Running a brick-and-mortar retail store has a host of challenges you have to overcome and get used to all the time. You need to do regular maintenance, manage records, and make sure your employees are well compensated. The biggest challenge, however, is getting a consistent stream of customers to keep your business afloat.

Do you want to drive more foot traffic to your store? Learn from the following tips.

Looks Do Matter

When you have a perfect product and excellent service, but you’re not attracting as many customers as you expected, your store’s appearance may be one of the things stopping them.

A 2012 literature review, called “Examining the Effect of Retail Service Quality Dimensions on Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty: The Case of the Supermarket Shopper,” found that physical appearance was a significant factor in customer satisfaction. The interior and exterior of your store don’t only need to be clean, but they need to be pleasing to the eye and must represent your brand’s identity. One of the studies cited mentioned that a store’s appearance is perceived to be an indicator of the quality of the products or services sold in the store.

A 2014 survey about what consumers find important in a retail store also revealed that over 41% of respondents find ambiance a vital factor, while 31% indicated location as a primary consideration. For this study, design consultancy firm Dalziel & Pow surveyed more than 1,000 women worldwide. It suggests that the better your shop looks, the more popular your store and products/services are to your customers.

That said, it may be time to improve your store’s look, starting with the entrance. Attract your customers by giving them an inviting atmosphere and warm welcome as soon as they step into your commercial property. Consider making changes to the first thing they see when they come across your store. Have a commercial masonry contractor help you out with remodeling your facade to reflect your brand and culture.

Upgrade Your Layout

supermarket interior

Now that you have an eye-catching entryway, consider changing your store’s layout. A review on retail business layouts showed that grid and free-flow are the most effective ones. The grid layout provides a fast and predictable shopping experience, while the latter has lower shelf heights, allowing customers to access products they want easily. Give your customers hassle-free shopping experience, and they’re bound to come back.

Give Employees Proper Support

Once you have a captivating look and layout for your store, it’s time to give your employees the support they need. According to a recent study from consultancy firm Gallup about employee engagement, companies who treat their workers well tend to outperform their competitors by up to 147%. The study cited a recent survey about Starbucks’ loyal customers, who loved the brand because of the excellent treatment the company gives to its employees.

Find ways to make your employees feel good about working for you. Treat them to annual outings to give them much-needed time off work. Give them incentives other than overtime pay when they put in extra hours. Most importantly, provide them with full health and security benefits so they would spend less time worrying about bills at work. When you treat your workers well, your customers will sense it and will feel that you’re a caring store. They won’t have any problem coming back and repeatedly buying from you.

When it comes to gaining foot traffic for your store, it’s all about reeling them in with attractive visuals and making them stay for the experience and customer service. Build your reputation this way, and you’ll be rewarded with a growing number of loyal patrons.