From the second a customer walks into your shop, you want to engage with them and make them feel that your store is a place where they would enjoy spending time.
That first impression is essential. And you don’t have long to make it.
Research has shown that most people form their first impressions within 10 seconds. In addition, it’s the worst impressions that make the greatest impact, not the best. Sight is the most important of the five senses, followed by hearing. Although, all senses play a roll in formulating a first impression:
- Sight: 83 percent
- Hearing: 11 percent
- Smell: 3.5 percent
- Touch: 1.5 percent
- Taste: 1 percent
Stores often make mistakes in their layout and displays that negatively impact a customer’s first impression. Here are some common blunders and ways to avoid them.
An effective window display can tell the story of your store before a potential customer even crosses the threshold. It can be the final enticement someone passing on the street needs to come in and check out what you’ve got.
On the other hand, an ineffective display – one that is messy and thoughtless – will have the opposite effect. If you are seeing a majority of people pause at your window and then move on, you need to fix your display.
Be sure to be thoughtful. Don’t overcrowd it; you just need to present a few exciting items, not everything in the store. Use some props or mannequins; have some fun. Also, be sure to change the display every few weeks. Don’t let your biggest showcase become stale.
When customers walk into your store, you want them to feel welcome and free to explore. If your aisles are filled with products and end caps are overflowing, they will likely feel uncomfortable, confused, and unwelcome.
Let your store breathe. Give customers enough space to take in each product individually, specifically your top products. Give these products specialized branding that allows each one to stand apart.
Similarly, you need to include some negative space in all of your displays, from the window to the register. When people are inundated with information, they tend to just block it all out. Give their eyes a space to rest, and they’ll return to your products.
Just don’t include too much negative space. Just as you don’t want your store feeling like an episode of Hoarders, you also don’t want it to feel like an empty warehouse.
Large, empty spaces are uninviting – and may give the impression that your store is having financial trouble. You have to find a pleasant balance between too cluttered and too empty.
An effective display has a theme, a clear message for the customer. This will also help you maintain organized displays and keep them from becoming just cluttered products sitting on a shelf. Plan ahead so you can clearly convey your message to the customer.
Remember that carefully thought-out display that you meticulously designed and artfully exhibited? That was almost a month ago. Your customers have seen it – they’re bored.
Promotional displays are not a one and done. You have to constantly update them with fresh products and exciting concepts. Also, don’t forget to theme certain displays around special events like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
It may seem obvious, but in the middle of the day during a busy rush, housekeeping can be easy to forget about.
If the first thing a customer sees is a dirty floor or unkempt shelves or litter, it reflects poorly on you.
It is essential to regularly dust and clean the floors, whether that’s mopping or vacuuming. Make sure your windows are free of spots. Keep the register area garbage free and watch for half empty water bottles and coffee cups left behind by thoughtless customers.
Also, when it comes time to restock or redo a display, do it after hours. No one wants to step around your clutter as you redesign.
Once you’ve enticed the customer through the door, make sure they can clearly see your product promotions. Customers want to know they are getting the best deal possible, so don’t bury this information behind hidden signage or illegible fonts.
For more help conceiving the perfect visual marketing strategy, give The Trade Group a call at 800-343-2005. Discover how our retail merchandising solutions can breathe new life into your store.
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