Keeping your store clean can be a challenge at any time of the year. Rainstorms and fallen leaves can cause real problems for entryways and floors. But during the wintertime, these issues can become exacerbated. Snow and slush can get tracked in by winter boots only to melt into gray, unsightly puddles. Not only do these damp spots make your store look bad, they could become safety hazards. Because they need to be cleaned up quickly, getting rid of snow puddles can feel like a game of whack-a-mole. Every time you mop up one, another appears!
During the Christmas shopping season, things can get even more hectic. You and your staff will be very busy helping customers and making sales. Unless you have a dedicated janitorial staff, keeping up with the winter mess can be difficult, and it could cause you to lose out on sales. That’s why it’s so important to have a good plan and the right equipment. And we can help you with both.
Why appearance matters
Looks aren’t everything, but they sure can help. Interactions Marketing, a firm that focuses on consumer experience from a retail perspective, reported that shopper loyalty can depend a lot on visual elements. The way your store is lit, the way the shelves are arranged and the overall design of your shop could have a major impact on the consumer’s experience. The study found that many shoppers would take their business elsewhere if they were dissatisfied with the appearance of a store. That said, you could have all the best design elements on display, but they would mean nothing if covered in dirt and dust.
So let’s assume your store is already visually appealing. If not, check out this post for tips on how to make your store psychologically appealing to customers. Once you’ve got all that figured out, you need to make a plan that will keep your store looking pristine. Depending on the size of your staff, you will be able to delegate some of the responsibility, but the effort on the whole should rest on the team. You and your employees should know the importance of keeping the store clean and always be aware of what needs to be done. And if you can, try to inject a little fun into the process. If customers see how much you care, they’ll be more likely to shop at your store.
Plan of Action
The first thing you should think about is prevention. If you can stop the muck from getting into your store, you won’t have to clean it up. If you have a small boutique store, place a simple sign outside the front door that asks customers to please wipe their shoes on the mat before coming inside. It’s a homey touch that will add to the ambiance of your establishment and keep it clean. Every store, no matter it’s size, should have some kind of mat in the entryway to soak up as much of the slush and snow as possible. These areas can get very slippery, so you should consider laying down one of our anti-fatigue mats, which have slip-resistant properties.
The front entryway is also going to be the area of the store that needs cleaning most frequently. Have a staff member check on it periodically to see if it needs any mopping up. The entryway is also the customer’s first experience of your store. You wouldn’t wear a stained jacket to an interview, so don’t let your store appear messy either. Have a mop and bucket standing by for easy access. When things start to look a little muddy you can swoop in and clear things up a bit. Just don’t forget to place a sign warning of potential slipperiness.
“After hours, make your store shine for the next day.”
But what about at the end of the day? Once all of the customers have left and you’ve closed the books on another day of business, it’s time clean the floors until they sparkle. You might get sad thinking about how the floors will just become dirty the next day anyway, but it’s important to keep up with the cleanliness of your establishment. And don’t worry, because if you use our cleaning products, you and your staff will be able to head home in no time. Our Jiffy heavy duty steamer will make your carpets and rugs look wonderful, even after a day being trampled upon by salty winter boots. And our Bissell commercial vacuum will allow you to clean up any mess without the worry of streaking or harming your wooden floors.
The first customers of the day will appreciate the job you did cleaning the night before. Even if they don’t necessarily notice that things aren’t dirty, their subconscious will recognize the fact that your shop is tidy and clean, leaving them with a good impression of your brand.
If you’d like to take things a step further, consider finishing off your floor cleaning by turning on a scent cube. Shopify reported that it’s a good idea to appeal to as many of the customer’s senses as possible. We have lots of great oils to make your store smell great. Consider a seasonal scent like gingerbread, winter pine or holiday spice. Extra touches like these really add to the shopping experience. Check out our post on aromas for more information about how they can enhance the customer’s shopping trip. And if you can’t decide on the scent that’s right for your store, request a free sample strip to test it out before you make a decision.
When heading into the winter season, formulate a plan of action for those snowy days when it’s impossible to keep the dirt and slush out of your store. A good plan of action and a great work ethic will keep your store looking clean and beautiful. Customers will appreciate it and they’ll keep coming back all winter long.