Improve Outdoor Landscape Design to Attract More Shoppers
In today’s world, anyone can easily order what they need from their couch. This means that attracting shoppers to your mall or store is more important than it’s ever been. Boring shopping malls and retail centers are becoming irrelevant. Make your business worthy of a visit by improving your outdoor landscape design and installing attractive and functional outdoor amenities. Your business should be a place for people to gather and enjoy, not just to make purchases. Modern consumers aren’t likely to leave the comfort of their homes just to buy something they could easily order online. Leverage outdoor landscape design to create a positive atmosphere where people want to go to spend quality time.
What Is Landscape Design?
Landscape design is the art of arranging features of an outdoor area for aesthetic and practical reasons. These features include natural elements, like flowers, shrubs and trees, and human-made elements such as benches, tables and planters. The natural elements add softness and vibrance to the space and are part of the landscape. The hardscape consists of human-made elements that add structure and function. Both the landscape and hardscape are considered in landscape design and all elements must work together to create an attractive space.
- Landscape: The landscape consists of the living things in the area, including the grass, plants, trees, flowers and shrubs. These elements create a natural and welcoming feeling in the space. Whether you include garden beds, planters or large trees, these elements add a vibrant feel to the area and help your visitors connect with nature.
- Hardscape: Hardscaping includes many different elements, such as pavers, decks, patios and retaining walls. It also includes outdoor amenities such as benches, picnic tables and trash receptacles. Hardscaping improves the beauty of the space but also adds function and practicality. Hardscaping can be used to improve drainage, prevent pests and make the area more enjoyable for visitors.
Why Is Landscape Design Important to Attracting More Shoppers?
The landscape is the first thing visitors will see, and it affects their perception of the entire space. Many shoppers decide not to visit a store based solely on its appearance from the street, so the exterior appearance of a store or shopping center is significant when consumers decide where to shop.
A growing number of shoppers are choosing to buy online rather than visit a store, so it’s essential to appeal to shoppers and give them a space they want to visit where they can enjoy shopping. A dirty appearance can deter your potential customers. If the atmosphere is stressful and overwhelming, people will spend less time in your store and shop somewhere else or online.
With landscape design, you can create an atmosphere that encourages visitors to stay and hang out for a while. Whether you want a calming and natural feeling like a park or a more tropical feeling with palms and other tropical plants in bright colors, a good landscape can help your guests experience an inviting or exotic location and not just a boring retail store.
Making your space comfortable and welcoming encourages people to linger and relax. When people are calm and comfortable, they are more likely to stay in that space longer. The longer people stay in a mall or shopping center, the more likely they are to explore the entire store or business and make purchases. Landscape design is a great way to attract more shoppers by making your business more appealing and comfortable.
You need an attractive appearance to gain foot traffic. Enhance your store’s exterior spaces with strategic landscape design and appealing outdoor spaces.
Tips for Attracting Shoppers With Outdoor Landscape Design
Outdoor landscape design can draw attention to your business and help you stand out from the competition. People often go out to malls and retail centers with friends and family to socialize. Having functional and beautiful places for people to hang out will only increase traffic to your business. Customers will choose a relaxing and enjoyable shopping experience over a boring or stressful one. Here are a few tips on attracting shoppers with appealing outdoor amenities.
1. Offer Attractive Common Areas
Installing appealing areas to relax and socialize gives your customers a reason to stay awhile. The last thing you want is for your guests to be in a hurry to leave. Offer your visitors a place to drop their bags and sit down. Create a comforting atmosphere for people to stop and eat, soak up the sun or just enjoy the ambiance. Place some benches and dining sets with umbrellas and trees for shade and other plants to enhance the area’s appeal. Maybe they’ll realize they need one more thing and be ready to shop more after a short rest.
A good common area will help attract people who may not come to shop. Visitors who come to socialize or relax in your outdoor space may end up shopping after spending more time in the area. People might be leaving the house to meet up with friends, get some fresh air and be somewhere else. Providing an area that people are comfortable in will bring more foot traffic to your business. Add a water feature, attractive backdrop or interesting statue to provide a place for people to take pictures, as this will generate more buzz about your shopping center.
2. Add Appeal to Your Entrance
A beautiful entrance is necessary for creating a great first impression and generating foot traffic. Your entrance shouldn’t be something people go by without noticing. Grab attention with bright flowers and professional landscape design. Your sign should be attractive and big enough to see. Use strategically placed lighting to help your landscape and sign stand out. Make sure all your signs are visible and not covered by trees or overgrown plants.
