Whether starting to design a retail store’s floor plan or thinking of revamping its current layout, there are a plethora of options to optimize every square foot of the space. A store’s layout depends on the kind of products sold, the location of the store and how much the business can spend on store design.
Here are some tips to design a layout which can help make the best use of the available area, keeping customer experience, appropriate merchandising and flexibility in mind.
1. Getting the most out of the entrance
The main door to any retail outlet gains the maximum footfall. It is vital to have an eye-catching store entrance but make sure it isn’t crowded. Just presenting one or two main offers which will attract potential buyers is sufficient. The idea is to catch a consumer’s attention as they walk past the store or as soon as they walk in.
2. Creating adequate shopping space
Market researcher and behavioral research expert, Paco Underhill believes that people will avoid looking at a product or walking into an aisle if there isn’t sufficient space, even if they are interested in the items lined there. People tend to avoid bumping into others and seeing overstocked shelves. Store designs should offer wider aisles and small shelves. Giving products the space they deserve is equally important. Products should be easily accessible.
3. Providing convenience to consumers
When deciding on where to place products in a store, experts advise thinking from customer’s perspective. It is useful to put things in the way people think and use them. One might want to place products category wise, like all tiles in one section and tools needed for their installation in another section. This way buyers will have to look for things in different corners. The idea is to have better access and thus placing things based on how people will use them, is likely to get more attention.
4. Putting proper directions
Researchers believe that most people walk into a store looking for specific things. They might be looking for a bottle of blue ink or a pad of Sticky Notes. A store should be able to navigate them without them asking for assistance. Navigation signage is usually hung from the ceilings and can be of great benefit. If opting for these, one should consult experts and they can help figure out which spots are the most suitable for putting them.
5. Designing for dispersion
When creating the store layout, stock the high selling items further back from the entrance. This follows a simple philosophy, “the more they see, the more they buy.” So if one owns a convenience store putting milk, bread, and eggs farthest from the door could be done. Doing this helps customers see and browse things they don’t intend to buy.
6. Designing the details
In whichever way one chooses to create the layout, planning the details is important. Remove anything and everything from the shop which just fills space. Neat stores are more attractive and provide good shopping experiences. Floor plan, lighting, coloring and branding/re-branding have to be creatively and appropriately designed. It is also important to have a designated area for registers. Same goes with the stock room, back office, and toilets. Some stores also have adequate space for seating, adding a layer of comfort for the customers.
A store’s layout is imperative to the client’s experience. When one starts thinking of design, they should prioritize on how people are going to feel about their shopping experience. The layout should be seamless, ordered and logically built. Overall, giving the customers an experience they will remember, will make them come back again and again.