Improving store layout to increase sales

shutterstock_17413135If you own a store, it might surprise you to learn just how much the layout of your space can affect the way that customers interact with your merchandise. In fact, a well designed store can ultimately affect how much a customer spends, and even whether or not they come back to you in future.

Interested to find out how to improve your store’s layout to increase sales? Read on…

Draw customers in with an attractive window display

A good shop window has a huge impact on a customer. Get them off the street and into your shop using emotion, humour or creativity in your window display. You can use a theme to help direct your designs, and in fact you really ought to if you want to capitalise on sales during certain times of the year such as Christmas, summer sales or Valentines day.

Don’t clutter the entrance way

Doubtless you’re familiar with your shop’s layout, but customers need a moment to acclimatise to your store. Shoppers will be adjusting to the lighting, music and layout, and will be making a decision about which direction to walk in within a few short seconds. Therefore, don’t place too many promotional offers in the entrance way and leave a generous empty space for shoppers to get their bearings and pick up a basket. No-one likes feeling claustrophobic or overwhelmed in what’s known as a store’s ‘decompression zone’.

Consider the direction your customers will move in

Grocery stores tend to be structured on a grid based design, so that shoppers can navigate their way around easily while they work back and forwards through their shopping lists. On the other hand, big retailers such as IKEA guide their customers in a set direction by providing a circular walkway with arrows in a bid to get shoppers to put more in their trolleys. Whichever you opt for, bear in mind that most people are right handed and are therefore going to be right footed, heading round your store in an anti-clockwise direction.

Make sure traffic can flow easily and safely

Good lighting is necessary for people to be able to see the products you have on offer, and is an important safety consideration too. Similarly, the right floor surface is crucial, so consider using anti slip coatings or Rawlins’ industrial paints on the floor to ensure that shoppers can move around your store without feeling like they’re skating on ice. As you’re thinking about the safety aspect of your store, remember that aisles need to be wide enough for two people to move down in opposite directions, and consider the fact that people will give up shopping for an item if they have to bottleneck in an area.

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of positioning

It’s important not just to appeal to the purchaser (normally an adult), but to the influencer too (usually a child). This is why you should position children’s products at their eye level. And, promotional products should be placed in traffic ‘hotspots’ to ensure special offers receive plenty of footfall, whereas lower profit, higher demand items should be put in the back of the store to encourage customers to work their way through the whole shop.