The Impact of First Impressions on In-Store Purchasing Decisions

Maximizing Sales through Strategic Visual Appeal: A Guide for Retail Success

When it comes to running a successful shop, Tracy Moffatt, a prominent figure in the golf retail industry and owner of K&K Consulting says the importance of the first impression cannot be overstated. Research has shown that a staggering 93 percent of purchasing decisions are based on visual appearance, highlighting just how crucial the visual impact of your shop is from the moment potential customers arrive.

Shop Location and Signage

The first aspect to consider is the location of your shop and the signage that directs customers to it. Is your shop easy to locate? Are there clear signs at the entrance, the clubhouse, and the bag drop? It’s essential to ensure that every visitor, whether a member or a potential customer, can easily find their way to your shop. Additionally, it’s crucial that all staff members within your club are knowledgeable about the shop’s location to provide accurate directions when asked.

Exterior and Window Displays

The exterior of your shop sets the tone for the customer’s experience. Is it inviting, clean, and uncluttered? Consider having attractive merchandise displays outside to entice passersby. The visual appeal of your shop’s exterior can significantly influence a customer’s decision to enter.

Signage and Messaging

The signage on your shop should reflect the image of your facility and convey a welcoming message. The language used on the signs should align with the overall brand image. Additionally, the readability of the signs from a distance is crucial to attract potential customers.

Interior Displays and Colors

Once inside, the interior displays play a vital role in shaping the customer’s perception. Are the displays shoppable and reflective of the shop’s image? The colors and lighting within the shop also influence the customer’s mood and perception. Warm and inviting colors can create a reassuring atmosphere, while proper lighting can enhance the visibility of merchandise.

The Impact of Biases on Decision-Making

It’s important to note that biases can influence decision-making processes. For instance, the case of Walgreens, a major retailer, serves as a cautionary tale. The company’s decision to increase security and lock merchandise displays due to shoplifting concerns led to revenue loss and customer dissatisfaction. This decision was driven by confirmation bias, where existing beliefs were reinforced by selective data, ultimately leading to costly consequences.


In conclusion, the first impression of your shop has a profound impact on customer purchasing decisions and return rates. By carefully considering the location, signage, exterior and interior displays, and being mindful of biases in decision-making, you can create a welcoming and visually appealing environment that enhances the overall shopping experience. Remember, the visual impact of your shop is a powerful tool in attracting and retaining customers, and it should be a top priority in your business strategy. The insights shared in this article were inspired by Tracy Moffatt’s enlightening ‘7 Second Shop Impression’ seminar, reflecting her deep understanding and extensive experience in the retail sector.

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