5 Exterior Renovation Projects for a Retail Location That Boost Foot Traffic

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5 Exterior Renovation Projects for a Retail Location That Boost Foot Traffic

Retail is no easy job. It can be tough to get people in the door. As the popularity of e-commerce continues to rise, and social distancing requirements continue to loom, your ability to increase foot traffic becomes increasingly important. 

In these volatile times, it’s crucial to find ways to entice customers to enter your store, but how do you do that? Thankfully, many tried-and-true exterior renovation projects can help boost foot traffic to your retail location. Let’s look at five of them. 

Project #1: Add Some Paint and Polish

Don’t underthink the value of a new coat of paint. If it’s been a few years since you’ve revamped the exterior paint job, take some time to repaint the outside of your store. Be sure to pay attention to the small details, like the exterior door trim, window panes, and window trims. 

If any other area of your storefront is looking a little shabby, take time to add a little polish. Redo the roof, install new windows, consider landscaping, and more. A little paint and polish can go a long way towards creating a welcoming environment for potential customers. 

Project #2: Rethink the Parking Lot 

Signage placed for curbside retail orders so customers can stay in their vehicle.

If your parking lot is difficult to park in, drive through, or pull out of – chances are, you’re losing customers because of it. If you have a chaotic or unsafe parking lot, customers are likely to drive to a different retail store instead of fussing with yours. 

Take time to make sure you have convenient parking angles and that the flow of traffic is evident. A simple and effective change could be the addition of parking spots designed specifically for customers picking up prearranged orders such as online orders. Repair any potholes, and make sure there’s enough space around the vehicles for pedestrians to walk into your store safely. If your parking lot isn’t up to snuff, this is a renovation worth investing in.  

Project #3: Add Intrigue with Unique Signage

Aside from the appearance of the building itself, your signage can dramatically impact the amount of foot traffic you have. Your signage must match your overall brand and tone. If you have a laid-back, bohemian atmosphere – consider a chalkboard that you change out daily with new specials. 

If you have a high-energy shop full of exciting deals – consider bold digital signage that really grabs the attention of passersby. It’s also imperative to have signage to indicate promotions so that customers feel compelled to walk in the door. 

No matter which type of signage you choose, it’s critical that you take time renovating your signage and making sure it’s up to par. 

Project #4: Stand Out with Architectural Elements

If you’re located in a shopping center or on a street where all the shops resemble each other – you have an even more challenging job. How do you stand out when your building looks identical to all the others? 

Aside from signage, consider adding architectural elements and pieces to the exterior of your shop. This can include things like steel grilles, intricate metal sculptures, a uniquely shaped door, ornate columns, or any other interest-piquing architectural element. Adding a level of architectural intrigues piques peoples’ curiosity. They want to see what’s inside the building with the exciting sculpture outside. 

Method Architecture reimagined the exterior of this Houston retail center in Rice Village.

Project #5: Create “Instagram-Worthy” Moments 

Wall mural at Great Heights Brewing Co.

Work to create places outside your store for people to stop and take a picture. We live in a time where people are continually looking for unique picture opportunities to share on their social media feeds. If you can provide that, people won’t be able to resist stopping to snap a picture. Once they stop, they’ll be more likely to venture inside – especially if you create those same types of moments inside the store. 

You can do this in several ways. Wall murals are usually highly effective. Window displays can be fantastic, too. Set up an artistic and interesting display atop a quartz countertop and watch all the people stop to pose! You can also place a bench, surrounded by on-brand décor, lighting, and foliage, and more. 

Get creative and consider what would make people stop to take a picture, and then think about how you’re going to entice them inside once they’ve stopped outside your entrance. 

Bonus Tip: Think About the Customers

These five renovations are sure to get you more customers in the door. However, if you’re still looking for more ideas, you only have to do one thing: think about the customers, 

What types of things does your customer shop for and love? Maybe you have music playing that you know your target shoppers will love. Maybe you hand out free samples and coupons at the door. Think about who your customers are, and create an exterior that would appeal to them. As long as you think about your customers, you can create an exterior that is appealing and compelling.



Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

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