The world of retail is one that has gone through some changes over the years, but the defining business principle remains the same – convincing customers to buy from you. In the world of online shopping, this is more important than ever. But increasing your sales doesn’t have to be all about the actual selling approach; the shopping environment that you create is also hugely important. Though there are various ways that you can set out your shop, there are a few key ideas that remain the same for all retail environments. So, in this post, we are going to cover off these basic points to help you create a retail environment that should make a big difference to the number of sales that you make and, therefore, your bottom line profit.
Step into the Threshold
The threshold area is the first impression will get of your store. Perhaps they have heard about your shop before or they have been attracted by your window display. Whatever the case, you need to greet them in the right way. They will begin to make instant judgements about the level of value at your store, as well as snap decisions about the decor etc. Make sure that you have thought through all the details. Start off from the bottom. Have you looked how much does polished concrete cost? Next, you need to consider lighting that ensures your customers aren’t squinting into the darkness. Then, you need to decide on a colour scheme, as well as other key details including fixtures and displays. Since customers are processing all this information very quickly, they are more likely to miss any products or signage that you place here, so bear this in mind when you are setting out your store.
Start from the Right
It is a well-known fact in the world of retail that customers generally will unconsciously turn right upon entering a store. The first wall of products that they see is crucial as this serves to give a high-impact first impression of your merchandise, so make sure that you pay particular attention to the items that you wish to display and how you set them out. Maybe this is where you will put your biggest sellers or perhaps you will choose to put some seasonal items up there. It could even be the place where you place items which are heavily discounted.
Let Customers Walk a Path
The path that you are able to lead your visitors on will depend very much on the size of your store, but you can start off with the knowledge that they generally want to turn right and work from here. Your next task is to make sure that they keep on walking to see as many of your products as possible. The longer they stay in your store and the more items that they see, the more likely it is that they will end up making a purchase. A lot of shops take guests on a circular path that leads customers to the back of the store and round to the front again. If you want your customers to get to the end of a particular aisle, positioning an eye-catching display there is a great way to grab their attention.
Slow Them Down
Just because you want your customers seeing everything that you have to offer, it doesn’t mean that you want them rushing to the end and back out of the door again. One way of combating this issue is by creating breaks along the way – sometimes referred to as ‘speed bumps’. A range of things can stop customers in their tracks, but the most effective ones tend to be signage and special displays. Rather than just having a continuous row of shelves, you can also position ‘outposts’ to break up your display and slow customers down. It is worth changing these on a fairly regular basis for the benefit of repeat visitors. Consider the shopper’s perspective, keeping the most in-demand products at eye-level as much as possible.
Keep Them Comfortable
You want your customers to be able to glide around your store with maximum ease, so try to set out your store in a way that provides maximum personal space for them. Another way to make your shop seem more inviting and comfortable is by putting in a waiting area with some comfortable seats and benches. This helps to keep from the non-shopping enthusiasts in the group from dragging the shoppers out of the store! Try to keep these facing your merchandise, You never know – the non-shopper may be struck by something that they simply have to buy!
Get Them Checked Out
Once your customers have finished with their shopping experience, they need to be able to pay as efficiently as possible. The checkout can either be located at a natural stopping point in your store or else a place which has been specifically designed to fulfil the purpose. Since customers naturally turn to the right, it makes sense that you put the checkout counter somewhere on the left. If you are managing the store on your own, it is essential that it is in a position where you can see as much of the environment as possible so customers can pay when they are ready. A common trick is to encourage any last-minute purchases by stocking a few final products by the till.
When you are designing the interior of your store, this is a process which you can continually tweak and adjust to make life as easy and enjoyable as possible for your customers. Test out the customer journey that they will take around your store to get the best idea of how they will move around the environment. It is always worth observing your customers to see what they are naturally drawn to so that you can continue to make improvements to your retail environment and ultimately, increase your sales.