Your store’s layout should be one of the key strategies in your retail success. As a retailer, your store’s layout influences your customers’ behavior by directing the store’s flow, merchandise placement and general ambiance. Store layout also helps businesses understand how much revenue per square foot they are making. This in return can help assess the strengths and weaknesses in your merchandising mix.
The longer the customer stays within the store the higher the chances they will pick up more products. So, the average basket value of items your customers will purchase will increase with the amount of time they spend at your store.
A successful store should keep a customer interested and finally convert the window shopper into an actual customer. Customers in return want the shopping process to be easy and satisfying. They prefer a pleasant shopping environment where aisles are wide, the merchandise is easy to find and there are sufficient items.
Store Layout Tips
Store layout can affect everything from traffic flow to brand building and even your bottom line. Here are 20 store layout tips to help you maximize sales.
Start with an Attractive Window Display
Window displays are important to draw customers from the street and into your shop. They can be the initial attraction to bring customers into a store and help communicate the shop’s image to the consumers as well as to distinguish itself from its competitors. Window displays are the first touchpoint to attract, engage, and motivate the customer towards making a purchase.
Offer a Welcoming Tone
Make sure your store looks appealing from the outside. Have a welcome mat at the door. Make sure to clean the windows, keep the sidewalks swept and pick up trash. Have staff greet clients as they come in.
Decide on How You Want Customers to Move Through the Store
Floor space utilization is key for retail stores. There are several floor layout plans depending on what you sell and the size of your floor space. The floor space of a retail store has been found to significantly impact a retailer’s overall performance through its influence on information processing, purchase intentions, and attitude toward the retail establishment.
In conventional retailing, there are several common store layouts used. These might include grid, free form, racetrack and serpentine layouts. However, in real life, the retail area would combine these types of layouts rather than being restricted to using only one type for the entire retail setting.
Good store layout also influences shopping decisions. If a good layout is not there, then customers might not find the items they are looking for.
Focus on Aisle Design
The structure of your aisles is also important. a well-designed aisle structure, should not start with the arrangement of shelves and categorization of products. But should instead focus on the customer behavior and the customer experiences you want to achieve.
Aisles should be clear and flowing so customers won’t have to wonder how to get from one place to the next.
Settle on an Effective Shelf Display
Another issue for retailers in shop design is to optimize the allocation of products by the way the shelves have been designed. The location of a product in a shop can make a crucial difference to its sales. The shelf may be the most precious real estate in retail where as much as 80% of all purchase decisions are made at the point of sale.
Place the Important Stuff at Eye Level
Eye-level shelving followed by waist-level is the best place to attract sales in products. Customer response to shelf locations also depends on factors such as the product package, size and visibility.
Ensure Product Quantities are Appropriate
The amount of stock to display in your store will depend on the size of your shop, the image you want to project, and the type of experience you want to create.
Having more products on the sales floor can increase sales. Especially if you are a discount retailer and want to make the most out of your store space.
Conversely, having too much product on the sales floor can also lead to a decline in brand perception. Particularly if you’re trying to position yourself as a high-end retailer. Too much merchandise can also overwhelm customers.
Design for Customers
A surprising 90% of customers automatically turn right after entering a store, and most prefer to move through stores in a counterclockwise direction. You can use this to your advantage, and put your most important products and displays to the right side. These may include new arrivals, must-have markdowns and marketing pieces.
Freshen up Displays Regularly
As a retailer you want people to regularly come to your store. As such you must always capture the imagination of your customers. Switch up your merchandising whenever new products come in, change the outfits of your mannequins or feature different offerings every other week.
The last thing you want is for customers to get so accustomed to your store, it doesn’t even register when they pass by.
Grouping your merchandise into neat categories or departments can help boost sales. Start by identifying products that go well together and put them in a single display. If you have low selling items, this is one way you can move them.
Play Good Music
There is a reason why convenience stores play music. Many stores use background music to connect with their customers and generate more sales. Experiment with music of different genres and tempos to create different moods within your store.
By changing the tempo and style of background music you can create a visible change in the atmosphere. As music can affect the perception of time. For example, a long line at the register can feel shorter with good background music playing.
Have Good Lighting
Lighting for any retail environment has the potential to dramatically affect sales. Lighting can increase floor traffic, create visual interest and direct people through the store-either deeper. This includes areas of a particular product you are trying to promote.
With the right store lighting, you can increase ambient-light levels to help create a comfortable environment. This allows customers to evaluate the merchandise with greater ease.
Use Video to Grab Attention
Videos are a great way to grab customers’ attention. This is because videos tell your brand’s story in a far more engaging format than either text or photo. This allows your brand to become more memorable and engaging in the eyes of your customers. With the right content, they will interact with video display screens in front of them.
Display Impulse Products at Checkout
Checkouts are an opportune place to target impulse buying. Price is one of the most important factors in choosing the right products to use for impulse displays. Especially for checkout and point-of-purchase impulse buying, it’s best to keep the price under or about $20.
This will help you boost purchase values with products that customers are ready to buy without too much consideration. Displaying products that are on sale also brings the urgency of a limited-time promotion as a motivator for impulse buying.
Use Color to Convince Customers
Use appropriate color pallets to convince customers. Red color in signage often indicates urgency and promotes sales. Blue offers reliability and fosters trust, while green provides tranquility and relaxes customers.
Use Product Categorization
Clear product categorization that is either visible at the threshold or from outside plays a big part in influencing the direction of foot traffic on entry. This is because customers looking for specific items use visual cues to decide how they will navigate the store.
Having a good product categorization plan that allows customers to easily navigate through your shop will helping speed up decision making. The size of category signage can vary widely from lettering that is a few feet in height to merely inches.
Position Staff and Service Counters Accordingly
This will depend on the particular retail environment. In service retailers such as mobile phones, customers tend to head straight for the counters upon entry. While browsing environments such as supermarkets or book stores people tend to avoid counters and staff until they either require assistance or are ready to pay.
You will need to position your staff accordingly so that customers do not have to go look for store help.
Optimize Product Position
You should where you place products by the level of foot traffic in your store. High margin items should be in high traffic areas and high demand items in low traffic. At the same time, placing complementary items near each other can optimize product positioning.
On the other hand, you can place items that need frequent restocking near storerooms or cash registers.
Let your Customers Stay Longer
Make sure that customers spend more time appreciating your products. The longer they stay in the store, the bigger the chances of them buying something. So, create captivating displays or other eye-catching visuals to get them to stay a little longer. Why not provide space to allow areas to relax or offer refreshments while shopping?
Speed Up the Checkout Process
All paths lead up to the checkout process. You should make sure the checkout is quick, easy, and above all pleasant. Customers expect the checkout process to be simple and quick, and when it is not they feel frustrated. Keeping your customers’ checkout wait time to a minimum is key to creating a positive experience that generates repeat business.
More in: Marketing 101
It was interesting to learn about how blue can create reliability and trust and red can promote sales so that they can more easily convince their customer to buy with a sense of urgency. I can see how it could be really useful for a business to sell things faster and be a smoother experience for the customers. It could be really useful for them to get some self labels that are electronic from a professional because they can be more accurate