My store is downright drab – how can I make it appealing to customers?
The fact you have identified your store as drab means that some urgent action needs to occur.
Before you panic, it doesn't need to be drastic. It can be as simple as a coat of paint and some light fittings.
Without knowing what set-up you have or what products you are selling I can't offer you specific advice but I can share my experience of setting up our first trade outlet.
We had no experience with merchandising and we didn't have the budget for a shopfitter so we had to start from the beginning.
We didn't even know where the beginning was. All we had was a section of our warehouse which had no windows or carpet (now that is drab!)
The first thing we did was look at other stores to get an idea of the space we wanted to create.
Go and inspect as many other stores as you can. They don't all need to be competitors – try and visit large retails chains and smaller boutiques.
Before you go, write a list of things which currently bother you about your store, and what you would like to improve, and leave that list behind.
When you inspect the other stores, take note of the features that attracted you.
If they sell a lot of products, try navigate the display. Are the products easy to find? Are the products labelled? Where is the counter in relation to the display of products? What features have they used to highlight premium products?
In our experience, we found a few crucial elements to creating an inviting environment for your customers.
If you have a shop window or a display cabinet, make sure it is well lit. This will help attract customers into your store.
Inside your store, make sure your product displays are adequately lit - try changing to down lights which you can tilt to the direction you want.
Painting and colour
Try repainting your store to give it a fresh new look. Colour has an effect on people’s mood and emotions, so do some research into the mood you want to create and try painting a feature wall to create that environment.
If you sell a lot of items I can't stress how important this is. We stock more than 1000 products so without obvious signage it would be a nightmare for our customers.
This process involves a lot of trial and error, so don't be afraid to keep trying new things. Your sales results will be a good way to measure what is working.