When I lived in New York City if I didn’t have anything to do on the weekends I would just walk. I would walk for miles and miles taking it all in.
I remember one time when I had friends visiting from Oregon and I gave them the option to walk or take the train. When they asked how far our destination was I said, “it’s about 30 blocks.” I will never forget the look on their faces as one friend questioned, “you mean three blocks, right?” Ha! Guess not everyone likes walking as much as I do :)
If you’ve ever been to NYC and you too love to soak it all in, you probably couldn’t help but notice all of the amazing storefronts, window displays and over the top merchandising moments around every corner. From big international brands to small boutique labels – if you’re gonna have a shop in NYC you’re gonna do it right because all eyes are on you.
There’s something to be said about what you bring to the table when you know all eyes are on you. You go all out. You do it right.
You don’t hold back. And that what I want you to do with your shop.
But maybe you’re thinking, Libby, I just have a little shop and no one knows about me. I don’t need to go all out because my mom is the only one looking.
WRONG. No one knows about you because you’re not putting on a show for them yet. Part of your job as a shop owner is to intrigue and entertain. If you want raving fans you have to draw them in with something. You can’t expect them to do the work.
So whether your shop is in Galveston or Provo, I’m challenging on you to treat it like it’s in the center of 6th Ave. in NYC.
Now, if you’re not a retail installation specialist and you have no idea how to attract attention in a tasteful way. I’ve got you covered.
Here are four more ways (see last week’s Part 1) to draw attention to your storefront.
1.USE A TYPICAL MATERIAL IN AN UNUSUAL WAY
photo source: d_raw + inhabitat
I used to work with a creative director who would say, “Make it cheap and cheerful.” Often times if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, the best way to create something truly remarkable is to use affordable materials in a unique way.
Instead of focusing on the fact that can’t afford to clad your exterior in carrara marble, choose a material you can afford to buy. Then ask yourself, how can I work with this in a new and different way? Hop on pinterest, ask your DIY friends, and give yourself some freedom to play around. Eventually you’ll come up with something that will engage and entertain.
I love the two examples above because they are so simple, yet they inspire physical engagement. Who wouldn’t want to play around with those rotating wood louvers or peek through the holes of the cardboard tubes above? I know I would.
2.OFFER A GLIMPSE OF SOMETHING EXCITING INSIDE
photo source: Addicted to Retail + buzzfeed
I have a secret to admit. I’m a voyeur. Well…without the perv part.
I live in a mid-century neighborhood and I love the unique architecture of each house. But I haven’t met all of my neighbors and I haven’t been into all of the houses see their interior details.
So at night, when the inside lights are on and the curtains are open I drive extra slow to see if I can get a glimpse inside. What do their ceiling details look like? How is their kitchen laid out? Ugh – I would love to know.
I know I’m not alone. People love a good sneak peek. If you can spark someone’s curiosity by giving them a glimpse of what’s inside you’re sure to draw people in.
Here large windows showcase the amazing design and installations that are going on inside the shop. With a strategy like this you’re sure to get people slowing down to peek in as they pass by.
3.LURE THEM TO YOUR DOOR
photo source: missdesignsays + Arnim Schulz flickr
I have taken a lot of botanical illustration courses and I am always amazed by how ingenious nature is. Almost all plants and animals have little details designed to make something very specific happen that benefits their survival.
Next time you pass by some multi-colored flowers take note of any striping or dots on the pedals. Did you know that the stripes will always lead into the center of the flower? This is not an accident. These stripes act as little landing strips that guide pollinators to exactly where the flower wants them to go – to the pollen. It’s natures way-finding technique. And it works.
Where do you want your pollinators to go? The door of course.
There are a bunch of ways to do it. You can paint it a striking color that stands out. You can create interest around the exterior of the door like a portal in the example above. You can use interesting ornate details. You can play around with lighting, maybe add neon lighting tubes around it if that aligns with your brand identity.
Whatever you do, just don’t overlook this awesome opportunity to draw your pollinator right to your merchandise.
4. ADD RESIDENTIAL INSPIRED FOLIAGE
photo source: flamant + warp and weft
And, last but not least. People love to feel the comfort of home. A place they feel themselves and can relax.
Add street front foliage. Planters with box hedges always look great and draw a certain kind of attention. Other residential touches include lantern sconces, shutters and a welcome mat.
If this is your concept, don’t stop at the facade. This is a concept that can taken throughout the interior in a bunch of different ways.
Pull inspiration from your favorite homes and see what details you could apply to your shop. It’ll go a long way in creating that personal experience you’re after.
Well, that’s it for this series. I hope you’ve enjoyed all of these tips on how to attract attention to your storefront.
I just have one final piece of advice today on this topic: Please please please, do not try to implement all seven of these ideas. You’ll look like misguided mess. The kind of wedding that Pinterest threw up on (you know the one). Instead choose one or two ideas and do them really well.
I’d love to hear from you. Which one concept speaks to you the strongest? Let me know in the comments!
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