The appearance of your store is the most important factor that affects customers’ perception of your business. Before they even step inside, they have already formed assumptions about your store, and these assumptions directly affect how they perceive the quality of your products and services.
If your store looks cheap and tacky, whether it’s from the inside or outside, people are going to assume the same about what you offer. So to make a good first impression and increase the perceivable value of your goods or services, here are the things that can make your store look cheap, and how to avoid them:
1. Cracks in the pavement
The exteriors of your business are just as important as the interiors. If your sidewalk is riddled with cracks, it can make your exteriors look unkempt, which, in turn, can make customers assume the worst about how you take care of the establishment.
Fix cracks as soon as they form by hiring a reliable asphalt crack repair service. Small cracks may seem insignificant, but they will eventually grow bigger as the asphalt shrinks and expands with the changing weather conditions.
2. Unkempt sign
Your sign is one of the first things that customers notice about your business. With that in mind, it only makes sense to keep your sign looking well-maintained at all times. Otherwise, your business will seem dirty and cheap to customers before they even step inside.
Rust, stains, dirt, fading, chips, cracks; if your sign is suffering from one or more of these aesthetic issues, perform maintenance tasks as soon as possible. If your sign is beyond saving, however, it might be time to invest in a new sign, preferably one that is more durable than the last.
3. Dirty windows
Leaving your store windows dirty is one of the easiest ways to make customers have a bad first impression of your business. If your windows are riddled with dirt, water stains, and fingerprints, customers might notice these imperfections first rather than what’s on your display.
That said, make it a point to clean your windows regularly. It’s also a good idea to apply a water-repellent treatment on your windows to prevent water stains and make cleaning easier when it rains.
4. Poorly designed temporary signs
Every temporary sign that you display in your store should be well-thought-out and look professionally-designed. Customers won’t be tempted to take part in your promotions if your signs look like they were made on MS Paint.
Temporary signs don’t need to look fancy. Minimalist signs that look sleek and professional are good enough as long as they get the message across and have an eye-catching design. If you want to save money on graphic design (and can’t make designs yourself), hire a graphic designer to create templates for temporary signs that you will be using on a regular basis (for sale signs, holiday promotions, etc.).
5. Cheap hangers
If your business sells clothing or anything else that needs to be hung, invest in good-quality hangers instead of going for the cheap ones. Aside from being more durable, nicer hangers make customers perceive more value from your products.
6. Dirty, chipping paint
Unless your store is going for the grungy, intentionally unkempt aesthetic, dirty and chipping paint is unacceptable; both on the inside and outside of your store. Make it a point to re-paint your walls every once in a while to make your business look cleaner and newer. Furthermore, use high-quality paint that is more resistant to chipping, moisture, and extreme weather conditions to reduce the frequency with which you need to re-paint.
7. Outdated collateral
Posters, directional signs, standees, and other marketing collateral should be replaced regularly or as needed when they start looking too old. Otherwise, they can make your store look older and unkempt, even if that’s far from the truth. And when customers think that your business can’t maintain the establishment properly, it can negatively affect how they see your products or services.
Clutter in general does nothing good for any type of business. It can get in the way of productivity and may even cause disruptions in operations in retail businesses. Worse, having clutter where customers can see can reduce the brand’s value in their eyes, as well as make it difficult to focus on their shopping goals.
Ensure that there is no clutter in the front of the stores where the customers are. Clutter is inevitable in the back rooms, but do make an effort to keep it to a minimum.
By avoiding these things, you can increase the perceived value of your products, services, and business as a whole in customers’ eyes.