By Clare Evans
For independent retailers, standing out from the competition is the key to survival. But when you do not have the budget to compete with big brand counterparts, leaving your mark is not always easy, especially when it comes to following the latest trends in store and retail design. As customers become harder to please, and increasingly desensitized to what they see at retail, indie retailers need to think of new and exciting ways to capture passing footfall. Here are five techniques that stores of any size, and with just about any budget, can invest in to transform their brick-and-mortar store.
1. Bold accent colors
When a full-scale interior design project blows the budget, indie retailers can still make a statement in-store with a simple accent wall. For example, painting one wall a bold color, or employing an eye-catching graphic, is an affordable and effective way to breathe new life into a retail space. Not only that, but an accent wall can create the illusion of a larger space.
Retailers should also consider the addition of wallpapers, fabrics, patterns and textures to make their store capture the eyes of passers-by. It is most certainly worth remembering, though, that less is more. A bold color should be offset by complimentary shades in a lighter hue, and retailers should also do well to remember their brand. It is important that any décor sits well alongside your brand colors, to create a streamlined and seamless in-store design.
2. Rethink retail lighting
Lighting is a key part of your store’s retail design, but is something that is often overlooked. Take a look at your store from a shopper’s perspective at different times of the day. Are there areas that are dimly lit? Are the lights in your changing rooms flattering? Can customers navigate the store clearly?
Lighting can create ambience and set the mood within your store, and is a really affordable way to transform the design. Consider a mixture of different lighting styles to ensure that all corners of your shop are well lit, and really showcase your products. For indie retailers on a budget, lighting is a quick fix and a quick win. Think about the atmosphere you want to create, and lighting is a great way to deliver that experience without having to blow the budget.
3. Increase dwell time
One of the biggest challenges for all retailers is increasing dwell time in-store. For independent retailers particularly, keeping shoppers in the store longer, and encouraging them to increase their basket spend, are key ingredients for success. Some simple and affordable ways you can do this include seating areas around changing rooms to help customers feel like they can take their time over a purchase. Product demonstrations and ‘try-before-you-buy’ areas can help customers learn more about your products, and stay in-store longer. Also, knowledgeable staff are a underused resource, and a great way to build brand advocates and keep customers engaged longer.
4. Eye catching POS displays
When a full-scale retail redesign is out of the question, indie retailers can still emphasise new product lines with striking point of sale displays. Eye-catching bays that interrupt the customer journey and direct customers to specific products and product ranges can instantly revamp and revitalise a store. Again, consider branding and customer journey in any new design, but for indie retailers this is a quick win.
5. Visual merchandising
If you want to stand out from the competition, window displays are the way to go. Indie retailers should look at ways they can differentiate their window campaigns from the competition. Visual merchandising doesn’t just have to display products; it should speak volumes about your brand, and encourage customers to cross the threshold into the store.
Indie retailers don’t need to blow the budget to wow with their retail designs. By following these tips, it is possible to enhance your store, stand out from the competition, and drive customers into retail spaces.