The public image that a retail store project to its customers is a key element to its success. Competition between retail stores and Internet-based stores continues to grow as each vies for the consumer’s purchases. In order to strengthen your store’s position, you must find ways for it to pull in targeted customers and, ultimately, enhance their customer satisfaction to the fullest.
Retail Store Image and Atmosphere
A retail image has a number of components: shopping experiences, store location, merchandise assortment, price levels, and so forth. But an important intangible that strongly impacts the store image is the atmosphere. A simple way to think of store atmosphere is to consider the physical characteristics of a store that attracts customers, such as its exterior, store layout, general interior, and interior displays. The atmosphere, as a sum of its parts, creates a feeling or mood in customers when they visit a store. Customers care about how a store looks and feels and, more importantly, make purchasing decisions based on their impressions.
First Impressions Mean a Lot
Many considerations go into planning store atmosphere. Floor space allocation, traffic patterns, and product groupings all can influence how customers feel about your store. But there are some basic, common-sense things you can do to ensure that customers’ first impressions are positive ones. Good lighting, uncrowded aisles, readily available shopping carts or baskets, tidy dressing rooms, spotless restrooms, and overall cleanliness throughout the store will all enhance the customer shopping experience.
Taking Your Store Image to the Next Level
Now you are ready to step up your retail image. The five factors that follow will help to encourage customers to spend more time in your store and thereby boost their shopping satisfaction.
The 5 Things You Must Do to Optimize Your Store Image
Shoppers tend to summarize their first visit to a store in visual terms, so a store that looks easy and uncluttered to shop in will be more appealing, and make repeat visits more likely to occur.
Create an Identifiable Store Name
Select a name that sets the tone for your store and gives it distinction. Make it easy to say and recall.
Design a Strong Visual Trademark.
Use a balanced combination of words, images, colors, and shapes.
Build an Immediately Recognizable Storefront.
It should be welcoming, with the right combination of exterior architecture, window display, and signage.
Make Sure Your Entrance Is Inviting.
Regardless of whether your store opens to the street or to the mall, its entrance should have no visual clutter and be wide and open.
Put It All Together.
Your store name, visual trademark, storefront, and entrance are ready for your customers. Take it one step further and increase your store’s sensory appeal through all five senses–not just visual. Appealing scents, pleasing music, fun or comfortable tactile experiences, flavorful samples or snacks all can enhance the eye-catching store image you’ve created.
The impact of store image on customer mood cannot be underestimated. If you want customers to spend more time and money at your store, be sure to tailor your store image to create the most enjoyable experience possible for them. To learn more about store image optimization, contact us today!