Even though the retail industry seems to be shifting more and more towards being internet based, 4 out 5 people still enjoy shopping at brick and mortar stores. Retailers need to invest time and resources when designing their retail space in order to attract as many potential buyers as possible. Customers are creatures of habit which makes how they behave predictable and retail stores can easily take advantage of this predictability with space designs that increase sales.
Retail space is the last stop in the manufacturing chain and has the main goal of encouraging consumers to buy their products. This means store layouts should be designed in a way that directs shoppers to see as many products as possible. Planning and designing retail space for buyers should be at the forefront of every owners mind before opening their business or even choosing a building to lease.
Designing Retail Space With Customer Flow
Understanding customer flow in the retail environment is essential in planning the store layout and providing the best customer experience. Interior designers, architects and contractors all base their floor plans around concepts that influence customer flow and trigger buying behavior. How a customer interacts with a stores products is largely determined by a store’s layout and is the number one factor to consider when designing retail space for buyers.
Designing Retail Space For Buyers
- Decompression Zone. This is the most important area of a store since it is where customers get their first impressions. Customers use this area to determine what type of merchandise is being sold and what kind of value of a retail store offers. Make sure this area is welcoming to customers and by no means cramped. A good strategy is for a store to place their best products in the decompression zone so customers will be interested to explore further.
- Customers Turn Right. 9 out of every 10 customers will turn to the right once they enter a retail space. It only makes sense that this behavior should be exploited with a power wall in the front right section of the store to capture the attention of consumers. Make the power wall stands out over all other displays and showcase the stores most popular merchandise. Make use of the entire wall with colorful designs to maximize the effectiveness of the power wall.
- Create Buying Path. Once customers enter the store and make that right turn to see the power wall they should be guided the rest of the way. Creating a path that allows shoppers to see most of a stores items increases the chances they will make a purchase. The buying path can easily be created using a different flooring compared to the rest of the store or by simply laying down a rug. Placing attention grabbing displays at the end of isles can also encourage customers to follow a certain path.
- Disperse Staple Items. Placing the items that customers need in strategic locations throughout the store can be extremely beneficial. Generally a store should have the majority of their staple items as far away from the entrance as possible. This simple strategy forces customers to pass by other merchandise on their way towards the staple items. A reasonable attempt should be made to spread out staple items in different locations throughout the store if possible. Staple items should only be included in the decompression zone when combined with impulse goods for maximizing profitability
- Eye Level Profit. Products that have the highest profit should be placed on eye level shelves throughout the retail space. Statistics show that items located at eye level of consumers receive 35 percent more attention than those placed elsewhere. Upper and lower shelves should be reserved for merchandise that is considered to be low profit.
Designing retail space for buyers is more important today than it ever has been since less people are visiting retail stores. Retail store owners must deploy a successful store design strategy in order to maximize the opportunity that is presented with each visitor. Store layout and retail design should be an evolving process that continues to change as their consumers change. Observing the way customers react to certain displays or products will provide ideas on how to deliver the best customer experience and increase sales.
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