We live in a highly visual world and the results from the latest Morpace Omnibus make this clear. Specifically, Morpace asked consumers how much of an impact a retail store's appearance has (from the street) on their decision to go in. In other words, is "how the place looks" as important as level of service, or cost?
The results indicated that physical appearance does matter – significantly. And it suggests that retailers in all industries from automotive to restaurants to big-box should focus on the external presentation of their building to ensure there are satisfied customers inside.
More than two-thirds of consumers say they have avoided a place of business based on its external appearance. Consumers decide whether or not they will shop at your store based on its presentation from the street.
One-half of consumers (52 percent) have avoided a business all together because it looked dirty from the outside. These consumers form an opinion of a business based on physical presence, which heavily influences their decision to shop at a location. Nearly all shoppers (95 percent) say that exterior appearance is important in their selection of a place to shop.
One-third of consumers have chosen not to enter a business because it "didn't look like a place I would normally shop." These consumers may not have been able to put a finger on specifically why they didn't want to shop there, but there was something about its appearance that gave them pause.
Even with the common perception that consumers build strong loyalty to a business, approximately 80 percent of consumers are open to shopping at new places, and most of them have visited a business outside of their normal routine in the past six months.
When considering what's important in selecting a place to conduct business, cleanliness and organization are as important as customer service and cost. More than 80 percent of consumers admit they have shopped only once at a location and never returned because it did not meet their expectations. And while customer service is important to the customer's experience, "being able to find what I'm looking for" is nearly as important; one-third have not returned to a place because it was perceived as "dirty."
(Photo by Alfonso Surroca)