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.
Designing your retail store’s interior is a topic that we’ve been looking at recently in an effort to help boutique merchants be more successful and thrive in today’s digital era.
Not sure where to get started with your store layout and retail design? Here, we’ll look at some of the basics when it comes to creating effective retail interiors that attract more customers to your store, get them browsing for more products, and encourage them to head toward the checkout.
Enter the Threshold
The threshold area, also known as the “decompression zone,” is the very first space that prospective customers step into when they enter your store.
It typically consists of the first five to fifteen feet worth of space, depending on the overall size of your store. It’s also 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, signage, or carts you place there.
Off To the Right
It’s a well-known fact in the retail community that in North America, 90% 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.
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. This will vary greatly depending on the size and your general store layout.
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 properly 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. These are sometimes referred to as “speed bumps.” Essentially, this can be anything that gives customers a visual break and can be achieved through signage or special/seasonal displays.
emember to keep “higher-demand” products displayed at eye-level while placing lower-grossing products at the bottom or above eye level. Lastly, It’s recommended that you change up these speed bumps weekly or regularly enough to create a continued sense of novelty for repeat visitors.
Lastly, Check Them Out
Where you place your checkout counter and your POS in a physical retail store is a question you can ask yourself for days. However, 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 also want to keep in mind that if you’re a one-person show or don’t have staff wandering the store, it’ll be important to be able to see everything from a loss-prevention perspective.
The decoration of the shop and the interior of the store is a process that does not end.
In fact, you need to constantly change it, add parts to the store, or delete parts, in order to ultimately tailor your customer experience and customer path.