by Tom Boyer for the Lasting Impressions blog series

In my previous post about store exteriors, I encouraged you to look beyond your building at the parking lot, the route to get to the store and your store sign, among other things. In this post I’m going to cover the rest of the store exterior features to consider, such as your windows, outside entryway, and door and window signage.

Let’s start with your doors. Do your entrances clearly state your hours of operation and the services you offer? Are the doors easily managed by your customers with mobility challenges and the devices they may use? Are they attractive? Is the area leading up to the door clear and easy to navigate? Consider everything you notice when you walk into a store and think about how the demographic groups that shop your store might perceive the doorway and walkway leading into it. You certainly don’t want any literal barriers to window display

If you have windows, determine how they can be used to make a favorable impression – signs, displays, cleanliness, and attractiveness all should be considered. If you have window space to set up displays of your gift or general merchandise items, it is an excellent, no cost form of promotion. If you are in an area that has a good amount of foot traffic, you may entice someone to come in and purchase just based on something in the window that caught their eye.

Using signage in windows and doors is another great promotional tool. There is a cost to having professional-looking, well-designed signs and it’s worth it. In addition to posting store hours and services offered on your door, you can also highlight your special of the week or announce an event or something new you are carrying. Signs in your windows can also promote weekly sales, store entryway window displayupcoming activities, or you may get signs from your wholesaler or a manufacturer that you can use to advertise certain items or departments.

Drive to and around your neighborhood yourself and pay attention to the surroundings and your experience of getting to your store. What did you see and what did it make you think? What are the other businesses around your store doing with their exteriors? Determine what you can improve and work on those factors as you can until you are satisfied you’ve created an enticing exterior that draws people in to your store.

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