To what degree does the exterior of a commercial space affect sales?
Significantly. Read on for both a discussion of the data on that as well as examples of how we have helped retail businesses address this.
A Retail Store’s Exterior Can Literally Drive Away Potential Customers.
According to Retail Customer Experience, a research firm solely dedicated to retail experience, over two-thirds of customers interviewed reported that they’ve avoided shopping somewhere based solely on its exterior appearance.
In other words, if the building looks dirty, run down, or old, 66%+ of those passing by may opt for an alternative.
That includes stores with sections of neon signs that aren’t working, letters that aren’t illuminated, or parking lot lights that aren’t all functioning. The latter bit of course speaks directly to public safety, which is also either an attraction or a deterrent.
But aside customers that have outright avoided a location based on appearance, 95% of those interviewed said that they definitely felt that a store’s appearance affected their willingness to shop there.
Pair that with the fact that 80% of shoppers these days say they are totally open to trying somewhere new, and we see a big willingness to explore alternatives even when a tried and true place they’ve been many times begins to look run down.
A Shabby Retail Appearance Destroys Repeat Business As Well.
Even when customers are initially willing to enter or return to a store despite noticing a not-so-great appearance, 33% of shoppers say that they’ve made it a point not to return to a store they viewed as “dirty”.
That’s huge, since in years past many businesses relied heavily upon brand loyalty and taking for granted that those who have shopped there before would be very likely to return. If out of nothing more than comfort and routine.
Yet now, as the data shows, all types of businesses must always strive to maintain a customer base. Nothing is a given.
A Poor Appearance Creates The Impression of Worse Service.
Given what we now know about how willing customers are to shop around to ensure they have a good experience, and the ubiquity of customer reviews that make that process faster than ever, a business can’t abide anything that damages the impression of good service.
That starts quite often with the parking lot. If it has potholes, or if the parking lines are worn and not very visible, it can send the message that the stores therein aren’t paying attention or don’t care.
And if they don’t care about the customer’s experience when they very first pull in, why should anyone assume that changes after walking through the doors?
When the store’s exteriors look run down, the common assumption is that the business is not doing well and can’t afford repairs.
And if that’s the case, the customer thinks, they probably aren’t paying their staff well so I probably won’t get good service.
It’s a harsh reality.
What Is The Solution To Preventing Lost Sales Due To A Non-Ideal Retail Exterior?
Retail building facade replacements or restorations are a great place to start. This is because this type of repair job alleviates many of the most glaring issues apparent to customers driving by:
- Repairing signage or lighting that isn’t working, or is inconsistent
- Giving the sides of the building new paint that looks fresh, clean, and vibrant
- Restoring the appeal and luster of the brand sign and/or 3D lettering by either fixing issues with the current building facade or replacing it altogether
A second area we have a lot of experience in that can alleviate these challenges is metal restoration and entryway maintenance.
- Cleaning and restoring damaged window areas
- Restoring luster to doorways and ensuring lettering or branding on the doors themselves is fresh and legible
- Upfitting the front of the building to encase glass displays with alluring product demos