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5 Retail Design Tips From Shopfitting Experts

As a shop owner, you may feel that the way your store looks is less important than the products you stock, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The art of selling is an intricate game with a lot of components and product placement and shop design go hand in hand to create sales. It’s been proven time after time that changing the layout of a store or optimizing the store design can have a huge effect on sales which is why more business owners are prioritizing shop design above all else. In this article, you can find 5 tips from expert shopfitters, which can help you to improve your store design and boost sales.

1. Be Aware of Your Store’s Traffic Flow

Most retailers record things like footfall and sales, but what they fail to pay attention to is what shoppers do between the door and the checkout, or more importantly, where they go. The way that customers choose to move when they enter the store is of utmost importance as it will help you to maximize sales via placement of ‘hot’ products within the store.

Studies have already been done on retail traffic flow, and have proven that customers choose their direction based on the road traffic direction of the country they live in. This means that countries with right-hand driving will most likely move in a clockwise direction and customers who live in a country with left-hand driving will move counterclockwise. On the surface, this may seem like an arbitrary fact, but knowing the route that customers are going to take through your store can be used to inform decisions about layout and product placement.

2. Don’t Put High-Ticket Items At the Front of the store

The entrance to your store and the next few feet of space are known by retail experts as ‘the decompression zone’. Essentially, this zone is the space that entering customer use to adjust to the new surroundings. If your shop has a change in lighting, music or temperature from the outside of the store, which most do, then customers need a few seconds to adjust before they actually begin looking at the items in front of them. Despite the adjustment, shoppers will not stop walking, they will simply career past the items at the front of your store without noticing them at all.

This is why it is important to fill that area with lower ticket items that aren’t as important to your sales. Higher ticket or popular items are best displayed behind the decompression zone so that the customers notice them once they’re focused and ready to browse.

3. Maximize your Q-Line potential

The Q-line area is the place where customers will wait to be served if there is a queue. Unfortunately, business owners often overlook the potential of this area and don’t take advantage of impulse buys. When a customer is waiting to be served, there are two things we know to be true:

– They’re already prepared to spend money

– They’re killing time and will be more interested in their surroundings

These two factors combined create the perfect atmosphere for a customer to impulse buy, which is what makes the Q-line area so important. Whilst it’s unwise to place high ticket items in this area, small and cheap items sell much better in this area than anywhere in the store. Once the customer has already made the decision to buy the items they’re waiting to pay for, a few extra dollars for a small, useful item is more likely to appeal to them. A good Q-line is filled with things that everybody uses, but nobody will go to a store specifically to buy. Good choices for this area are socks, underwear, and toiletries in fashion stores and snacks and cold drinks in food stores and supermarkets.

4. Don’t Cram Too Much In

When most store owners pay for their retail space by the square meter, it can be tempting to use every inch of space available to house products. Whilst this may seem like a great tactic to increase sales, overfilled stores have been proven to put off potential customers from buying products, or in some cases even prevent customers from entering the store at all.

For shoppers, finding the right items is much like eating a meal; A large plate that is stuffed with many different items can be over facing and cause you to lose your appetite, whereas a well-presented meal with small plates which you can enjoy at your own leisure is much more appealing and will lead to you consuming more food overall. This is an important fact to remember about shoppers when choosing how to layout your store. Select your products wisely, display them neatly and give shoppers enough room to maneuver and breathe, and this will help to boost your sales.

5. Refresh your Displays Regularly

Displays such as product displays and window displays can often be the reason that customers choose to enter your store. If your displays remain the same for a long time, customers may be discouraged from entering the store, as they may feel they have already seen everything you have to offer. Whilst it’s tempting to hold on to a good display, as they take a lot of time to create, it’s important to create a fresh look to entice customers. Even if you haven’t changed your product line much, you should still try to create a new feature, as it may encourage customers that have already seen the products to look at them again, maybe even in a different light.