5 Tips for Improving Your Store's Curb Appeal
“Curb appeal” doesn’t just help sell houses. If you run a bricks-and-mortar store, how your establishment looks from the street can make the difference between whether people enter your shop or pass on by.
So, how do make your business stand out and get prospective customers to come inside? Here are a few tips.
- Tell people where to park. Many shoppers are reluctant to stop at a store if they’re uncertain where to leave their vehicles. If you have a private parking lot or public spaces are available nearby, put up signs that clearly show drivers where to go. If you have limited parking, explore solutions to minimize the inconvenience to buyers.
- Help passersby understand what you sell. Your retail store’s primary signage also needs to be highly visible. Use contrasting colors, so that drivers can read it easily at a glance, even in bright sunlight. If your shop’s name doesn’t spell out what you sell, provide a graphic or some other clear indicator of the types of products or services you offer. Customers are unlikely to visit your store if they have no idea what they’ll find inside the door.
- Lure browsers inside with attractive window displays. Your most visible displays should always convey your brand. Do you sell modern women’s clothing? Chic home accessories? Fun and quirky gifts? Use your window displays to set shoppers’ expectations and put your best foot forward.
- Display your wares outdoors. Entice customers by showing off a few items on the sidewalk in front of your building. A product that people can interact with often gets them to stop and check out what you have for sale. You might also display clearance items or offer free samples. (Check with local authorities first to see whether conducting business in a public space is permitted.)
- Invite people indoors. Some stores put signs in their windows saying “no public bathrooms.” This is unwelcoming and can turn away people who might otherwise become customers. Try allowing interlopers in, and dot the route to the restroom with impulse buys and attractive merchandise. Since 40 percent of all purchases in the U.S. are impulse buys, anything you can use to draw customers into your store is a good thing.
Christy Rakoczy is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.