How to Increase Curb Appeal With Window GraphicsAPRIL 24, 2019| SpeedPro
In many ways, owning a business with a brick-and-mortar location is a lot like trying to sell real estate. In real estate, curb appeal and location are the two things you hear about the most. Whether they’re helping residential or commercial customers sell a property, real estate agents can’t stress enough the value of having an attractive building exterior. To emphasize how important it is to consider the address of the property, real estate agents often chant “location, location, location.”
Just as the location of a house or property for sale is crucial, the location of your business matters. People are going to be more likely to find your store or another type of establishment if it’s located along a busy thoroughfare rather than tucked away on a tiny side street or alley.
Curb appeal is also critical when it comes to attracting customers to your business. How your business looks from the outside, such as whether there’s litter scattered along the sidewalk in front of the property or chipped paint on the walls and windows, can influence people’s decision to come in or not. Curb appeal can influence up to 70 percent of all first-time sales.
If you own a business that sees any amount of foot traffic, curb appeal is something you need to consider. One way to improve your company’s curb appeal and convince people who might otherwise walk by to stop in and check you out is through the use of window graphics.
What Is Curb Appeal?
One way to think about curb appeal is to consider any feature on the exterior of your business that makes your company look more inviting to a customer. When a potential customer approaches your business, they should immediately get the sense that the property is well cared for and that you and your team take pride in what you do.
A lack of curb appeal can make customers feel confused, or worse, threatened. If the exterior of the property gives off the impression that no one’s home or that no one cares, a customer might question whether or not the company is invested in its products or services or has concern for the needs of its customers. If the exterior of the business looks neglected or sketchy, people might not feel safe enough to walk from their car to the front door, and they’ll likely decide to go somewhere else.
For businesses, curb appeal is made up of a variety of components. Depending on where your company is located, some or all of the following factors might play an essential role in its curb appeal:
- Landscaping: Not all companies have the option of incorporating landscaping outside of their building. If you do have greenery growing outside, it’s important for you to keep it looking good. A lawn that’s trimmed regularly, flower beds that are frequently weeded and shrubbery that’s pruned and well-maintained will give a customer the impression that someone cares.
- Awnings: If your business has an awning over the doorway, how well-preserved that canopy is matters. An awning that’s torn or dirty doesn’t give off a good impression.
- Walls and doors: Clean exterior walls and doors help to make people feel like your business is thriving and that it’s something worth taking a look at. On the other hand, if the exterior walls of your business are covered in graffiti or have faded, chipped paint, people are likely to feel concerned about safety or the health of the company inside the walls.
- Windows: Windows are the “eyes” of your business, giving passersby a chance to take a peek in and see if they like what they see. You can also use window graphics to send a message to passersby and make your company seem even more inviting.
- Signs: Just as window graphics can help invite customers in and share valuable information with them, so can signs. Signs on the front door or propped up just outside the entryway can welcome people in, let them know about any sales or specials and share other fun and useful details with them.
- Cleanliness: If your business is located on an exterior street with a sidewalk or road in front of it, it’s a good idea to regularly sweep up outside and clear away any litter. If you can, place a garbage can somewhere near the exterior of your business to encourage people to put their trash in the proper spot rather than dropping it on the ground.
- Window displays: Like window graphics, window displays can welcome people into your business and boost its curb appeal. A window display gives you a chance to show off your inventory while making the exterior of your business visually appealing. Window displays are such an effective way to boost curb appeal that major department stores have made creating an eye-catching and engaging window display a holiday tradition.
- Parking and safety concerns: Curb appeal isn’t just about looks. It’s also about creating an environment that your customers feel secure in. If there’s a parking lot or parking spaces in front of your building, it means making it easy for people to get from their cars to your entrance safely. In the winter, that can mean clearing pathways when it’s snowy or icy outside. At night, it means making sure there’s ample light around the parking area.
Window Graphics and Hyperlocal Advertising
Window graphics don’t only help to improve the curb appeal of your company. They can also help to increase foot traffic through something known as hyperlocal advertising. Hyperlocal advertising is often used to describe a type of web or mobile-based advertising that’s targeted at people who are within walking distance of your company. When someone’s out and about, gets hungry and decides they want pizza, hyperlocal advertising helps them find the nearest pizza place.
Hyperlocal advertising has been pretty effective for companies who have jumped in and given it a try online. From 2014 to 2015, the number of searches on Google for “_____ near me” doubled.
Although companies have had success using the web and search-based tactics to connect with nearby potential customers, you don’t have to be tech-savvy to reap the benefits of hyperlocal advertising. Window graphics let you connect with and advertise to people who are in the area. The people you can reach with your window graphics and displays are likely to be either right in front of your business or near enough that they can see your message.
