When it’s raining cats and dogs, there are few more pleasant places to shop than WILL Leather Goods in Portland, OR. You are welcomed by the divine scent of leather, offered a hot cup of coffee or tea, and a knowledgeable worker walks you through the durable, totally touchable, beautiful wares. In the back of the store on the patio sits a local Portland musician, strumming away at his guitar. WILL caters to all five senses, and does it amazingly.
Of course not every storefront can or should copy this exact model, but WILL certainly sets the bar for customer satisfaction. What WILL has that you should aim for are: a clear display of the company’s personality, a local flair, and an undeniable sense of authenticity. When you plan or remodel your storefront, you have the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and get your brand name out there. The layout, design, and atmosphere of your store should strongly reflect your brand identity and be a comfortable space for customers to interact with your products and services. The customer experience at your store can make or break their future involvement with your business.
In this case, many people will judge the book by it’s cover. The face of your store is the face of your brand. This sounds intimidating, but have no fear, there are plenty of things you can do to bring customers off the streets and into your storefront. It’s up to your stellar products and service to do the rest in convincing them to keep coming back. Customer loyalty is the foundation to a sustainable business, so you need to create a space that keeps them coming back.
Let’s start at the front. Your logo and signage should be visible from the road. Even if people aren’t coming into the store, they are exposed to your brand as they walk or drive by. What you display is entirely dependent on your target demographic. Should you be prominently advertising a huge sale on work boots with a sign out on the sidewalk? Should your windows proudly display the newest clothing line your boutique has for the coming season? The answers to your questions are more intuitive than you think. Really dig into your brand identity and you will find inspiration for the atmosphere of your store. You may find yourself knee-deep in decor or surprisingly minimalistic, either way as long as you don’t stray from your brand personality, the store will attract and retain your target audience.
However, there are a few things every storefront needs. The store needs to be navigable and have wide enough walkways for handicapped individuals. Clean and free of clutter, your store will welcome visitors to peruse products safely and efficiently. Compartmentalizing your products and services will help customers find what they want quickly, bringing them more satisfaction in knowing they made the right choice to come and visit you.
There are also a few logistical things that need to be addressed in your store as well. Your hours should be posted clearly and you should have business cards on your cashier counter or printed on a receipt. Make sure there are mentions in your store of your business website and social media accounts, if applicable. This way, customers can connect with your brand on the go and at home. Even when they aren’t at your store, they are thinking about it.
Your brand is central to your business and how the public perceives it. Your storefront is a reflection of that as well. Always stay true to your brand, and you can’t go wrong. But if you feel like your business needs a revamp, and your brand a little work, we encourage you to contact a professional brand consultant.