Opening your first store can be a daunting experience. You need to worry about staffing it, the logistics of supplying your store and even securing the property so that you don’t risk being broken in and losing supplies or equipment. But above all of those concerns, you need to worry about first impressions.
Displaying your goods in the window
Any retail store worth its salt will display things in their storefront. This is usually a combination of your most popular items and deals that you want customers to be aware of. However, it’s a good idea not to stuff the window of your store with too many things.
You want people to be able to peer into your store and get a good idea of what you sell and the atmosphere in your store. A good storefront will typically have some signs as well, but it all depends on the type of impression you want to give your customers. If you’re selling high-end fashion or expensive jewellery, then you should be aiming for a clean and minimalist look. If you’re a bookstore, then you need to pile up the latest releases in order to attract attention from people passing by. If you sell clothes, then make sure you have mannequins to display your finest garments.
Organization is important
Keeping your store organized will help your customers find what they need. It’s natural to reorganize your store now and then, but it’s not impossible to get it right the first time. With some smart design choices, you can organize your store in a way that encourages spending. It may sound obvious, but you need to start with a floor plan. Designate products to sit on shelves or counters and try to keep everything tidy.
For instance, if you have a small bookstore, then you may want to sort your books alphabetically. If you grow in the future to carry more books, then you may want to sort by genre instead. In some cases, sorting by author is also acceptable, but this only applies if you have a lot of books from different authors. It’s natural to evolve the way you organize your store, so don’t worry if you feel like changing it later when you grow your business.
Keeping your business clean and fresh
A clean business is an attractive one. Having stains on your tables or chipped paint on the walls is going to look unattractive. This is especially important if you’re in the culinary business. No one wants to eat at a location that is dirty or grimy, so make sure you give your entire store a good clean before you open for business.
You can visit Atkins for details if you need a commercial cleaning service that can handle everything from polishing to pest control. Whatever you do, just don’t neglect to keep your store in good condition to make customers feel more comfortable.
Attracting customers with music
Have some relaxing music playing in the background to soothe your customers. Music can get annoying if it’s out of place or too loud, but if you leave it relatively quiet in the background, it can create a fantastic atmosphere. The only time you should be blasting loud music is if you run a club. The type of music you play can really set the mood, so try and match it with the type of business you operate.
Friendly staff to make customers feel welcome
Your staff need to be well-mannered and well-dressed if you want to impress customers. Again, this will change depending on the image you want to portray to your customers. For instance, if you’re running a cafe with relaxed jazz music in the background and the smell of coffee in the air, then your staff can be a little more laid back with their clothing.
They might not want to wear shorts and trainers, but should be well-dressed to give an elegant and relaxed vibe. They also need to be well-mannered or else customers will be offended and upset at your service.
Signage to make browsing a breeze
Make sure you’ve got plenty of signs to guide your customers around your store. Items and categories should be clearly labelled, and deal signage should be placed around the store if you want to draw attention to certain items.
The outside of your store should also have signs that attract customers into your store. For instance, you could write about the latest discounts and offers, or you could write about the specials you have on offer today. If you run a high-end business, then you generally won’t be including many signs because it can be seen as tacky.
Social media impressions
Don’t forget that your digital presence is also important. Even if your business doesn’t offer products online, it’s important to have a social media account where people can follow your latest updates. For example, if you plan to sell a new product or if you’ve recently restocked something, you’ll want to let people know and the easiest method is to post on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Business visibility on the internet
And social media isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. A website can give your audience a much-needed digital homepage to visit if they want to find out about your store, look at the products you offer or even find your address.
You can usually get by with just a listing on Google or other online directories, but you’ll eventually want to upgrade to an actual website where you can display your social media accounts and post updates for your store. In the future, you could even implement eCommerce to allow for online deliveries.
You can connect this to your store by displaying your website or social media handles on signs. It’s important to focus on bridging the gap between digital and retail, even if you currently don’t have plans to do sales through the internet.