Providing guidance for first-time shoppers


If you’re a regular visitor to a certain store, it’s easy to tell which customers have never set foot in there before. These first-time shoppers walk through the door slowly, stop in random places, and generally look rather confused. Some stores put a lot of thought into the “decompression zone” just past the doorway, so why not segment this further and create a holding pen of sorts for first-timers?

To accomplish this, the store could provide a little nook or endcap targeted towards new customers. Start with signage that says something like “First time here?” Next, include a very basic map of the store, and a list of the top-selling product categories — the latter designed to show which products keep bringing customers back. And finally, use the opportunity to explain your pricing approach. In other words, do people need a loyalty card to get the best deals, and if so, how can they sign up?

In the limited swath of retail stores that I visit regularly, I don’t recall seeing any attempts to better educate first-time shoppers. However, I’m sure that some retailers have tried it out, and I bet this approach helps convert more first-time visitors into paying customers.