Your Storefront is your Customers first Impression -- by Mike Hindenach

We all know that your storefront gives your business’s first impression. Location, appearance, and maintenance all play an important part in making that impression. Recently I spoke with a small group of local consumers and asked them how long it took for them to make a decision about entering a store.
“Two seconds.” was the first decisive answer; other answers ranged from two to seven seconds to decide if they would even enter a store.
The group went on to say that a storefront and parking area needed to be clean and well maintained or they wouldn’t even bother to enter. They talked in detail about the importance of sidewalk maintenance and lighting. For them, the outside of the business absolutely represented what they expected to find on the inside of the business.
This discussion led me to take a look at how long it takes for us to form an impression. According to a study done by Princeton University psychologist Alex Todorov and co-author Janine Willis, we decide about a person’s trustworthiness within a tenth of a second. Todorov found that we intuitively
respond before our rational minds can influence the reaction. Something to think about that when considering who the first person your customer is going to see when they walk through
your doors.
One of the easiest and most impactful enhancements a business can make is creating and maintain their curb appeal. A simple daily routine such as maintaining sidewalks can lead to greater customer interest. Just that one difference has been shown by industry experts to attract attention and create additional foot traffic. The Elizabeth City sidewalk maintenance ordinances can serve as an easy checklist:

(A) No occupant or owner of property shall permit grass or weeds to grow over any brick, concrete, tar, asphalt, stone or other hard-surface sidewalk or street.
(B) Each occupant or owner shall keep the grass plot adjacent to such sidewalk or street neatly mowed.
(A) The owner or occupant of any store, office or other place of business on the first floor abutting the street shall keep the sidewalk in front of his or her place of business clean.
(B) The owner of every lot abutting any sidewalk which is paved shall remove all snow, ice or similar accumulation from such sidewalk by 10:00 a.m. of each day unless it is continuing to snow, hail or sleet at the time, in which case same must be removed immediately upon completion of such weather
While my short discussions with local consumers certainly are not scientific, they do reflect the findings of numerous articles regarding customer attraction and retention. It may make you wonder about how many customers may pass you by if your storefront was not perceived as inviting and
how many new customers you will attract with a few simple improvements.
Your Storefront is your Customers first Impression -- by Mike Hindenach Your Storefront is your Customers first Impression -- by Mike Hindenach Reviewed by kensunm on 6:51:00 PM Rating: 5

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