You don’t need to have a door mat outside your store that says “welcome” but there are ways of making a store exhibit a vibe that makes people feel comfortable and feel a sense of belonging.
There’s a bonding and connection that takes place when you feel like a store is a place you can chill and don’t feel rushed out, especially if you are not buying right away.
Customers and potential customers should feel at ease within your brand space whether or not they are buying from you. Call it a second home in a way.
When it comes to the youth they definitely are all for brands that give them a sense of belonging. One young girl in particular had mentioned how she doesn’t go shop because of how uncomfortable store assistants make her feel and instead gets her mom to shop for her.
That is what many current store environments fail to do. They fail to make young people feel comfortable and welcome. Many retail spaces are rigid and unfriendly.
At a pop-up store in Braamfontein young people could chill because it had a bench outside the store. People could just hang out after buying and speak with the guys managing the store. Creating a social experience that gives a feeling of belonging to both the non-consumer and consumer.
I have observed on numerous occasions how the youth relax outside their shop and feel comfortable to. There’s no pressure to buy your item and leave. Or pressure to buy anything either. The great thing about creating a sense of belonging is that it will most likely lead to sales. Comfortable seating is just one example of creating an inviting space, personnel another.
That said consider brand suitable ways, in which you can create a more homely and inviting space. Making people feel a sense of belonging as this will lead to sales and an improved connection to your brand.
Article by Gabrielle Mixon
TrendER Insights’ Fashion Researcher, Communicator & Trend Analyst