Ways To Attract Customers On A Busy High Street
How to attract customers to your store
So, whether it was your choice or not, you’ve found that your shop is situated near to an anchor store. It is essential to learn how to use point of sale displays to attract customers' attention. Without this knowledge, people will head straight to the big store next door.
It all relies on how appealing your storefront is compared to your larger competitor. There are plenty of ways for you to make a big impression on potential customers and increase footfall for your store.
1. Update your window displays
Window displays are the most obvious way to catch a customer’s attention. Depending on the space you have available, you can use your windows to either construct a large 3D display behind the glass, or a 2D poster-based display.
A study in The Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services states that: “Merchandise-focused displays convey concrete messages and thus facilitate an understanding of merchandise itself to influence shoppers’ store entry decisions.
In contrast, artistic displays are intended to convey store image and grab the shopper’s attention. Store windows mainly work by inspiring and enabling customers to infer information about the retailer” .
You will have to distinguish yourself from the anchor store by choosing themes that reflect your brand’s image. If you have more ‘green’ credentials than the other stores, then let the world know through your window displays.
If you sell similar products to your anchor store neighbour, then consider showcasing your competitive offerings. A lot of customers head into a department store with a clear idea of which product they are going to buy.
The key to a successful window display is creativity. Generally, more customers enter stores which have creative window displays, compared to information based displays. Large anchor stores such as department stores are very experienced at creating these types of displays. They often have very large budgets behind them, too.
Use display plinths to add height and prominence to your window display items.
If customers see the same product at a better price in your shop window, then they more likely to enter. To explore how to create effective window displays, take a look at our guide to winning customers with window displays.
2. Use pavement signs
If a window display doesn’t attract as much attention as you'd like, then a pavement sign may just do the trick. They're difficult to miss! Cafes are particularly good at using rustic chalkboards and a-frames to display engaging messages or promotions.
Most people decide whether to enter a store or not within a few seconds . As such, the design of your pavement signs is critical to success.
Invite customers in to sample your products, then display your deals and any sales that you may have running. Special offers and student discount deals are always popular among shoppers.
The style of pavement sign you choose should accurately reflect your brand. Pubs and restaurants should consider chalkboard or wooden signs. This style conveys warmth, hospitality, and family values. These are qualities customers look for in a food or drink establishment.
Metal and plastic signs are perfect for fashion and homeware stores because they're modern and practical. Keep your messaging clear and simple in order to convince your customers to make a snap decision to enter your store.
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3. Install light boxes and LED displays
By their very nature, light boxes are very noticeable to people passing by, thanks to their brightness. LED light boxes come in various shapes and sizes, from wall mounted poster cases outside cinemas, to large freestanding totems.
LED backlit lectern stands are great for use by restaurants, who traditionally do most of their trade in the evenings. An illuminated menu is particularly attractive to those looking for a place to eat.
This type of outdoor menu display is ideal for pubs and restaurants located near to anchor sites such as cinemas, which attract a lot of foot traffic after dark.
You will often see two or more large totem light boxes framing the entrance to fashion stores. They create a natural path for customers to walk through and offer a fantastic space to showcase lifestyle images.
Window displays can be made even more visually exciting for consumers with the use of LED posters.
Sunlight or any other external light hitting your shop window at a certain angle can make your window displays invisible. Customers will only see their own reflection as they walk past.
LED backlight posters can cut through this effect and literally shine a light on your most enticing offers.
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4. Invest in digital displays for retail
Digital displays are fast becoming very popular point of sale products for retailers. Shoppers are becoming more and more demanding of retailers, expecting them to offer more than just traditional bricks and mortar. Patrick Bohl states that “Innovative displays have led to consumers perceiving a store to be more sophisticated, modern and trendy” .
Digital displays can be set to play advertising messages on a loop. This means you can tailor your messages to appear at relevant times of the day. If you have a lunchtime meal deal, set a promotional display for between 12pm and 3pm.
Unlike LED posters, digital displays can showcase moving images and are also interactive if you use a touchscreen.
Digital displays are typically more expensive than printed posters. However, they save money over time. This is because they're easy to update.
If you wanted to change your window poster display every day or every week, you would have to pay for printing costs. With a digital display, simply upload your new poster or video straight onto the unit.
84% of UK retailers believe digital signage creates significant brand awareness .
If you're trying to divert the attention of passersby to your store instead of a larger anchor store nearby, it's hard to ignore moving images.
When you see the facts showing the effects of digital signage, it’s hard to argue they aren’t worth investment. Research shows that organisations using digital signage have seen a 3% rise in in store revenue on average . Further studies carried out by the APS Group, which surveyed 1.6 million people, showed that:
- 6.6% of shoppers glanced at traditional print.
- 9.9% of shoppers looked at a digital screen showing static content - an increase of 50%.
- 11.7% of shoppers engaged with a digital screen showing animated content - an increase of 77% on the static poster .
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5. Know your USPs
Work out what your business can offer that the anchor store doesn’t in order to attract customer attention. This could be a specific product range, lower prices, or even an atmosphere that the other business doesn’t have. If the anchor business is a big multinational brand, for example, and yours is a small family business, emphasise this difference.
6. Create a pleasant atmosphere
Music can play a big part in setting the scene for customers and strengthening your branding. If you keep your shop front open at all times, consider playing some ambient music that can be heard by passersby.
The most important thing to remember when trying to increase footfall is to create an appealing and inviting atmosphere. A customer's first experience with your store will determine whether or not they return.
It's essential to use the storefront to draw in customers when opening, or already owning, a store near an anchor site. Now more than ever, customers are looking for experiences when they shop, as well as just accessing the products. This is illustrated by the fact that an increasingly successful anchor tenant for shopping malls is the Apple Store .
In the Goldman Sachs’ list of the top 100 malls, 75% of them contain an Apple store. Apple are renowned for their modern stores. They don't have traditional checkouts and they allow customers to play and interact with their products.
Now that you've seen which display products are most effective at grabbing attention, you can implement them in your own displays.
We hope this guide helps in making your business stand out against larger businesses on the high street. Read part one of this guide to gain insight into the pros and cons of being near an anchor store.
1.Oh, H and Petrie, J, ‘How do storefront window displays influence entering decisions of clothing stores?, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services (2012), 19 (1).
2.Ebster & Garaus, Store Design and Visual Merchandising: Creating Store Space That Encourages Buying’, (New York: Business Expert Press, First Edition, 2011) p. 50.
3.Bohl, Patrick, ‘The effects of store atmosphere on shopping behaviour’, Corvinus Marketing Studies (2012).
4.‘10 key stats accelerating digital signage adoption’, Digital Signage Today, July 2015, retrieved from: https://www.digitalsignagetoday.com/blogs/10-key-stats-accelerating-digital-signage-adoption/.
5.Hermans, Liesbeth, ‘Why consumers love in-store digital signage and you should too’, Fourcast, 2019, retrieved from: https://www.fourcast.io/blog/why-consumers-love-in-store-digital-signage-and-you-should-too.
6.White, Stephen, ‘The Eyes Have It: The Power of Digital Signage’, Digital Marketing Magazine, 2016, retrieved from: https://digitalmarketingmagazine.co.uk/digital-marketing-advertising/the-eyes-have-it-the-power-of-digital-signage/3235.
7.Carter, Brandon, ‘What is an “Anchor Tenant?’, Squarefoot, 2017, retrieved from: https://www.squarefoot.com/leasopedia/what-is-an-anchor-tenant/.