You know that phrase, don’t judge a book by its cover? Well, people judge retail stores by their cover all the time, whether they realize it or not. If you’re researching the perfect retail storefront ideas, all it takes is a little creativity to grab a shoppers’ attention.
Shoppers are more likely to flow into stores with eye-catching, decorative storefronts, and may walk right past stores that are dark and drab without even noticing them. When executed well, creative retail storefronts can make new customers feel curious and at ease. And in that state of mind, they’re likely to buy more stuff, too! To help you captivate customers, we’ve rounded up some creative retail storefront ideas perfect for your business.
How do retail storefronts increase foot traffic?
First, however, you might be asking why you should invest in your storefront. As a business owner, your retail storefronts can directly impact the number of times you hear your cash register ding on any given day. According to a recent study, 52% of consumers have avoided a retail store based on its external appearance, and 30% note a business’ appearance is “extremely important.”sup 1 Your retail storefront can reinforce consistency within your brand, tying together signage, design elements, and your brand story into a single, cohesive display.
For up-and-coming brands and small businesses especially, your retail storefront is the first impression for your new customers. It’s your opportunity to introduce yourself, show off your brand’s personality, and grow your customer base. After all, 82% of consumers are open to frequently shopping at new places.sup 2 That’s a lot of loyal fans you can win over.
That being said, it can be daunting to come up with innovative retail storefront design ideas that hit the mark every time. Retail stores already come with a high price tag, from real estate costs to design and maintenance, so carefully planning out your storefront’s design is key. You want something that’s original and not overplayed. You’re creating more than a design, but a story for your customers.
Here are some ways to tell your story.
Retail storefront ideas that wow
These days, retail storefront ideas are endless, with budget-friendly to high-cost, low-lift to time-intensive, and understated to over-the-top options. The perfect fit for your store depends on which design applies to your brand strategy and store aesthetic.
Below, we’ve put together some ideas for different store types, but these ideas can be applied to any type of retail store, so get creative!
With so much competition among apparel makers and clothing stores, you’ve really got to stand out. Build up your storefront with an intricate balloon installation sweeping across your facade. It’s perfect for grand openings or any occasion to stop consumers in their tracks.
Or, for a more permanent solution, commission a professional artist to create a custom mural that attracts attention and tells the visual story of your brand.
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, you can take the DIY approach with removable, easy-to-install wallpaper. Or, another affordable way to add a little whimsy could be lighting fixtures, such as clever neon signs, eclectic illumination displays, and glowing words that echo your brand identity throughout your storefront.
By using materials that are as delicate as your creations, jewelry makers can create intricate storefront designs with paper, papier-mâché, and even sticky notes. Coupled with found artifacts and goods from your store, think about adding some texture with a mixed-media experience.
You’re in the business of crafting sensory goods, and your storefront should be equally inspired. Bring your storefront to life with an evergreen, growing plant wall. The lush design will reel customers in, but it also serves as an Instagram photo op for your customers — two thumbs up for free advertising.
Or, for a design aesthetic that’s more friendly to your budget, go with salvaged materials by finding upcycled or used goods.
Soapmakers are artists, using color and scents to create a deliberate experience for the consumer. For your storefront, unleash your inner artist using a different medium with glass-friendly paint. It’s perfect for highlighting sales, sharing a message with customers, and including custom artwork. Plus, the colors can be as vibrant as your hand-poured soaps.
What would Fido say if he could talk? Using creative signage can be a barking good idea for any pet business. Harnessing your pet’s imaginary voice, write welcome messages on a sandwich board, strategically placed outside your storefront, or add a pet-themed welcome mat to bring that welcoming touch of home.
You could also bring customers into the storefront experience by using QR codes. Maybe yours sends customers to an interactive guide with recommendations for treats and toys for your pet right on your mobile device.
Start designing your retail storefront
While retail storefront design ideas require some investment as well as thoughtful planning to conceptualize, create, and bring to life, they’re well worth it for the way they can transform casual passersby into loyal fans and customers. With a single glance at your storefront, customers can learn if you’re a luxury or casual retailer, your brand’s personality, and why they should walk through your front door.
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