Add an awning and some benches to create a nice place where people can wait for their friends or stay out of the rain. The entrance, including doors and windows, should be clean. An appealing entrance will draw in visitors and show the attention you put into your atmosphere.
3. Introduce Beautiful Plants
People don’t want to visit a boring, concrete retail center when they could stay on the couch and buy everything they need online. Create a vibrant space to encourage customers to visit your shops. Accenting your space with unique and attractive plants helps your mall stand out and gives people a break from the ordinary. Install plants that make your guests stop for a second look. Tropical plants such as palms, potted trees and exotic colorful plants can make your guests feel like they’re on vacation in a new place. Give them a reason to leave the comfort of their home.
Greenery has a soothing effect and can help break up the monotony of concrete and asphalt. Accent your walkways by planting ornamental grasses alongside them. Create a relaxing park-like atmosphere with shady trees and unique plants in attractive planters. People are naturally attracted to nature and will be more drawn to your business.
You can even add planters inside your business. Some plant species are especially suited for indoor living, such as corn plants, dracaenas, palms, caladiums, crotons and bromeliads. You may choose to match your outdoor plants with your indoor ones or create a separate but equally beautiful ambiance. No matter what plants you choose, place them where your visitors can appreciate them.
4. Make the Space Functional
Landscape design isn’t only about aesthetics. You should also include practical outdoor amenities. Including things such as seating areas, trash receptacles and bike racks makes your space more functional. Work these elements into the design so it all goes together and looks good. Think about how many benches you’ll need, where you should place trash bins and if you’ll need bike racks. Choose attractive options that coordinate and integrate them into your landscape design by creating pathways to them and placing plants around them. Picking elements from the same collection is an easy way to maintain a consistent brand image.
- Picnic tables: Picnic tables are perfect for outdoor common areas and businesses that provide food. People may want to step outside to eat or need a place to wait for their friends. If your business sells to-go food, it’s always a great idea to provide an outside area to eat in addition to an inside area. Offering both makes your business seem more inviting and gives visitors a choice. Providing dining areas outside restaurants can also attract more visitors and increase sales.
- Outdoor benches: Outdoor benches are important practical amenities that also serve an aesthetic purpose. Providing benches makes the space more accessible to people with mobility issues who may need to stop to rest between shops. Customers are also likely to spend more time at your mall if they know there are benches nearby where they can set their bags and rest. Benches come in several different styles and can enhance the beauty of a space.
- Trash bins and ashtrays: To keep your shopping center clean, place trash bins and ashtrays at regular intervals. You can buy trash receptacles and ashtrays that complement the style of the other amenities you choose to create a complete and cohesive style. Preventing litter around your business is a practical responsibility and shows your community that you care about the environment.
- Bike racks: You may want to consider installing a bike rack at your business. These are especially important for malls and large retail centers, but may also be important to small businesses. Part of attracting shoppers may mean accomodating people who travel by bike. Install bike loop racks near all entrances and coordinate them with your other site amenities.
5. Add a Sense of Luxury
The soft sound of flowing water is a luxurious and peaceful addition to your outdoor space. You could install a large fountain to attract attention to your entrance, but a water feature could also be a peaceful small pond in an outdoor common area or a splash pad to cool off your hot visitors. Large, memorable elements like fountains, statues and clock towers provide recognizable landmarks and convenient meeting spots for groups meeting at your shopping center. Including landmarks and water features help your business look more luxurious and high-end. They also create a memorable space that people want to share with others.
6. Consider Families
If your target audience includes families with small children, you will need to appeal to kids. This could mean a small playscape or interactive features. A bench swing, splash pool or playground will make your outdoor space more kid-friendly. When the kids want to stay, the parents will hang around as well. Make sure to include a space nearby for parents.
7. Host Events
Consider using your large outdoor spaces to host events for your community, bringing even more exposure to your business. Organizing weekly or monthly community events can help you build a pool of regular visitors and encourage first-time visitors to take a closer look. These events could be anything, such as art workshops, yoga classes, craft shows or educational talks. Different events will attract different visitors, so gear them towards your target audiences. You can also partner with community groups and allow them to use your outdoor space for their various events.
8. Utilize Outdoor Lighting
Lighting is an element that is often overlooked. Outdoor lighting can make your business look safer and more appealing. Sidewalks and parking lots need lights to help prevent falls and make people feel safe. Does your business look approachable after dark? Make sure your business looks bright and accommodating so there’s no question of whether it’s open or not. An un-lit business at night may appear to be closed. Even after hours, lighting outdoor areas helps visitors feel safer and can prevent crime.
