Six simple tips for storefront design

Do you own a bricks and mortar shop? Here are six simple tips that can help you to improve your storefront design and attract more customers.

When you own a bricks and mortar store, it’s important that you get so many things right – from the lighting and layout of your shop, to the type of stock and position of your check out.

But there’s one thing that is possibly the most important of all: your storefront design. Without the right look for your storefront it won’t matter how beautiful your stock, or clever your layout, as you won’t entice any customers in to appreciate them!

So when planning your store, you need to consider your storefront design carefully. And to help you, here are six simple tips.

1) Choose the right signage for your shop front

One of the most prominent and most noticed parts of your storefront is the signage. It’s your shop name, and so needs to be chosen with care. Your signage needs to be easy to read and reflect your store’s brand.

So, for example, if you have a chintzy vintage-style interior decor store, you’ll probably want to opt for old fashioned style signage. But if you own a modern technology store, you’ll want signage that is more modern. Many shops today favour channel letter signs for attracting customers.

Other considerations when choosing your signage is budget and size. If you have a modest-sized store front, you don’t want to overwhelm it with a disproportionately large sign. But equally, if it’s too small you risk no one seeing it.

And while you need to ensure that your sign gives off the right impression, you also need to check that it’s within your budget before you get too carried away and fall in love with an all-singing, all-dancing sign.

2) Stamp your identity on your storefront

When planning their storefront, too many shop owners simply consider the obvious decisions: signage, wall, frame and door colour, and window stock. But there’s one more consideration that can help you really stamp your identity on your store front: decals and decor.

You have plenty to play with in your shop window, so make the most of areas like your window glass and background. Here are just some of the additions and ideas you can use to create an identity with intent and make your storefront really shine out to passersby:

  • Murals
  • QR-Codes
  • Plants and flowers
  • Vibrant colors and art
  • Themed mats
  • Lighting fixtures and neon lights
  • Wallpapers and custom installation

3) Bring nature to your store

If you have the space outside your store, you can add some natural elements to make it more attractive. Recently, this research highlighted nature within urban environments as a relaxing feature. In the study, 60 young adults were randomly assigned a 50-minute walk in either a natural or an urban environment in California.

The study found that nature reduces stress and restores our capacity for attention. So if your shop is in an urban area, and you want to make customers feel relaxed and improve their ability to concentrate (hopefully on your wonderful wares!) add a natural touch to your storefront.

You can do this by, as in the picture below, simply placing plants in your store or shop window. You can also have fresh flowers on display or even install a green, living wall.

4) Place sandwich boards outside

It’s easy for shoppers to pass by stores without even noticing they are there. This is why many store owners place sandwich boards in the street outside (if legally allowed to in their area). A sandwich board can literally stop a shopper in their tracks and alert them to the existence of your store, and what you are selling.

You can use a sandwich board to showcase your brand or particular products. You can highlight if you are having a sale, and even use it to entertain people with witty captions. Just make sure your sandwich board is on brand and reflects your store style.

5) Play music

Another way to get the attention of passers by is to play music outside your store (again, make sure you have the appropriate licence to play music). Find music that reflects your store and will be attractive to your ideal customers and play it via speakers placed outside.

Just make sure that it’s not too loud, so as to be intrusive to other people nearby, and resist playing the same few songs over and over… it will drive anyone working within earshot crazy!

6) Hire people to talk to passers by

What’s better than a sandwich board outside your shop? People! If you really want to engage passers by and get them to notice and try your store, consider hiring people to promote your shop. They can walk up to people who fit the demographic of your customers and introduce your shop to them. They may even have flyers with offers for first time customers to incentivise them to visit.

Some people go one step further and get people to dress up as characters or put on some kind of show – a comedy sketch, singing or dancing. But as with all the tips we have shared here, it’s essential that any idea you consider to promote your store is in keeping with your brand, the area your shop is located, and the kind of people you want to buy from you.

So if, for example, you have an expensive, chic women’s clothing boutique, having actors dressed in cartoon costumes and goofing around would not be appropriate. And similarly, if you had a toy store, having a sombre, suited violinist playing classical music would not be a good fit.

Quick tips to take your in-store experience up a level

Getting people through your door is just the start of a successful retail experience. So how can you ensure that your shop delivers on the initial impression you make when customers walk through your door? Here are some quick tips to help take your retail experience up a level:

  • Make sure your customers feel safe – It’s important that customers feel safe when in your store. So keep up to date on health and safety and ensure your shop is clean, floor is clear and your space easy to navigate. It’s also important to consider any changes you may need to make in the new normal for retail.
  • Turn your sales assistants into consultants – No one likes to feel they are being ‘sold’ to. So rather than call your employees ‘sales assistants, make them consultants whose main aim is to serve the needs of your customers… not just to extract a sale from them.
  • Make your shopping experience multi-sensory – Don’t just rely on the visual look of your store to impress. Make shopping with you a multi-sensory delight with beautiful things to look at and touch. Also think about the scent of your store and any sounds played for customers.
  • Tie your ecommerce site and bricks and mortar store together – Whatever theme you use for your ecommerce site, reflect it in your bricks and mortar store, and vice versa, to ensure a joined up super-brand experience.
  • Make your checkout seamless – Make it easy and pleasurable to pay in your store. Think beyond the traditional counter and till and instead think about how you can use technology to have a stand-out checkout experience.
  • Think about social media – How can you encourage your customers to share their experience of shopping in your store on social media? Can you incentivise them sharing posts and tagging you while in-store? Or can you dedicate an area for them to take photos of them and share online?

How can you improve your retail experience?

How can you improve your retail experience, and encourage customers to visit your store and recommend and return? Try our six ideas to think about your options for your storefront, and ensure that people walking past your shop don’t simply walk away without noticing it. And follow our quick in-store tips to take your retail experience up a level.

Photo by Mati Flo