Jay Helliwell
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Designing A Retail Environment That Sells

Jay Helliwell

November 26, 2015

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The success of any retail businesses is heavily dependent on creating a positive shopping experience for the customer. The customer journey, from entering the shop to leaving the car park, must be excellent. Your bottom line depends on the ability of your staff and your shop setting impressing your customer base. After all, every retailer is reliant on repeat customers and word of mouth advertising.

Creating your retail layout

To design your shop layout you need to do some research. What do your competitors do? What do customers buying goods in your niche like? You could consider an open floor layout where with bulk of the goods are displayed towards the centre, on low shelves. Alternatively, if prefer to have customers walking down aisles and impulse buying a grid layout is best.  The most important thing is to plan your customer engagement strategy in terms of both staff interactions on their journey, and the physical journey they take through the store. Getting the layout wrong can be an expensive mistake.

Reduce counter clutter to the barest minimum

Today, customers favour more interactive shop environments rather than people stood passively behind counters. Therefore, instead of having your workers behind counters away from clients, they should be moving around the shop ground to interact with your customers. Some retailers, such as B & Q have even taken to having a ‘greeter’ at the entrance of stores to point people in the right direction.

Counters holding goods can be replaced by Slat Wall Hooks. There should only be counters for checkout. Big retail stores have open counters around the shop floor as interaction points to check stock for clients and complete transactions. This works well and can lead to an environment that feels more ‘helpful’.

Get your lead items in prime position

Experts say customers impulsively turn to the right when they walk into a shop. It is therefore best to position flagship goods around this area. This way, you can draw more attention to them. Your big ticket items can make the difference between success and failure, so make sure your present them with super displays. The psychology of marketing is complex, but you need to make sure you are focusing on the benefits they can provide, and that your staff are well-trained to talk about them.

Get the lighting right

Good visibility will improve the feel around the shop and make it easier for customers to see all your products. It will equally reduce inventory loss as a result of shop lifting. Making the place too bright can kill the atmosphere in certain types of shop, so think carefully about the level of lighting that will most appeal to your customers.

Create an appealing entrance

The entrance to your shop is where you lure in new customers. Arrange goods in a creative manner and create catchy adverts that will attract passers-by to come in and have a look at what you have to offer.

Your profitability is dependent on your ability to interact with your customers, and show them how your products can fulfil their needs. Assess and analyse the market, and ask your customers what they like and what they don’t. Gather information and make informed choices about how you design your retail environment.


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