Window graphics are a type of out-of-home (OOH) advertising that allows you to take advantage of customer intent. For example, shoppers go to their local mall with a variety of intentions. Some are there because they want to buy something specific. Others view a trip to the mall as a social occasion, a chance to browse around while catching up with friends. Some people go shopping because they have a few hours to kill and browsing racks of clothing and other items seems an excellent way to kill it:
- Focused shoppers: A few shoppers might know precisely what they want to buy, such as a new winter jacket or a great pair of jeans. They’re focused on their purchasing goal and won’t be deterred or distracted by other options.
- Flexible focused shoppers: Among focused shoppers, there might be a few who could be persuaded to consider a purchase that wasn’t planned, such as a new handbag or pair of sneakers.
- Casual shoppers: Casual shoppers are just browsing. They don’t have particular plans to buy something, but if the right item catches their eye, they’ll jump in.
Window graphics can help your mall store use hyperlocal advertising to connect with the latter two types of shoppers. For example, a large display in your shop’s window advertising a 50-percent-off sale or that your “sale is on sale” might be enough to draw in the casual shopper and the goals-based shopper who’s willing to be distracted. If your sale aligns with the goals of the purchased-focused shopper, you might even be able to draw them in too.
Benefits of Window Graphics
Window graphics play a role in making your company’s exterior more appealing and welcoming to customers and passersby, but window graphics don’t only increase curb appeal. They also offer several other benefits to businesses, such as the fact that they:
- Spur people to action: A form of OOH advertising, window graphics help get people to act. One survey found that nearly 80 percent of consumers took some sort of action after seeing an OOH ad. When a customer walks by a store that has a window display advertising a sale, new arrivals or something else exciting, they can take immediate action and check out what’s going on inside.
- Grant flexibility: While certain aspects of a business’ curb appeal, such as an awning, paint color or lighting, are permanent or semi-permanent, window graphics aren’t. You can change the graphics you use based on the season, the promotion you’re currently running or any number of factors. You can even decide to leave the graphics on the window for the long run if you prefer.
- Involve less red tape: Some aspects of your company’s curb appeal might require you to get permits or permissions. For example, some areas require companies to get a permit to hang large signs up or display a large sandwich board in front of their building. In malls, you’re often limited to keeping your displays inside your storefront rather than having any signage or graphics spill out into the main mall corridor. Since window graphics are inside your property and don’t interfere with walkways or right-of-way, you typically don’t need to get a special permit to hang them up.
- Go beyond advertising: Window graphics are more than advertising. They can provide useful information to passersby and customers. If you have a glass door, you can use a graphic to let people know how it opens, either by pushing or pulling or automatically. Graphics can also let people know your operating hours and contact information as well as when you might be closed for holidays.
- Protect your inventory and staff: If your storefront or business faces the exterior of a building and has large windows, it’s likely that the sun shines into the property for some hours of the day. Although the sun can feel great, it can also get pretty hot, which can make it unpleasant inside the property for your staff. Not to mention, the sun’s rays can cause fading and other damage to your inventory over time. Along with sharing information with customers, you can use window graphics to tint the windows or filter the sunlight, preserving your inventory and creating a more comfortable working environment.
How to Use Window Graphics to Boost Business Traffic
While window graphics can help you connect with customers, there’s more to using graphics than simply hanging them in the window, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. The ones that get the job done and boost foot traffic follow a similar formula.
Follow these steps so that your window displays and graphics get people to come in:
- Stay true to your brand: Ideally, your window graphics will be on-brand and on-message. If you have signature colors or a signature font, use those in the design of the graphics. Even if you’re creating the graphics to reach new customers, you don’t want them to look so out of place on your window that you end up confusing people.
- Make the message clear: You only have a few seconds to get someone’s attention and let them know what’s up. Don’t beat around the bush with your graphics. Instead, jump in and give people the major details immediately. If you’re advertising a sale, include the word “SALE” in big, capital letters. If you’ve got new arrivals, make sure your graphics shout out “NEW” so that anyone can see. If you’re promoting a product that’s been highly anticipated, use the name of the product in the graphics.
- Get the size and placement right: Graphics that are at eye-level are often the easiest for people to see. Put the most important details at eye-level and less useful ones below that. Also, remember that size matters. You don’t want the graphic to be so large that people can’t take it all in at once, and you also don’t want it to be so small that they practically have to press themselves against the window to see it.
- Combine graphics with a display: When you look at the holiday window displays made famous by the likes of Macy’s, Saks and other major department stores, they have one thing in common: They combine window graphics with eye-catching displays that show off the store’s inventory. Now is the time to think outside the box and use your inventory and message to entice people to come inside. For example, to advertise a post-holiday sale, you can display some of your stock in partially unwrapped gift boxes within the area behind the window. On the window itself, your graphics can read something along the lines of “Get what you really wanted. Now 50 percent off.”
Let SpeedPro Help You Boost Your Business’ Curb Appeal
If you’re looking for ways to improve foot traffic or connect with customers who might otherwise pass your business by, engaging and eye-catching window displays and graphics will help. Our experts will work with you to create a design that gets your message across. To learn more, find a SpeedPro studio near you today.