Those first seven seconds are critical

April 18, 2016By Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog, Lasting Impressions blog series

by Tom Boyer for the Lasting Impressions series

As I mentioned in the first post of this series, my initial intention was to write about the importance of the seven-second rule. The Lasting Impressions series evolved into the ongoing impression you make with customers, but I do want to cover the seven-second rule because it is important to remember how much your customers are absorbing in a short span of time. It also helps to think about what it is they can be forming their opinion on during their first few steps into your store. This post is an overview of what a customer is taking in and potentially making judgements about when it comes to shopping in your store.

When customers enter your store, they form an immediate impression. In the first few feet after they have entered they are already assessing:

  • how easy it is to get around,
  • if the store is well lit,
  • if the atmosphere is inviting,
  • whether or not there are any unpleasant smells,
  • if it is easy to get in and out, and
  • whether there are any staff visible and available.

Once they are in the store, that initial impression is still taking shape.

  • Were they greeted within 10 seconds of entering?
  • Is there an employee within 10 feet of them to answer questions?
  • More importantly, are employees visible after they have been greeted in case they have a question?

That initial impression of the store

They are also thinking about the store itself.

  • Does it feel open and inviting and how does the décor look?
  • How do they know which way to go to get what they desired?
  • Does the store carry newer items and a decent amount of stock?

It seems like a lot, doesn’t it? Some of these conclusions are made more quickly than others, but you want to put your best foot forward so consider all of these areas to be sure you are presenting your store in the light you wish. I’ll get into further detail in the posts that follow, but these points, and thinking about what you notice when visiting a business for the first time will get you starting to think about what can be important to the perception of your store.

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