As a retail store, it is always a good idea to increase your foot traffic. Foot traffic brings more opportunity for conversion, more commonly referred to as making the sale. One way to do this is through the exterior of your store. After all, the exterior of your building is the first thing that a customer sees. You should always want to set a good impression from the time that they pull into the parking lot. It is vital to remember that everything about your retail store should convey your company values and concept. Here are some inspiring exterior architecture trends that boost foot traffic. 

1. Architectural Grilles
Architectural grilles aren’t something that you think of when looking at the exterior. However, they are small things that can make a big difference with any exhaust areas that come out of the building. An architectural grille covers these unsightly areas beautifully or blends them in; the choice is up to you. Architectural grilles are usually made of metal and can be customized to fit your company’s personal style, making them a great way to improve the sight of your retail store and improve foot traffic. 

2. Pergolas 
Pergolas might be typically used in backyards, but have you thought about introducing them to the front or around your retail store? Pergolas create an aesthetic that passersby would have a hard time not stopping to check out what you have to offer. Not to mention the photo opportunities that would drive foot traffic as well. Pergolas provide great shade and an opportunity to grow beautiful plants, but they are also fantastic for making your retail store stand out from the rest.

3. Decorative Glass Finishes 
Do you have floor-to-ceiling windows in the front of your retail store? Though that is a great exterior architecture element on its own, you can upgrade it a notch by implementing some decorative glass finishes. These can be made to look like etching or can incorporate color, whichever you like. Use this to put your slogan on the window or even just elements that will add to customer attraction. 

4. Architectural Film Finishes
In addition to glass finishes, architectural film finishes are an easy way to spruce up your exterior. These films can create a brick cladding system, metal, and even leather finishes that you can put on a variety of surfaces to step up your exterior architecture. Imagine the looks you could create by framing out the exterior of your store in one of these film finishes. It will surely increase your branding and therefore the foot traffic to your store.

5. Low Maintenance Parking Lots
Though not technically a part of your architecture, parking lots are an essential part of a business since your customers will be more likely to shop if they can park easily. It is one of the first things they see and the first experience they have, even if you are in a shopping center. 

A lot of work goes into asphalt and concrete parking lots to keep them convenient for your customers. Additionally, landscaping can require tons of upkeep as well. However, even though you want your parking lot to be beautiful and a good representation of your business, you don’t want to spend a lot of your valuable time maintaining a parking lot when you could be inside selling your product. This is where low-maintenance parking lots come in. 

Some ideas for a more low-maintenance parking lot include stabilized gravel with permeable pavers, xeriscaping, or even complete grass lots with grass pavers. The stabilized gravel or grass options prevent you from having to maintain the concrete, while xeriscaping allows you to prevent the dreaded landscape maintenance.

6. Dimensional Signage
One way to increase foot traffic and boost your exterior is with dimensional signage. Dimensional signage, in contrast to posters or banners, pops out from the surface they are on. Sometimes the 3-D effect is highlighted even more but using lighting to make it pop further. 

Dimensional signage is more inviting and intriguing to those walking by and provides a more modern look on the exterior of your retail store. Some ideas to include in signage other than your logo or company name include your company slogan, a special that you always offer, a call to action for a select customer group, or even just a welcoming phrase. Going above and beyond with beautiful, dimensional signage that becomes a part of your exterior is a great way to boost foot traffic. 

Todd Gillman is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on remodeling and construction. He lives in Land O’ Lakes, Florida, where he enjoys spending time with his wife and researching building industry trends in his free time. Todd’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a new construction industry resource.

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