Everyone creates shopping lists or goes to stores to buy what they "need." Right? At least that's what we say to ourselves when we walk into the store. The reality is that we usually walk out with way more than we had planned to purchase. Why? It's not only the fact that we "think" we forgot to add it to our lists, but actually, the most successful retailers put a great deal of research and thought into store layout and design to maximize consumer demand.
Here are quick 10 tips that will help improve your retail store layout and increase your sales.
1. Welcoming and astonishing entrances. Take the time to invest in eye-catching entrances. Place signage to attract customers inside and make sure you feature a few products to attract people who are window-shopping.
2. Striking First Impression. Once customers enter you store, having a dazzling display up-front should make them slow down, get excited, and decide to spend some time. If you have a small store, use lower shelving units with shorter pegs and narrower shelves. This makes the store look full without having to stock too much merchandise, as well as allows customers to see farther into the shop, says Pat Johnson, co-owner of the Seattle-based consulting firm Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists.
3. Aisle Allocation. Place major products in the middle or towards the end of aisles to make sure the customer has to walk the furthest to reach them.
4. Handy Baskets/Bags. Handing out baskets or bags to customers when they come in most likely will increase the chances of multiple purchases, since often people feel embarrassed of taking the basket to the counter with only one item.
5. In-store Music. This is a given. What we want to reinforce is that the music should be appropriate to your buyer. Music relaxes customers and slows their sense of time, so that they spend more of it with you.
6. Odd Pricing or Irrational Pricing. This involves setting the price of a product at say $9.99 instead of $10.00 to increase the buyer’s memory processing time. Due to the vast amount of information customers process, the information on price is stored in a very short interval of time and it's usually the first digits. Therefore, customers perceive they are getting a better price.
7. Direct Customers to the Right. According to Brian Dyches, chief experience officer of retail branding firm Ikonic Tonic, studies have shown that most people naturally look first left, then right as they enter a store. Shoppers usually then prefer to move right and walk counter-clockwise around the store. Therefore, position major products to the right of the store.
8. Comfy Seats/Benches. In addition to aiding the shopper, seats and benches enable customers to spend more time shopping in the store. When placing them throughout the store, position them in a way that the seats and benches are facing the merchandise to ensure customers remain focused on the shopping experience.
9. Eye Level Product Allocation. Planogramming teaches us that you should place products with higher profit margins on shelves that are at the shoppers' eye level. This will increase the frequency that shoppers choose these products vs. those at the bottom.
10. Product Grouping. Whenever possible, group products that complement each other to entice customers to buy more.
The lessons of retail store layout and design provide a powerful tool for increasing sales and profitability. Try one tip a time. Experiment. Talk to peers. Discover what works and doesn't work for your store.
As always, contact your McVan Representative for more in-depth information and advice about applying these tips to your store and needs. Let’s brainstorm together!