The issue of dwindling foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores is a complex one affecting a wide range of businesses in modern times. Whether due to the surge in online shopping, changes in trends after a devastating pandemic, or other external and internal factors, very few retail outlets and shops have escaped unscathed. But the signs are positive, shoppers are returning, and the concept of the high-street shopping experience is not as endangered as it might once have seemed. Competition has certainly intensified, and tastes have changed, forcing businesses to change along with them, think creatively, and go above and beyond their competitors.
In this article, the team at 360 Shopfitters offer up some ideas and suggestions about the overall styling and feel of retail spaces and how to entice customers inside and fully invest them in the experience.
Our nature as somewhat impulsive, spontaneous creatures means we can be drawn towards images, ideas, or spaces with a few cleverly placed features, not realising we are being thus affected. Encouraging people to take a second, closer look at retail spaces and step inside is a strategy so old and widely practised that it is almost a science at this point. With such extensive research backing up the concepts involved, it is something practical and highly effective that businesses can study and incorporate to their advantage.
Before we attempt to introduce new ideas and concepts to our retail spaces, it is essential to evaluate them objectively and assess which aspects are failing. If you are struggling to draw people into your own space, ask yourself a few pertinent questions:
- When did you last honestly and critically evaluate your storefront?
- Does it look as fresh, attractive, and welcoming as when it was new?
- Are certain elements looking tired and jaded?
- Is it simple, elegant, and uncluttered?
- Does it feel up-to-date and reflect modern or traditional sensibilities as required?
- Is it clean and well-kept?
Some of these may seem like obvious concepts, but they bear mentioning due to their enormous significance in making locations feel worthy of investigation. A scruffy, unkempt pavement in front of streaky windows and a faded display is a death knell for any business.
Your retail space may be part of a wider business that already has its own set of design elements and requirements. However, this does not mean you are powerless to think creatively and enhance what you already have, it might merely restrict your creative options in terms of colour, lettering font, and overall theme. The old saying that “a change is as good as a rest” remains true to this day, and it is imperative you regularly make changes to reinvigorate your storefront, giving it a new lease of life and creating a fresh vibe to attract customers.
As the main visual attraction of any storefront, window displays represent a unique opportunity to catch the eye of potential customers and draw them towards your store. Engaging the services of professional shopfitters can be invaluable, and it is highly recommended you consult with experts before spending any time, energy, or money transforming your window display. Some general principles to consider and employ include:
- Choose a distinctive theme and make that your focus. It may be as simple as a series of complementary colours or much more complex and interesting thematically. Either way, the visual effect should be carefully controlled, attractive, and cohesive
- Less is more. Don’t clutter your window displays, keep them simple and stylish
- Use strategically placed, quality lighting to illuminate your displays
- Never allow windows to become dirty or displays to fade
- Rotate products and change your displays often, especially when highlighting new ranges
- Install clear, eye-catching signs
Create an experience
Your aim should be to make the space one people feel comfortable spending time in and gravitate towards each time they pass by. Here again, professionals like those at 360 Shopfitters represent your best resource in achieving the desired result, allowing you to focus on other important aspects of running your business.
Are there any other interesting devices or tactics you can introduce to make the experience of visiting your store fun and memorable? Think about the age range of customers you are hoping to appeal to. Will they be more impressed with traditional appointments or more modern ones? Give them a reason to go out of their way to visit your retail space, providing anything from an old-time photo booth printing free pictures to complimentary drinks and Wi-Fi. The aim is always to give people a feeling of being valued, and if you can give them a welcoming, memorable experience, the chances are so much greater that they will return.
Additional factors to consider
There is a lot to think about when attempting to create an exciting, enticing retail space, and it is easy to get lost in the process and forget some fundamental elements. Do not neglect:
- Flooring – This must fit the overall theme of your space whilst being appropriate in terms of safety, maintenance, and cost
- Lighting – Perhaps the most crucial of all design elements, nobody wants to be blinded by harsh fluorescent lighting or unable to see products clearly in low light. Think very carefully about the style and placement of your lights, seeking professional guidance if possible.
If you feel the time has come to revamp your retail space and have questions and comments about what you have read, please do not hesitate to get in touch today. Our team will gladly discuss any aspects of transforming your business visually, always offering the most practical, open advice and guidance.