Increasing Retail Footfall Through Your Store's Exterior Design


They’re out there. You can see them! Look, there goes another one. They’re out there with pockets full of money just looking for the right place to spend it. Unfortunately, they’re walking right past your store. Try as you might, you can’t help but take every pair of passing feet as a personal failure, a damning indictment on your efficacy as a retailer and an entrepreneur. If only they could be tempted to push the door open and step inside. You’re sure they’d be wowed by your standard of customer service, your superior products, your boundless product knowledge and the individual care your employees take to match each product to the customer’s unique needs. Yet, not one has yet walked through your door. How could this be? 

Your digital marketing campaign was a strategic masterstroke. You kicked things off with a robust Pay Per Click and social media campaign, targeting your key demographics with laser accuracy. You sent out email shoots to everyone on your extensive mailing list and you even hired a branding consultancy to make sure that your logo and general branding aesthetic matched the ethos and ideals of your business. On paper, this should have been a slam dunk. So why is your store so bereft of customers, and how come the ones that do grace you with their presence barely stick around for long enough to properly browse. Could it be that no matter how robust your marketing campaign old fashioned things like footfall still hold sway in the retail sector? Here we’ll look at using the design and layout of your store to attract more passing traffic to support your digital marketing with some tried and tested old fashioned merchandising techniques… 

What Does Your Exterior Say About You? 

They say it’s what’s inside that counts… But they’re almost never saying it about retail. Just how eye-catching is your store? How does it stand out from the other businesses around you? Remember that another business doesn’t necessarily have to be in direct competition with you to draw footfall away from your business. If a non competing business looks superior to you in every way from the outside it can still decrease a passing customer’s interest in your store. Is your store easy to identify for those who are looking for it? Could you draw more attention with some teardrop flags or sandwich board signage? Does your signage reflect your branding? Does the exterior offer an incentive for passing customers to come in and browse? Does your P.O.S. offer the possibility of a sale or discount? Limited time offers are a great way to make people take decisive action. Remember that this is the first impression that your premises will make. Does your exterior say everything you’d want a passer by to know, think or suppose about your business?

How Fresh Is Your Window Display? 

Your window display should be an aperitif for the eyes, giving would-be customers a tantalizing taste of what you have for offer. If you’re a cafe or restaurant this is fairly straightforward, you just keep a selection of delicious looking cakes close to your window. Others, meanwhile, may need to get a little more creative. What do you have in your window display right now? When did you last change it? Remember that your display needs to contain products which are of interest to your customers. It needs to be fresh, up to date and relevant. It should reflect real time changes and trends in your industry and demonstrate that your business has its finger on the pulse. If your window display shows last season’s lines it’s likely to demonstrate a slovenly or uncoordinated attitude, neither of which will ingratiate your business to a passerby. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Build A Path To Your Door 

By no means are you limited to the exterior of your retail store. You can start to generate interest in your premises outside of the relatively tiny confines of your storefront. Some retailers place sandwich boards out onto the pavement or even a few paces away. Some may stencil their logo into the ground using a steam cleaner (it’s not technically graffitti), while others place signage in public areas within a short walking distance from the store. Yet more hire employees to stand outside and draw custom. Think of Hansel and Grettel leaving that trail of cookie crumbs and then reverse it. Build a sense of intrigue and curiosity which culminates in the sight of your store. And don’t forget to leave the door open. It helps to make your store more inviting while allowing the sounds and (possibly) delicious aromas to waft out.


I hope you enjoyed this article about how to increase retail traffic with a better storefront design.

Interested in more articles about retail marketing & merchandising?

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