Retail stores tend to focus on appearance and functional considerations intended to maximize space efficiency. Yet there is far more to consider if you want to add personality to your space and offer your clients an optimal shopping experience. Here are 5 things you can’t ignore in your retail store design.
Assuming that loud background music will put customers in the right mood to buy your stuff is a mistake. You actually want to dampen the outside noise, whether mall traffic or literal traffic. Now your store feels like an oasis and you’re free to set the mood for your customers. One of the most efficient ways to achieve this is by adding acoustic plasterboard to your ceilings.
How Your Products Look
There are too many retailers that focus on the lighting, the images on the walls, the appearance of the storefront and then ignore how the merchandise looks. Someone attracted by the lovely mannequins in the window will be turned off by random piles of clothes on the shelves instead of neatly folded stacks.
Empty racks and shelves are even worse, since it suggests you don’t care to keep what you’re promoting in stock, though that may be the result of staff not keeping publicly seen inventory visible. When racks are neatly organized so that you can quickly find what you’re interested in, you make a sale. When items are disorganized or even impossible to find, you lose out on that sale while reducing the odds they’ll ever come back.
The Flow of the People
Your store needs to have a clearly defined path for your customers that doesn’t crowd them or bother them. For example, having your checkout line block the entry of new customers will hurt your sales.
Expecting people to weave through crowded aisles only works if they know there is a clear benefit, whether getting deep discounts at the dollar store or buying essentials at the grocery store. For every other retailer, you need to ensure that customers are not crowded and don’t feel like they’re made to hike to find what they want.
Nor should they have to hunt for things – have logical groupings for each product type. Depending on the size of the store, you may want to have separate cash registers so that people don’t have to cross the store to check out, since each step they take reduces the odds they’ll actually complete the transaction.
The Checkout Stand
You need to ensure that the checkout location itself serves people’s needs. A minimalist checkout stand becomes a hindrance when staff have to spend several minutes sorting, organizing and ringing up items. Having checkout stands too far from where staff may be working when there isn’t a customer waiting hurts you, too, if customers have to wait for someone to check them out.
All these elements are conducive to a good shopping experience. They can also facilitate work and customer flow and positively affect your customer conversion rates.