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The current economic growth spurs increasing downtown construction and retail development. This urbanization adds additional foot traffic potential and a renewed need to focus on the in-person shopping strategies. Gently guide customers to increase profits with some additional attention to building aesthetics and the physical experience.

Big name brands like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Gap and Banana Republic have reported dismal sales and struggle to draw customers into their stores. Discount-focused sales, negligence of aesthetic experience and increased online shopping reduce physical sales.

However, you can counteract these issues and surge forward with sales by catering to the potential customer walking along your building. Roll out the red carpet, literally and figuratively, of special treatment and appeal to their subconscious minds. Using ancient design techniques and simple presentational adjustments you can design an inviting building people want to shop in.

Factors Deterring Foot Traffic:

  • Physical Negligence

The decline of in-person sales has led to neglect of food traffic, which dominoes into even less physically-present shoppers. For example, that street side sales rack or disorganized atmosphere won’t attract new customers. The physical neglect leads to unimpressive aesthetics and an undesirable shopper experience.

  • Discount Disasters

International retail chains have employed seemingly positive strategies like promoting excess discounts and savings to potential customers. However, if you’ve ever found yourself digging in sales bins or through sales racks, you can relate to the catastrophe that results. The messy disarray then irritates would-be buyers. These images negatively impact the brand image.

sales disaster, messy rack          discount disaster, foot traffic

  • Online Shopping

As consumers gravitate towards speed and ease of purchase, online-sales companies are raking in the business. While Amazon currently sells 7 percent of the apparel market, and Morgan Stanley has predicted a steadily incline up to 19 percent by 2020.

Building Aesthetics:

In order to make your building more enticing for customers, you have to consider the physical appearance of your company. Classically-designed buildings are more appealing for a reason. The Greek and Roman buildings illustrate beautiful architecture at its best. They utilized eye-catching structure and proportions.

Consider mapping out the building face and analyze it like a plastic surgeon. Rethink the details and materials, not just for functionality but also for aesthetic draw. For example, glass walls and storefront doors invite customers in more than steel or wood.

To entice more foot traffic entering, focus your efforts on strategically designed entrances. Create a logical pathway to your inviting door with framing colors, an impressive staircase, soft greenery, light illumination or even sidewalk chalk. Appeal to your customers’ subconscious minds and gently guide them inside with pathway entrance design.

Customer Experience:

Roll out the red carpet, literally, for your foot traffic customers. Nothing screams special treatment more than a red carpet entrance. With similar psychological influence, simple additions to the ground level appeal can produce significant traffic increase. Some creative and successful ideas include: a “Welcome” mat, scattered rose petals or even chalk drawings (think arrows cute sayings or relevant images).

Additionally, consider the timeless art of window displays. Think about telling a story, cultivating curiosity, stimulating impulse buys or pulling heartstrings. Regardless of your angle, you want people walking into your door. Get creative. Just avoid junky outdoor sales racks or unhappy sign-spinning mascots.

Companies can solve their dismal sales with a big picture focus on drawing in foot traffic. People enjoy stimulating their senses by feeling, trying and experiencing your products as well as the company brand.  With some additional attention and design strategies the aesthetics and customer experience can be enhanced. With more customer appeal you can increase your sales and cater to the walking pedestrians of urbanization.