The pandemic in the US is winding down. Businesses are starting to open. People are getting vaccinated and are now more courageous to go out. This proves that there are still people who prefer shopping in brick-and-mortar, physical stores. You can’t try on clothes and shoes in an online shop, anyway. And, you can’t see the quality of fresh produce just by looking at it on a mobile screen.
Although people are now excited to go out, many are still cautious. Anyone would think that being cooped up for a year would renew interest in retail shopping. But, no. That is still not the case.
The Future of US Online Retail Stores
In 2019, FTI Consulting reported that the rate of store-based shopping has finally increased for a bit. And then COVID-19 hit. Lockdowns changed how consumers did their shopping. The pandemic drastically transformed the way people purchase stuff. Online retail shopping took the lead again.
FTI revealed that major online stores in the US gained almost 50% more in 2020 compared to previous years. That number is expected to increase by 16% this year. You can still do something to encourage your customers to return to your retail store, even with the pandemic.
Increasing foot traffic at a time like this can be a challenge, but it’s possible. In this article, you will get to know what improvements you can make to your store to attract customers. It all comes down to updating your storefront and providing safety to your customers. Here’s how.
Update the Door
The front door is what your customers see first when they go to your store. It’s your best tool to make an impression on your clients. It acts as a banner for your business. Allow it to speak to your customers. Use color and design that is appropriate to your business or industry. Use something that can get the attention of your clients as they pass by. Your store’s “banner door” must be something that will be remembered by your customers, whether old or new.
The door is also the first thing they have to touch when they enter. Considering the current pandemic situation, you can add an extra layer of safety for your customers at the front door. Place a sanitizing station by the door to remind your customers to sanitize first before entering the store. Include industry-standard sanitizer that your customers can freely use.
The good news is that companies offer banner solutions featuring hands-free and anti-microbial doors and hardware. Such types of doors provide customers with safety and protection. They can be available in both automated and manual options.
Upgrade Your Display
Your store window shouldn’t just display the products you’re selling. It also shouldn’t be just about what services you’re offering. It should tell your customer about your story. But how?
Store displays can range from windows to designated spaces. If you have huge windows, take advantage of its placement by offering a view of your store’s interiors. Enabling customers to see how your shop looks inside allows them to “see” the experience your business provides. If you have a designated space for a store display, don’t just add your products in there. Display your products cohesively with additional details and appropriate lighting.
Another improvement, though simple, can add life to your business. Plants can make your store look more welcoming. They’re easy to decorate, too. Just put them in a stylish pot, place them in a corner, and they’ll do their magic.
Use Mobile Technology and Streamlined Graphics
Store graphics is an umbrella term used for signage displayed on storefronts and labels on store equipment. Use up-to-date and uniform graphics on your store’s signage to attract more customers.
Most importantly, display posters or signage that will inform your customers that your store is following all strict health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19. According to a Google and Kantar study reported by Entrepreneur magazine, 82% of retail consumers are hesitant to enter a store without health protocols in place.
With streamlined graphics in mind, it’s also wise to use mobile technology to engage with more customers. You can do this in many ways. You can add your business to Google Maps or Google Business. This way, new customers can easily locate your store.
You can also create social media accounts. One fun way to increase social media engagement is to create a selfie wall in your store. Customers can share their selfies online and tag your business name. You can also post discounts, rewards, and special events through your social media page.
Freshen Up Your Store’s Image
It’s all simple. Update your door’s design. Upgrade all displays on your storefront, from the signage to the labels on your packaging. Use technology and modernized graphics. By putting it all together, you are simply improving your store’s image.