The latest study by the Journal of Marketing Research shows the more relaxed you are when you enter a store, the more money you’ll spend.
Relaxed customers were found to be willing to pay about 15% more for a variety of goods and services than less-relaxed people.
10 tips to increase your bottom line:
1. Practice Storefront Hospitality
Soften the exterior of your storefront with flowers, plants and other welcoming décor and signs.
2. Cool Colors Calm
Create a comfortable relaxing store space that includes calming colors: green, blue, lavender, white, gray and silver. Remember how theaters and television studios have a “green room” to quiet the nerves of anxious performers?
3. Background Music
Have soft background music playing to keep customers in your store longer like Muzak. There are also many royalty free music resources available online which require just a one-time purchase for a group of songs. Slow music makes people take their time and spend more money. Classical music encourages people to buy more expensive merchandise.
4. Great Smells Sell
Unless you are a bakery or candle shop, make sure your store has a pleasant scent when customers step in the door by using candles or other fragrance. Research shows this will increase your customers’ browsing time and makes for a happier staff. This is why grocery stores often put the bakery and flower shop at the front of the store, and realtors recommend home sellers to bake a pumpkin pie right before showing their house.
5. Mood Lighting
Add warm lighting to highlight featured products and give a homey feel to your store so it’s not too bright or too dark. Visit a Williams-Sonoma store to see an excellent example of this.
6. A Warm Welcome & Goodbye
Greet each customer as they enter your shop with a warm welcome and grateful goodbye when they leave, even if they don’t buy anything. You never know they might return or tell their friends about your business.
7. Unclutter the Aisles
Provide ample walking space between your displays and racks so customers will want to spend more time browsing, putting high-end items on the right where most people start looking and best sellers at the back of the store. When your store is crowded customers will be less social and feel cramped and do less impulse shopping, or worse be afraid they might break something and leave.
8. Check Out Impulse Items
Partner with your local gourmet shop or bath and body shop to offer cozy point-of-purchase items like bags of cookies or spa products at the check out. Cross-selling with other business is a win-win for you both.
9. Hire Friendly Help
Hire upbeat, but not hyper, employees who will genuinely care about your customers’ needs. Too many shops these days have disinterested employees who spend their time on their cell phones rather than acknowledging and helping customers. Encourage your staff through positive feedback and by listening to their ideas about making your business better to increase their own commitment and investment level in the store.
10. Know Your Customers
People like to go where everybody knows their name, as the Cheers’ song goes. Learn from bank tellers, who often repeat customers’ names. Once you see their debit or credit card or check, personalize their shopping experience by looking them in eye and saying, “Thank you, Ms. Smith, for shopping with us today.” Or you can ask them to be your Facebook friend or “Like” your store page, so you can put a face with a name for regular customers.
Although warm colors might attract people to your store from the outside, cool colors will encourage more contemplation and higher sales inside. Remember to entice all the senses when decorating your shop. Finally, show that you genuinely care about your customers and employees. A happy employee makes for a happy customer, which can lead to bigger sales for you.
Internet Advertising Manager
Read the Journal of Marketing Research study: Relaxation Increases Monetary Valuations