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Use your store’s location to your advantage

Use your store’s location to your advantage

Visual merchandising and display design are quite dependent on your store's location. The type of environment that surrounds your store makes a difference when you consider how you'll catch the eyes of potential customers.

Whether your store is situated in a busy downtown area or a shopping center, there are tactics to ponder as you plan upcoming window displays.

Observe traffic
When you're trying to decide how make the best of your store's locale, it's important to do a bit of research. You don't need to conduct a survey or hire a team of professionals, however – observational studies are key here.

The actual parcel of land your store is situated on isn't as significant as the atmosphere around it. The types of people who populate the area, median income and nearby businesses all play into the amount of attention you receive from consumers. 

Block off some time to hang around outside your store or near a window, the U.S. Small Business Association suggested. Take note of who walks by, who notices your window displays and what other stores draw in window shoppers. Pay attention to the other stores they enter to determine how you can hone in on the demographic. If there are other store displays that seem popular, brainstorm ways you'd be able to use aspects of that idea in your next design.

Another factor to consider is local companies that have a lot of employees. If so, plan how you can cater to their needs and earn their business.

Integrate technology 
It isn't news that brick-and-mortar retailers can increase their foot traffic and revenue by interacting with customers through the technology they already use – smartphones. Whether you stick to basics like monthly coupon emails or reach for the stars with your own application, there's one way to use your venue that you might not have thought of – location-based services.

The SBA suggested making a name for yourself on apps such as Groupon, LivingSocial and FourSquare. Both Groupon and LivingSocial offer discounts for businesses based on cities or regions that users enter. However, people can also select an option that shows deals near their current location. This allows tourists to find your store in addition to locals using these apps.

FourSquare is an app where people can keep track of the stores and restaurants they patronize. When they open it, a list of nearby businesses appears and they can select your store. By doing so, shoppers can earn points and receive special offers. They can also add reviews and ratings for other curious consumers. Often, users link FourSquare to social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter, which draws even more brand awareness.

Attract attention
When it comes down to making the best of your store's location, the aesthetics of your window display certainly matter. Instead of designing store displays from the vantage point of a business owner, get in the mind of customers. Stand outside the store and notice where your eye lands. According to Entrepreneur magazine, your main display fixture should be on that visual plane, while smaller decorations and accessories are arranged at various heights.

There are simple ways to attract attention such as bold colors, impressive signage and trendy scenes. While there are obvious themes for each season, consider going with a more specific idea that hasn't already been done ad nauseam. Entrepreneur recommended leaving window spotlights on overnight if there's enough foot traffic in the area after your operating hours. This will make the storefront stand out against the rest of the businesses.