A memorable first impression makes customers come back to any store. When customers keep returning, you form a relationship with them and earn their trust.
Earning customer loyalty is one of the most important responsibilities a new business owner has. The ability of a business to capture consumer interest dictates how well it will perform in the long run.
Making sure that customers pay attention to your store and the products you offer is a challenge, but good marketing goes a long way in creating a strong first impression that keeps your audience looking for more.
Have a Solid Brand Identity
Before opening your store, make sure that you have a fully developed brand identity first. Your brand identity tells your story through powerful visuals. It informs the look and feel of your stores and how customers perceive your business as a whole.
1. Have a staff dress code
How your store employees dress says a lot about your brand. If you want to present your business in a professional manner, having employees dress formally contributes to this image. On the other hand, brands that seek to adopt a casual and friendly tone for their products can have employees dress in a laid back manner.
No matter which side of the spectrum you will require your employees to dress, make it uniform. Custom heat transfers are a preferable method of imprinting your uniforms to clearly display your brand logo. A visible logo makes it easier for customers to remember your brand.
2. Mind your store exterior
The visual appeal of your retail store matters because it is the first thing customers see to form an idea of your brand. The goal when setting up your storefront is to get people interested while staying faithful to the style and aesthetics of your brand.
The exterior of your store is the first part of their whole shopping experience, so it needs to be engaging while also telling customers what they can find in your store. Use colors, textures, and a variety of materials to stay true to your brand story.
Create an In-store Experience
Catching their attention through your storefront is just the first step. You need to keep engaging customers during their shopping experience.
1. Be strategic about interacting with customers
Every customer that enters your shop has a different shopping preference. There will be those that want to be assisted as they shop, while other shoppers prefer to do their browsing on their own.
Sephora stores in Europe are a popular example of how to easily tell these kinds of customers apart. When they enter the store, shoppers have the choice of using a red or black shopping basket. A red basket signals that they want assistance while shopping, while a black basket means they would like to shop on their own.
Simple practices like Sephora’s help make sure that customers remain comfortable. Instruct store employees to provide helpful advice when prompted, but not to be pushy, as these can overwhelm and ultimately turn away customers instead of encouraging them to make a purchase.
2. Curate your displays
Refer to the displays on your store exterior again. Whatever shoppers find inside your store should be consistent with the story you began telling outside.
One brand that effectively did this in their store is Allbirds, which opened their flagship store in New York in 2018. The design of the space itself is minimalist, placing its shoes at the center of the brand story in store.
The stores have explainers beside shoes on display to highlight the materials with which each shoe is made. Sharing these details with store visitors gives them an image of transparency, which makes them a trustworthy brand for customers.
In curating your display, think about the journey you want customers to take and what you want them to learn about your brand and your products. Involve your products in how you design the space, too, and make them an important piece in the overall layout of your store.
3. Your store’s ambiance matters
Visual appeal is only one aspect of a store’s atmosphere. Still, keep your store clean and organized so that every entering customer sees products in their best shape. Use lighting to your advantage, too, and go brighter or dimmer as is appropriate for your products and your target audience.
Does your store also play music? Make sure that it is consistent with the overall theme of your store and is not distracting for customers.
In putting up your retail store, remember that your brand is not only selling a product. It is inviting customers to a full experience.