What does your shop front say about you?


If any of you have read my articles previously you will realise that I try to relate to real things that I pick up when I am out during the day. It might be an encounter with a person, an exchange with a business or something I saw somewhere.

Today's article will be short but I really wanted to share it because it made me think for a little while.

So.. plagued with an ear infection - I had to drive to the local supermarket to get some pain killers. My shopping being extremely poorly organised I visit my local supermarket every two days sometimes twice a day - often enough that the security guard knows my name. On my way to the supermarket, there is a local shoe shop with written in the window "Discounted shoes for women - buy 2 get a 3rd pair free." I have been meaning to stop a few times but somehow didn't because I thought the proposition sounded a little desperate. The front of the store is quite old looking and the signs are all handwritten - the shop doesn't seem to have its own name or any kind of distinctive signage. Today however I stopped because I had to wait for my script.

To my surprise - this little store stocks a massive amount of some of the best shoe brands in Australia. I like beautiful shoes and if anyone had told me that there was a store next door to my house selling discounted designer shoes - I would have probably lived there. For those of you who like shoes, social proof below.

What does your shop front say about you?                                                      

So Where Did This Business Go Wrong?

The Proposition

Great for women who like beautiful shoes - they had lots of sizes, colours, shapes and they have a quality product. They also stock shoes for men - high quality work shoes and going out shoes. The interesting thing is when I walked in and grabbed a few pairs and told the lady that her shop was the best thing that happened in my world of shoes - she was surprised and didn't seem to believe me.

The Positioning

The only reason I stopped was because I was waiting for my script and because I am a naturally curious person - the shop front, signs and lack of lustre didn't sell their products and the quality on offer. The parking is always empty. A great product isn't enough - you can built it but that doesn't mean they will come. Had this business presented themselves better - more customers like me (their ideal client) would stop by. Businesses going viral without marketing (at least initially) are rare. For the rest of us - we need to put in the hard yards. Some might argue that we don't but we all make decisions based on perceptions. Especially when you are a new business - it's quasi impossible to have word of mouth and reputation backed up by your non existing list of clients so make sure that you position yourself accordingly.

The Business Outcome

Did I buy great shoes? Yes I did. Did I have a great experience? No I didn't. Was I asked for my details for future communications even if I bought 4 pairs of shoes? Nope. If I had an ideal client come into my store/shop/business and buy 4 or 5 of my products I would ensure that they had a remarkable experience and I would want to capture their details. 'You're a marketer Sharon.' Yes I am but this applies to any size business - wow your customer, be remarkable, deliver on time and with amazing service and start the relationship - have the right system in place to make these things happen. Think of little things you could do to amaze them - they don't have to cost a fortune.

The Reflection

Depending on your business - your shop front might be your website, your office or your store.. etc. Just like this little store - your shop front is your first promise to your customer - it sets the expectations and tells them about the type of business they will enter a relationship with. So.. what does your shop front say about your business - is it helping you build credibility and trust? Does it correspond to your service or product? Has it got this wow effect to make your ideal client stop by?                                          

Sharon Latour

Queen Bee/CMO at

I hail from Mauritius, an idyllic island off the coast of Africa and moved Down Under as an international student. Being in a corporate job wasn't for me so I took my own path with $450 in the bank. I've always been passionate about SMEs and after seeing so many struggle digitally, I founded Marketing Bee. We are Australia's first cloud-based marketing department, providing digital production, social media strategy, web development and everything in between for our clients here and overseas.

Comments (2)
Greg Tomkins

Greg Tomkins, Director | Web Architect at

Great example of why positioning and branding are critical to every business and yet so many seem to miss the point. Of course the flip side is that you must live up to the brand you portray... Whilst you may get your brand looking terrific and you have positioned your business well, if you don't follow through on what you commit to then all is wasted

Sharon Latour

Sharon Latour, Queen Bee/CMO at

Hi Greg thank you so much for taking the time to read the article. I am glad that you share my viewpoint and hope that more and more business owners will catch up to the idea that marketing isn't a 'what if' activity but something crucial.