One of the most important factors that determine the success of a store is whether or not it’s presentable. A run-down store is going to turn away lots of potential customers, and a lack of proper signage and organization will make it hard to navigate your store. So in this post, we’re going to cover the importance of presentation in your store and what you can do to drastically improve things.
First, let’s cover the external presentation of your store. This generally refers to anything that can be seen from the outside of your store looking in. A couple of examples of this include outdoor signage, the condition of your building, the roof, parking spaces, and so on.
While there are a lot of small things you can do to drastically improve the appearance of your store or business, it’s generally better to approach it from the eyes of a consumer. In other words, put yourself in the shoes of a customer and take a look at your store from the outside. This can give you a great idea of where your business needs to focus on its presentation and how you can change things to give yourself a better chance of attracting customers.
Here are a couple of ideas to get started.
You may want to consider hiring a roof contractor and other specialists to help you get the condition of your exterior up to scratch. This usually isn’t a concern for modern buildings, but older buildings may occasionally need external renovations. This can include fixing roof tiles, repairing cracked walls, or even replacing old and outdated glass panels.
The condition of your building could also be improved with some simple touch-ups. This can include thorough window cleaning, replacing awnings and signage, or even just washing the pavement around your store. In short, the condition of your building needs to be presentable if you want to attract more customers.
Signage is something that applies to both the interior and exterior of your business, but we’ll be covering the latter here. Signage typically refers to the huge signs and posters that you might have outside your store. They usually serve two functions; to let people know about your business, and to inform them about what they can find inside.
One major component of signage is your store logo or main sign. This is usually your logo or business name in big letters, and it’s usually lit up with lights. This is an important piece of signage because it helps people see what the name of your store is. It also ensures that it can be seen from a distance which is important for capturing foot traffic. This is one of the most important business fundamentals to consider, especially if you have a physical store that is looking to maximize the number of customers that come in.
Secondly, you need to think about information signage. This is anything that informs your customers about your business or what they can find inside. For a restaurant, this could be a menu that is placed outside so patrons can see what you serve. For a bookstore, it could be a large poster of the latest popular release. For general use, you could also consider something like a promotional sales poster.
Next, you should take a look at how the inside of your store is presented as well. There’s a lot to go through here, so let’s get straight into the individual components.
It’s a good idea to organize your store as best as possible. This is important because you don’t want to frustrate your customers by having products in seemingly random locations. There’s a lot of decision-making that goes into how to organize a store, but it’s something that will be unique to your business and you’ll have to plan accordingly.
But in short, you need to focus on creating a streamlined experience for your customers. Make sure product sections are clearly labeled and ensure that any relevant items are grouped together in a logical order.
You’ll also want to consider how your store is navigated. Typically, any store that sells a lot of products will have rows of shelves and displays. This is the normal type of setup and it’s a good starting point. However, some stores may want to change the way customers navigate. For example, some businesses may have fewer products to sell, thus it might be a better idea to create an open-plan design that allows customers to browse products in their intended use environment.
This is what furniture and electronic stores usually do. If they have an item like a television, then they’ll place some furniture around it to help sell the use case of the product. Furniture stores will usually pair multiple pieces to make them look more coherent and complete. This can not only help to sell multiple products at once but also provides context for how they can be used.
Signage is another important factor in the presentation of your store. You’ll want to try and use signage in ways to both direct your customers around the store but also clearly identify categories and sections for them to browse. Signage can also be used to clearly mark areas such as customer support sections, sales areas, discounts, and so on.
Signage doesn’t need to be complicated inside of a store. It’s best to focus on clear fonts and bold colors instead of trying to overdesign something. Even just handwriting a large sign on a piece of card is better than trying to create an elaborate design. Keep it simple and remember that the purpose isn’t to impress customers, but to help them navigate and browse your store.
The design of your store is also something that you could consider if you have the time and money to do so. This includes using complementary colors for walls and floors, having unique displays with different types of commercial shop furniture, or even using different colors for different sections of your store. The most important consideration here is to try and keep a consistent theme throughout the various areas of your store for a coherent design.
However, it’s perfectly fine to stick with whatever design arrangement you have now. At the end of the day, your customers are there to buy products and services. Unless you have designed your store to be a shopping experience, there’s no need to invest heavily into the design of your store.
Lastly, let’s not forget about the importance of basic maintenance within your store. Things like keeping shelves stocked, organizing products on displays, sweeping floors, cleaning carpets, and so on. This will make your store look more presentable and create a more hygienic environment for your customers.
Lastly, we should talk about staff presentation. Unless your store is small enough that it only needs a single person to run it, there’s a good chance that you’re going to be hiring staff members to help you run the store. In most cases, it’s going to be a couple of part-time or maybe even full-time workers rotating a schedule to help with customer service and sales.
Training your staff is one of the most important factors here. But it’s not enough to just train them on how to use your tools or interact with customers. Depending on the type of store experience that you want to create, you may also need to train staff to be passionate and knowledgeable about your products.
This is something that Apple has pulled off in their stores. Apple stores around the world function more like shopping experiences than regular stores. All of their staff are friendly and knowledgeable about the products, and they have trained staff members who are considered technical experts that can answer more difficult questions or help with repairs and maintenance. This staff combination makes it extremely easy for Apple to create a unique experience that is both presentable and helps to convert interest into sales.
When it comes to your own store, it’s important to think about what you want to achieve with your staff. Most stores don’t really care much about presentation and will do the bare minimum to ensure that their staff is able to take orders, assist with basic matters, and deal with customer complaints. However, with a bit of training to help drive their motivation, it’s possible to create a unique shopping experience that is far more presentable. This can boost your reputation as a store and will ultimately help you attract more customers.
So the next time you think about hiring staff or training them to work at your store, remember that you should be aiming to create a unique experience for everyone involved. Think about how you can encourage your staff to become a more involved part of your team and consider creating a training routine to help teach those principles to everyone in your team.