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Retail has been around for a mighty long time — and one thing we know is that there are many different approaches when it comes to retail design and setting up your store layout. However, there are also some common design strategies that all retailers can employ that lead to more sales for your business.
From telling your brand's story and creating immersive shopping experiences, to putting together head-turning window displays and signage essentials, when it comes to retail, the devil really is in the details. It's vital to keep this fact in mind: From the moment someone steps into your store to the time they decide to check out, smart design decisions make a significant difference in regards to whether you make a sale or not.
Entre the threshold
The threshold area, also known as the "decompression zone," is the space where your customers make the transition from the outside world and first experience what you have to offer.
At this point, shoppers also make critical judgments like how cheap or expensive your store is likely to be and how well coordinated your lighting, fixtures, displays, and colors are. Since they're in a transition mode, customers are more likely to miss any product or signage you place there.
Off to the right
It's a well-known fact in the retail community that most of consumers turn right unconsciously upon entering a store. The first wall they see is often referred to as a "power wall," which acts as a high-impact first impression vehicle for your merchandise. So, be sure to give it extra special attention in terms of what you choose to display and how you display it, whether it's your new or seasonal items, high-profit or high-demand products
Have Shoppers Walk a Path
As a retailer, it's possible to use furniture, displays, racks, and other tools to create a clear path for your customers through your store. You know that most customers will naturally turn right — so, your next job is to make sure that as they do, they also continue walking throughout your store to gain the maximum exposure to your products. This not only increases the chances of them making a purchase, but a well-thought-out path can be a great way to strategically control the ebb and flow of foot traffic in your store.
Slow Them Down
With all the time and effort you've put into merchandising your products, the last thing you want is for incoming customers to hurry past them — this ultimately limits the number of products they'll purchase. One way retailers combat this is through creating breaks that force them to pause. Essentially, this can be anything that gives customers a visual break and can be achieved through signage or special/seasonal displays.
Make Sure Shoppers Are Comfortable
a typical customer, especially women, will avoid going after merchandise in an aisle where they could potentially brush another customer's backside. This holds true even if the customer is very interested in a given product. An easy way to avoid this problem is to ensure that your aisle allow customers to have more space when browsing your products.
You can also make your store comfortable by incorporating a waiting area to encourage customers to spend more time in your store. This is especially helpful for shoppers accompanied by someone who isn't interested in making a purchase. But keep the seats or benches facing the merchandise so that they're still top of mind for those lounging around in your store.
Lastly, Check Them Out (Not Literally)
A good rule of thumb to remember is that the checkout should be located at a natural stopping point in the shopping experience that you've purposefully designed.
If customers naturally turn right when they enter, and you guide them to circle all the way around, you'll realize that the front left is probably the ideal location for your checkout counter. You'll have to use your best judgment on the most natural point to have that check-out counter.
Have a counter that's big enough for shoppers to place their bags and/or personal belongings. Take advantage of the wall behind the counter to create interesting and engaging displays. Encourage impulse purchases by stocking items customers crave or commonly need close by.
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