The layout of a retail store can be the difference between a great shopping experience and one that sends shoppers home empty-handed. As you plan the layout of your store, consider how you can use the organization to make customers feel at home and overcome the obstacles to the buying process.
Show your customers how your products will fit into their lives, and set up miniature experiences that people can walk through. If you sell home products, for example, you might set up room displays that use your wares. In doing so, you can give customers an idea of the possibilities and serve as an inspiration. By putting your products in simulated environments, you can show the ways they can be used and create something to aspire to: a beautiful home or an active lifestyle, for example.
In many stores, customers are unable to touch products that are in packaging. To make your store stand out and give shoppers a chance to engage with different products on the floor, create an interactive layout. Instead of forcing customers to make decisions based on packaging, put out a display model for each item. Set up items so that they work: provide power to electronics, for example, or put out a dirty carpet to demonstrate a vacuum's strength. The tactile experience can be the thing that helps convince customers to buy.
Focus on Comfort
Keep the comfort of your customers in mind when designing a store layout, particularly if they will be waiting or if they can experience a product better when sitting down. A clothing store can make shopping more pleasurable by providing couches near the fitting rooms, while a bookstore can provide seating areas and accessible step ladders in convenient spots around the floor. If your store caters to families, consider creating a play area to keep kids entertained and parents happy.
Create an experience that leads customers through the store by designing a layout that is logical and sequential. Arrange shelves and display units so they create paths; you can even go so far as to put arrows on the floor to point the way. Place items along the path in a way that will make the shopping experience easy and seamless. In a grocery store, for example, you might put nonperishable foods first and frozen goods last to avoid melting. Place the products you want to push in prominent positions.