Did you know that your shop’s design can actually have a significant impact on customer engagement and sales? From drawing someone into your store to ensuring that they leave after making a few purchases, successful retail design is really all about understanding what moves a potential shopper and influences their buying decisions.
Which is why, today, we’ll be exploring some of the basics of retail space planning. Space planning is essentially the art and science of organising store elements to help shoppers navigate with ease and also get them to stay in your store longer. An important thing to remember is that from the moment a potential customer steps in until they decide to checkout, your design decisions will determine whether you make a sale or not.
Benefits of retail space planning
One of the biggest benefits of retail space planning is that you’ll end up with a layout that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but is also very functional and easy to navigate in. This will in turn help your products to sell faster.
Steps for effective retail space planning
Think about the entry
The entry point or the decompression zone, as it is popularly referred to as, is where your potential customer transitions from the outside world into your store space. It is the space that prepares him/her for what lies ahead. So, to craft an appealing and enticing decompression zone, you’ll want to
- Create a wide and clutter-free space
- Make entry easy and obstruction-free, with a clear overview of the merchandise on display
- Avoid any marketing gimmick, this can be potentially distracting
- Create a space that is welcoming and not cloistering
Direct your Customers
It’s very important for retailers to ensure that shoppers have it easy when it comes to finding products. This is why, a right to left (counter-clockwise) approach works very well. Since most people are right handed, they will turn to the right by instinct. Many stores will have a circular path while some will make it easier for shoppers to navigate by colouring the path or covering it in a different texture.
Now slow them down
Now that your prospective customer is inside the store and browsing through you goods, a good idea is to get them to slow down with speed bumps. Provide a few visual beaks by incorporating special offers, signages, or popular merchandise, halfway along a particular section. This will ensure that shoppers end up walking all the way to end of the aisle exploring these items.
Another interesting space planning technique is to do away with windows. Often this shuts out any distraction and connection with the outside world, helping shoppers lose track of time and by that spending more time at your store.
Stocking staples or frequently used items at the back of the store is another effective space planning technique. This automatically increases the time a shopper will spend at your store, also creating opportunities for impulse purchases.
Throw in some comfort
Make it a comfortable and memorable experience for your shoppers by creating a waiting zone with chairs or benches. Shoppers are automatically motivated to spend more time at your shop. Keep these benches facing the merchandise, so visibility is high and your products are on their mind, while they wait or lounge around.
While shelf-spacing is a debatable topic with retailers having a bunch of different approaches, some of the popular techniques include:
- Placing products at eye-level
- Placing products at the end of the aisle, for maximising visibility.
Another valuable tip is to observe your customer closely and notice what it is that draws them in, as well as their overall response to your store’s layout. You see, designing a shop’s interior is a never-ending process. You’re always going to want to tweak, change and add on elements in your bid to improve the customer’s experience. And this matters tremendously because ultimately it is what will influence your company’s bottom-line.
Now, if you’re on the lookout for professional guidance for your retail design project, we can help with that too. Give us a call on 1800 551 225 today.