Opening a new retail store is a major undertaking for any person or business. Even with e-commerce dominating the landscape, there is still an art to producing an effective retail outlet, and a well-designed store will maximise your chances of success. Here are four design tips for designing your first retail store.
One of the most important decisions that you need to make when designing a retail store is deciding on the right floor layout. Put simply, your floor layout is the way that you arrange everything on your shop floor. The relative positions that you choose for your stock, your main displays, your sales counters, and the pathways that you create through your store will all affect the way that your store feels for customers and staff.
Not only this, but the floor layout that you choose will also have an impact on your sales. There is a science to producing an effective floor plan for a retail store, and more psychology goes into it than many people realise. Of course, every business is different and will have different stock and customer demographics. As a result, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to your floor plan; it’s something that you should put some serious thought into.
One of the most difficult things to get right when designing a floor plan for retail space is creating the right pathways for customers to follow. Stores need to strike the right balance between enabling customers to move through the store efficiently while also encouraging them to walk past as many products as possible. Whether you are aware of it or not, just about every store and shopping mall that you have ever been in has been carefully laid out so that you pass by as many of the stands and products on offer as possible.
Some store managers get hung up on the seemingly-insignificant decision of whether you layout the store so that customers travel clockwise or counterclockwise. While this sounds like a completely arbitrary decision, there is actually some genuine psychology behind it. Studies have shown that the side of the road people drive on affects their natural tendencies when they are exploring a store. People from Australia and the UK, where people drive on the left, are more likely to turn left and travel clockwise when they enter a store. Conversely, people that usually drive on the right will do the opposite.
Designing a safe and secure retail store for both your staff and customers should be a top priority. Not only will a lack of security leave your stock and other assets at risk, but the damage caused by someone trying to force entry to the premises can also be very expensive. The best defence against this is one of deterrence. If your store looks secure when it is closed, then potential thieves passing by are less likely to target you.
For example, an easy way of immediately making your store a less attractive target is to invest in roller shutters. Rollersmart Roller Shutters will keep your store more secure when it’s closed without impacting on its appearance when it’s open. Not only are Rollersmart’s shutters made to a high-quality from marine grade aluminium but they can also be controlled via mobile phone, which is relatively unique. Rollersmart staff can also provide you with recommendations prior to installation to ensure that you get the right shutters for your store.
Ideally, you want to have everything that you sell in your store represented on the shop floor. If customers can’t see the products, they cannot buy them. We have already touched on the importance of positioning your products in the right places, but you also need to decide on a suitable quantity for each. For example, it makes more sense to have your most popular products displayed the most prominently so customers can easily find them. You should also keep a reasonable number of each product on the shop floor so that displays can be easily replaced.
Research has consistently shown that stores with more products on display will make more sales. Customers like variety, even if they are only in your store for a single, specific product. A well laid-out retail store is more likely to attract impulse buys. This means that someone might come into your store to by a single specific item but then end up buying something else on impulse.
Designing your retail store the right way will make an enormous difference in terms of both the experience that your customers have and the profitability of your business. Don’t just lay everything out haphazardly, and don’t be afraid to take your design cues from other successful stores.