Walk On By

Walk On By What makes you walk into a store? Retail Consultant, Melanie McIntosh, has some theories…

Imagine yourself walking past a row of shops on a street. Some of the stores you walk by without even a glance. But one catches your attention. Something in the window makes you stop for a moment to take a look. Something has grabbed you and pulled you out of your conversation, or train of thought, and stopped you. Just briefly.

Long enough to think, “I like that,” or “That looks interesting.” The next thing you know, you see a couple of other interesting things in the window. You look past the display into the store. You think, “I’ll check it out for a minute.” You open the door and step inside and you like what you see. “What a great place! I’ll look around for a minute.” You see something that would look amazing in your house or garden. You move from one display to the next, imagining what you could do with some of these products.

You feel relaxed. Happy. You love the atmosphere. This is what you want in your life. This is something you’ve been looking for. What makes this store different? Why do you like it so much? Connection. The store connects and resonates with you. It fits with your imagined ideal of what you would like for your life. Yes, the product is something you would love to have. But it’s not just the product. It’s how you feel. How you feel about the product is influenced by the store atmosphere. It puts you in a mood you enjoy. Not only do you like the merchandise, but you like the idea of shopping here. You want to be here. You want to come back. You want to buy here.

Are you making this connection with your shoppers? Does your store resonate with them? A store that resonates with shoppers:

1. Isn’t for everyone.

We are all unique. We all have different tastes. What one person likes, another dislikes. If you try to appeal to everyone, you will end up with a store that doesn’t attract anybody. A successful store appeals to a specific group of people with certain tastes and interests in common. Determine who your best customers are and work to attract others like them.

2. Has something their customers need.

Face it. Shoppers can probably find a product like yours somewhere else. They don’t need your product. What they need is something else. Maybe it’s security, enjoyment or relief from stress. One of the most common needs that people are seeking to satisfy is the need for status or respect. Figure out what your customers really need. Then sell it to them.

3. Has personality.

A store just like all the others is boring. A great store has character and flair. It’s personality is conveyed through colour, design, fixtures, lighting, signage, advertising and people. It has a quality that is unique and different.

Being different is a risk. But in retail being the same as everyone else is certain death. Express your personality. And do it well. If you want your store to resonate with your customers, show them what you have in common. Show them you understand them and what they need. Sounds like a relationship, doesn’t it? It is.