty and minimalistic, you run the risk of your client assuming that you won’t have what they want.
The best layout for your shop is one where clients can move freely and see your selection clearly. It is important to showcase your whole range of options, but you can always store access stock in a back room to avoid cluttering up your shopfront.
Keep your shop presentable
A low standard of cleanliness creates an assumption that you apply the same low standards to product quality. Visiting your shop has to be a pleasant experience for your client, so keep all the floors and counters as clean as possible. Most importantly, your product should always be in a presentable state, and fully functional when demonstrated to a client.
Your shop’s outside is as important as its inside, so make your on street appearance a priority. Wash the windows often, and tend to any plants or ground cover you have at the entrance regularly.
There is nothing worse than peeling paint when it comes to portraying a sleek image, so invest in proper maintenance for your building. You can make this easier on yourself by installing windows and doorframes that are weather resistant and easy to clean. The environment around your shop has to be taken into account. Consider aluminum cladding in South Africa; since the climate can be quite harsh, protective barriers over doors and walls prolongs the lifespan of finishes and is easy to keep clean.
The personal touch
Every time a person walks into your shop, they will either feel welcomed or unwanted. The attitude with which you greet potential customers can mean all the difference when closing or losing a sale. Be friendly and helpful, but not overbearing. Dress appropriately to your brand so your client can relate, and be mindful of personal grooming.
You are an ambassador for your brand and your shop is the vessel, so make sure your business is not hindered by creating the wrong impression.