Even though e-commerce has rocketed towards broad popularity over the last two decades, the traditional store front still has an irreplaceable role in the world of small-to-medium-sized commerce. In fact, so central is a store front to the success of the business behind it, that we often find those e-commerce sites trying to ape the features of a store front online. Websites are frequently colorful and attractive; they often display their most popular products on the homepage to create a first impression in just the same way a physical store does. These e-commerce sites also have the checkouts as well as additional products and offers greeting the customer before they check out.
Yet, despite how much the online world tries to copy the tried-and-true methods of the store front, it does not take long to conclude that it is just not the same. There is something about having the physical presence of customers in your business that can lead to all sorts of benefits not available with e-commerce. Perhaps a simple consideration will illustrate this well. At any time, an online shopper can click the “X” button in their browser and be whisked away from the place of business; with a physical place of business, they are much more likely to stay and are much more likely to purchase something.
And if you have gained that physical customer presence in the first place, then it will be in no small part to the success of your store front display that drew them in. Accordingly, it is easy to see why getting this right is essential for the success of any business.
Getting The Design Right
Naturally, the success of a store front will depend overwhelmingly on how it looks. And how it should look will depend overwhelmingly on what you are selling. Given the diversity of possible store fronts, it is naturally impossible to give detailed design tips here. However, there are one or two general tips that apply across the board:
Glass is Your Friend
Glass is see-through, and that is how people outside your store can see what you are selling within. It really is that simple. You should also try not to go cheap here, as poor-quality glass has been shown to have a fairly substantial negative subconscious effect on the shopper.
Balance the Light
You should always try to balance the light in your store front. What this means in practice is getting a good mix of natural light from outside and a welcoming interior brightness.
Consider the Threshold
The threshold – or the entrance area to your store – is an incredibly important part of the store front. This is the first contact your customers will have with your products beyond simply seeing them from outside. Accordingly, it is a great place for stands of small, numerous, and diverse products. Your bigger products are probably why the customer entered and so can be placed further back. The threshold is much better used as a place to encourage impulse buys.
A great option is bulk or wholesale products that are eye-catching, useful, and inexpensive. In many cases, sunglasses are a great idea; so too are things like stationary, postcards, or other useful novelties. Many wholesalers, such as Utah-based sunglasses wholesalers Olympic Eyewear, will offer terrific discounts when buying from them in bulk, so you can really boost the profit margin of these products.
Beyond this general advice, it really is down to you and the type of store you have. In every case, however, it is important to get the store front right.