Outdoor common areas should have lights that accent the landscaping and provide enough illumination for guests who visit during evening hours. Lighting can help direct attention to certain aspects you want to highlight. This could be certain stores, attractive features or outdoor spaces. Lighting is a powerful tool, so use it strategically.
9. Don’t Forget Maintenance
Everything that you implement to help attract shoppers will only do the opposite if you fail to provide proper maintenance. The unique, beautiful plants that help create an exciting tropical atmosphere will make your business look messy and unattractive if they’re overgrown or dying. The peaceful pond by the picnic tables will be unappealing if it’s covered in algae and attracts mosquitoes. Overgrown shrubs at the entrance might even cover your sign and prevent potential shoppers from finding your business.
Many consumers will avoid a store if it appears dirty or in disrepair. It’s essential to prioritize maintenance and cleanliness so your retail center or mall attracts shoppers throughout the year.
Impact of COVID-19 on Outdoor Spaces
COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our lives, and there are likely to be lasting impacts. More people are choosing outdoor options for eating and entertainment due to the elevated transmission risks of being indoors. Outdoor spaces have better airflow and allow your business to accommodate more people safely. A few tips for maintaining a safe outdoor area include spacing out seating arrangements, using outdoor furniture that can be sanitized and installing hand sanitizer stations.
- Socially distant seating: Allocating enough space to your outdoor area will make it much easier to design safe spaces. Place tables and benches at least 6 feet apart. Spreading out seating is safer in regards to COVID-19 and will make the area look less crowded and more comfortable.
- Easily cleaned furniture: Outdoor furniture needs to be durable, weather-resistant and easy to clean. All the outdoor amenities available from Wabash Valley are designed for minimal maintenance and can withstand frequent sanitation procedures.
- Hand sanitizing stations: Hand sanitizing stations are a new element that people now expect to see in and around businesses. Keeping your hands clean can help slow the spread of illnesses, and installing hand sanitizer stations shows your customers that you care. Coordinate your sanitizer stations with your other fixtures by choosing complementary finishes that help complete the appealing style of your entire outdoor space.
Benefits of Outdoor Shopping Mall Spaces
Properly designed outdoor spaces can benefit malls in numerous ways. Surrounding the mall with attractive and appealing features draws people in and helps your shopping center stand out from your competitors. Consumers often respond more positively to landscaped malls than to “naked” ones and are willing to pay more to shop there.
Adding areas of greenery is part of biophilic design, which is the practice of connecting people and nature within built environments. Bringing natural elements into spaces has a positive effect on human psychology and health outcomes. Nature settings can help reduce the long-term effects of stress, plants help purify the air, and proximity to nature generates positive emotional reactions. Greenery makes people more comfortable and is one way to increase mall traffic.
Connecting with nature is a human need, and many of us don’t have much time to do this. Many people spend their days in an office or at home so they don’t have a lot of chances to experience nature and feel the benefits. Adding greenery and outdoor amenities to malls and retail centers will help your visitors feel more comfortable and encourage them to stay longer.
It’s important for malls to promote positive feelings and give people a different experience than their homes. Your shopping mall should entice people to leave their houses instead of buying what they need online from their couches. Encourage them to experience something different and purchase what they need in an appealing environment. The positive experience the mall provides can increase foot traffic and sales.
Many people use shopping trips as a way to spend time with friends and family. While they can make purchases online, shopping with others is an experience people often choose instead. Malls are no longer just places to buy things and need to be geared towards quality time, not just a place that sells things. This means you need to create an attractive environment for getting together and socializing.
Creating beautiful outdoor spaces gives groups a place to come to meet up, relax, take a break and eat or drink. People spend more time in a space when it’s appealing to them. Incorporate plants, benches, water features, picnic tables and shade structures in your outdoor area to create the perfect space for making memories. When people share those memories with others, they also promote your business.
Make Your Outdoor Design Stand Out With Wabash Valley Furnishings
To compete in today’s environment, your outdoor design needs to stand out. Wabash Valley Site Furnishings offers the high-quality outdoor amenities that you need to create an appealing outdoor space. We offer everything from outdoor benches, dining sets and umbrellas to trash receptacles, bike racks and planters to help you improve your outdoor space.
Our experienced team has worked with architecture, landscape and design firms to put together site amenities for various retail center projects. We can work with you to create a bulk order that fits your specifications, design and budget. We specialize in outdoor amenities, so reach out today to start attracting more shoppers.
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