Today more than ever, shoppers are searching for experiences everywhere they go. Retail spaces are highly competitive, and there’s often only once chance to create a “wow” moment with a new or interested customer.
These first impressions create a unique challenge for retailers. A bad impression may sour the experience for dedicated consumers, or it may cause potential shoppers to walk by altogether. Done correctly, however, the reward for a unique and engaging first impression pays huge dividends. Here are some tips for doing it right:
Avoid Entryway Clutter
Less is more when it comes to making a good first impression with your customers. Avoid cluttering entrances, which could overwhelm the shopper with information overload. Research shows that displays placed close to the entrance fail to attract much attention. That’s because shoppers need space to transition from the rush of the sidewalk and parking lot. Leave around 10 steps worth of space to adapt to the store's layout and design.
Save the Good Stuff
A first impression is not the place to make a hard sell. Save the best sales and most popular products for after the “wow” moment – when the customer has decided they’re happy to be there.
These areas – sometimes referred to as "speed bumps" – are placed beyond the first impression to help the shopper slow down and make a buying decision. These are also good places for wayfinding signage and other valuable information.
Understand the Power of Color
Color plays an important role in setting the tone of a customer’s first experience. For example, yellows are often perceived as warm and optimistic, while reds are seen as youthful and bold. It’s important for retailers to understand their brand, their products, and their audience when crafting store décor designs around a customer’s first impressions.
Check out this fascinating article on The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding. The authors cite a study wherein "researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone, depending on the product."
Want to learn more about creating positive first impressions in retail spaces? Get the guide!