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6 Easy Tips to Enhance Your Retail Store Today

Posted by PCC Small Business Development Center on December 15, 2015

Your Retail StoreFirst impressions are everything. An inviting and well maintained store can help drive traffic and encourage sales. In this post we’ll look at six tips you can use to create a welcoming retail environment for your shoppers.

Utilize the tips below to make your retail store an inviting consumer utopia. Are you ready to take your retail business to the next level? Check out PCC SBDC's Retail Business Builders program to launch (or re-launch) your retail business with confidence. 

1. Create a Welcoming Environment

When designing the layout of your storefront, remember the old adage that form follows function. You want to create a space that is made for shopping, one that accounts for consumer psychology, and invites your customers to explore and discover things they’d like to buy. At a bare minimum, this means getting rid of any clutter, so your customers can feel relaxed in a clean, navigable space. Look around your store, do you see credit card signs, community notices, out-of-date signage, or dust? These items can and should be removed as they are only taking away from the aesthetics value and branding you’ve created in your store.

2. Know the Purchasing Influencer

Think about a parent taking their child clothes shopping. The parent may be the one who is paying, but it’s the child who likely holds the most sway over which items are bought. The branding and decor of your storefront should best represent who your products and services are for.

3. Arrange Your Stock Accordingly

Putting your stores staples or most desirable items as far from the entrance as possible will maximize the exposure of other inventory by forcing them to travel through your store. This ultimately increases the chances of shoppers seeing something else they may need along the way.   

A similar concept can be applied to shelving items — placing your most profitable merchandise at eye level makes it more likely that they’ll grab your customer’s attention.

4. Think About the Atmosphere You Can Create

Your storefront design creates a great opportunity to brand your business and showcase personality. It allows you to create an environment that can boost sales while simultaneously reinforcing your brand’s message with your customers. Pay attention to the sensory experience of shopping in your store — what’s the lighting like? The scent? The sounds?

Abercrombie and Fitch is a great example of how to create atmosphere in a store. Scent is the sensory experience most closely tied with emotion, which makes the signature cologne they spray a powerful form of scent marketing. And while the loud music that gets played might not be everyone’s cup of tea, slower tempo music has been shown to increase the amount of time shoppers spend in a store.

Finally, if you have windows in your store that let in a lot of natural light, don’t cover them up! Natural light is associated with less stress and positive moods, and you want happy customers. Plus, better lighting creates a more welcoming storefront. Show window shoppers what’s going on inside!

5. Greet Customers When They Enter

Greeting customers makes them feel welcome and sets the mood for their shopping experience. It’s a simple courtesy that helps to create a positive brand image and also serves an important customer service function if someone needs help finding something right away. Some customers simply want to get in and out — as Victoria’s Secret has noticed — so greeting them right away can help you snag a sale from a shopper on the run.

6. Keep Signage Visible and Easy to Read

Your signage should be a clear indication of what you’re selling and reflect the quality of goods. Logo, design, and color scheme should also reflect the character and condition of your products and services. Use signage liberally throughout your store to alert customers to ongoing or upcoming deals and promotions, and put up signage outdoors to attract customers to your store.  

A quality storefront makes your business a pleasure to shop in and that will keep customers coming back again and again. Use these tips to improve the shopping experience for your customers today! Want to make these improvements more efficiently? Learn about PCC SBDC's Retail Business Builders program. 


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The Oregon Small Business Development Center Portland Community College has  helped thousands of businesses over the past 40 years. We combine one-on-one  advising with programs taught by business experts, giving our clients the  resources they need to grow their businesses. We’ve celebrated many successes  with our clients. We'd love to celebrate your success. 

Topics: Small Business, Stories & News, Retail, Growing a Business

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