For the first impression there is no second chance. This is certainly true in many situations and it may be well advised to make the exterior of one´s shop attractive. After all, parking and entrance areas are the first physical “point of contact” with which the “customer journey” begins. So much for marketing jargon. In practice, it is about giving visitors and (potential) customers a coherent impression and repeatedly winning them over with clearly positive messages and comfort.
New concepts in the retail branch respond to changing customer needs. The interiors are increasingly dominated by a premium-quality appearance, and a lot has also happened in front and around the sales areas: parking areas are becoming more generous, clearly structured and well lit. Shopping trolleys have a central parking space which is often covered to protect people and goods from rain and snow. This also prevents too many shopping carts from clogging parking areas and traffic routes – a considerable gain in comfort which is especially appreciated by stressed car drivers. Waste bins and ashtrays also ensure orderly and clean conditions.
As the mobility mix of the population is changing and bicycles, e-bikes and pedelecs are becoming increasingly popular, discounters also offer secure and comfortable parking facilities for these vehicles, which can also be roofed over. After all, who enjoys locking and unlocking his bike in the pouring rain? Cycling parents with small children who need to be safely placed in the child seat are also grateful for shelter.
In some places, even solar-powered charging stations for e-bikes and e-charging stations for electric cars, with which an environmentally-conscious image can be underlined, have already found their way into the market. Valid for all outdoor facilities: high-quality materials such as stainless steel, safety glass, wood and aluminium make a good impression, even after years of use in wind and weather. They can be adapted to existing corporate identity concepts through a wide variety of design options.
Appealing architecture is increasingly replacing purely functional buildings that are more reminiscent of converted warehouses that only temporarily offer “fast-moving” food and non-food items. Accentuated entrance portals invite visitors to enter, and glass facades, which should not, of course, be plastered with advertising posters, convey transparency and bring stimulating daylight into the interior.
Of course, every measure means investments and they have to pay off. Yet, since the first impression often determines appeal or repulsion, and the competition is also constantly looking for ways to differentiate and position, the attractive design of the outdoor area offers new opportunities.