Small Biz, Small Design

If you are running a brick and mortar store, you are probably renting a space that caters to your needs. However, the space may work more for your financial rather than your selling needs. While support for small business may be growing, your sales don’t appear to be on the same upward trend, because your store has left little room for traffic flow. With a few design marketing tips, your small space can feel bigger and more welcoming, enticing customers to stay and browse a little longer and perhaps make a few extra purchases.

1) Decorate for your target audience. While you may wish every passerby would step inside, the truth of the matter is your products only appeal to a certain customer base. There is no need to fill your store with surplus inventory, when your target audience is higher-end customers who care for a more streamlined look. Samples and demonstrations may be all you need to sell the product, rather than a shelf full of boxes. For bargain shoppers or impulse buyers, it may be more effective to cram in as much inventory as possible, allowing shoppers to grab and go.

2) Cover the walls wisely. When decorating your store, keep in mind that every square inch is a blank marketing canvas. Wall decorations, signs and decals can transform a space from boring to impressive. Consider the merchandising possibilities for placing goods on a giant image; sell more sleeping bags with a beautiful outdoor scene, more guitars with a picture of a raging arena crowd, or more basketball shoes with intense dunking imagery. And for those retailers that want to keep it simple, interior decorators often recommend painting small rooms in lighter colors, or using mirrors to create the illusion of additional depth.

3) Keep the furnishings sparse. This includes everything from displays and fixtures to office furniture and small sitting areas, set out for your customers. Furniture must suit the size of the room, store or aisle. As Intuit blogger, Kathryn Hawkins, suggests, “that may mean chairs instead of sofas, and waist-high displays instead of full-length towering shelves.”

4) Focus on your ambiance. Sales are always based on product appeal, but also on in-store ambiance; the feeling that customers get when walking in the front door. You want your customers to feel comfortable enough to relax and browse. This trust will prompt them to purchase more and hopefully return. If you don’t know what your customers are looking for, just ask.

This article is adapted from a piece by Intuit Blog.