Physical stores haven’t surrendered to the convenience or ubiquity of online shopping … and they probably won’t for the foreseeable future. There are still too many advantages that physical storefronts have over digital retailers, such as the opportunity to see the products in reality and try them, hands-on.

But if you want to take full advantage of these competitive edges, you’ll have to give your customers a unique, in-person experience. One surefire way to do that is to customize the interior and exterior of your store to reflect your unique brand characteristics and appeal to your target audience

That might sound easy if it weren’t for the cost factor. Surely a remodel would cost thousands of dollars, right? That’s true, but you don’t have to remodel your storefront entirely to give it an exceptional layer of charm.

Inexpensive Customization Strategies

Using the following tactics, you can add a novel layer of design to your firm without breaking your budget:

1. Add glass decals. Say your storefront has enormous windows that open into the shop. If you’re like most business owners, you’ve assembled some of your most popular or visually appealing products to welcome people into your store. Other than with those, however, does your glass “pop”? Glass decals can help you accent your showcase and add personality to your displays, and they’re not as expensive as you might think. In fact, you can create and print custom glass decals online for less than $100 (depending on the features you choose). 

2. Paint. It can be startling how much color and design can influence our behaviors and perceptions. A fresh coat of paint -- one that shows off your brand personality, of course -- can revitalize the look and feel of your interior. Are you a playful brand? Add sharply contrasting, bright colors to the walls. Are you whimsical? Hand-paint new designs. Are you searching for a specific vibe, such as a “retro” feel? Look for specific hues that will evoke the proper feelings. You can expect to pay about $15 to $30 per gallon of paint, and another $100 to $200 for materials to get the job done.

3. Source local art. Artwork can make your shop really stand out … and you don’t even have to pay for it! If you talk to local artists, someone might be delighted to have you showcase a little of his or her work in your store as sale items. Artists might even pay you a commission for each piece that sells. In the meantime, you’ll reap the benefits of being a hip, art-friendly local store owner.

4. Make use of mirrors. Basic mirrors aren’t that expensive, but they’re among the most powerful interior design elements you can incorporate. Depending on where you place them, they could instantly double the perceived size of the space inside your storefront, highlight the most important pieces of work in your shop, and simply help customers make better purchasing decisions while they’re on the premises.

5. Craft. If you’re looking for ways to improve your appearance without spending any money, think about making some handmade crafts. You can fold paper into origami, recycle discarded items like cans or bottles into elaborate works of art, or pick up a skill in woodworking or glass blowing to add an entirely new dimension to your space. Crafts are time intensive, and won’t appeal to non-creative owners, but they’re wholly original, and fulfilling to produce. 

6. Build vertically. To make the best use of your space, work vertically. Use stacks and shelves to fit as much as you can into every square foot of space. Of course, this is relative; some shops might benefit from allowing empty space to create a minimalistic ambiance. Try to find a balance between the two approaches. 

7. Make the lighting work for you. Light is one of your greatest assets … if you know how to use it. Clever positioning of artificial lighting can help you take advantage of natural sunlight as it emerges, and interior lighting can highlight whatever you choose. General, ambient lighting can help you control the atmosphere, while task-oriented lighting can make customer experiences more pleasant, and accent lighting can emphasize your best products. You can even use decorative lighting, such as lights of different styles or colors, to add flair to your brand. 

Remembering the Brand

When you’re implementing these strategies, your focus should remain on your brand. What is your brand like? If it were a person, how would that individual behave? Which characteristics come to mind?

Everything in and around your store should relate to the brand, consistently, if you want your customers to have a complete -- and memorable -- brand experience. If you’re successful, they’ll come back for more, and more important, they’ll spread the word about your store.

You’ll turn your ordinary storefront into an experience that can’t be missed … and without compromising your cash flow.