Competition on the high street is rising and shopkeepers must increase their appeal to promote and encourage sales in their business. The days of simply opening the doors and waiting for the sales to roll in are dead.
Amazon’s 2-hour delivery on thousands of everyday essentials, including household items, means we can sit on our sofa and within 2 hours have our dishwasher tablets or toilet paper delivered, reducing the need to get in the car and drive to the nearest shop. We want convenience at our fingertips, and we’re happy to avoid the high street if we can – recent results from the Office of National Statistics show a fall in high street retail sales of 1.2% between February and March, with 33% of retailers reporting a fall in retail sales for the sixth consecutive month. Indeed, the Retail Gazette reports that this March’s fashion sales on the high street were the worst on record, no thanks to the Beast from the East snowstorms.
When we do venture out, deals and promotions are a plenty along the high street; 50% off sales and buy one get one free promotions are regular features, but how do customers choose which store to enter? A stylish sign, such as the A-Master, at the entrance of your store will be sure to attract attention. The A-Master is available with silver, black or custom coloured frames and the front opening aluminium snapframes allow for quick and easy poster change, providing a cost effective way to update and change promotions easily. Witty messages will catch the eye and can help communicate a sense of light hearted fun.
Curb appeal matters, and a light, bright and clean shop fascia is an absolute must, as are knowledgeable and approachable staff. People naturally gravitate towards people, and in this respect, customer service is the key differentiator between physical stores and online sales. Well trained, friendly staff can be the catalyst in turning a browser into a buyer.
Shop windows are prime advertising space and your window is likely to be the first interaction your customer has with your store – it’s a make or break moment! An open window display allowing your customer to see into the shop allows your customer to prepare themselves for what they will find when they enter, putting their mind at ease. Psychologically, people will not enter a store if they don’t know what to expect. A simple sign such as the Headliner, allows an advertising space which does not interfere with the customer being able to see inside. The fixed display offers high visibility poster display and offers permanent brand presence whilst the quick poster change means customers can be kept up to date with the latest news, deals or products.
Upon entering the store, the well-known adage ‘eye level is buy level’ still carries great weight. Merchandising goods with this thought in mind will help to cement sales. The level under this, known as ‘touch level’ has great power, too – especially if you have products designed for children to sell (pester power can be very persuasive!). Aesthetics of visual merchandising play a great part in the consumer’s decision to buy, too - for example, placing items that are darker near the bottom of the display, getting lighter as you go up the display is easier on the eye and stops the display from appearing ‘top heavy’.
Directional or way-finding signs telling people where they can find a product are
equally as important. Sucker Flags are easy to mount on glass, plastic or metal surfaces and offer an easily adjustable angle, allowing you to accommodate any situation. The projecting flag stands out and can be used to show your customers exactly where a product is. We are a society who don’t like to search. Click and collect and home delivery shopping allows us to not need to search, so when we walk into a shop, we aren’t used to wandering around looking for a product and we need telling exactly where it is.
Lastly, a strong digital presence is essential for communicating with customers. Social media pages, a strong website and an e-database to inform customers of forthcoming sales, promotions and offers will really help drive footfall to your store.