Does your “welcome” sign on the front door really welcome people with an inviting space and alluring atmosphere that will keep them shopping and coming back?
When planning the retail space of your new store, if you’re wondering how to create an interior space plan that attracts customers and encourages them to hang around, there is one spot you can head that will help you discover the best strategy for designing a thriving new store layout and building repeat business. Believe it or not, that spot is right in the middle of the competition.
Studying the competition is a tactic that legendary Wal-Mart icon and founder Sam Walton thrived on in the early years as he yearned to understand what made his retail competitor, Kmart successful.
“I was in their stores constantly because they were the laboratory, and better than we were. I spent a heck of a lot of time wandering through their stores talking to their people and trying to figure out how they did things. I’ve probably been in more Kmarts than anybody in the country,” Walton said shamelessly.
From shelf placement to register location, your new store’s efficiency can be enhanced by imitating what works best for the competition. Walton quickly learned that a store’s physical environment affects the ways in which shoppers interact with your merchandise and ultimately will affect how much customers spend when visiting. Look to the proven track record of the competition to build a strong brand, meet the needs of your customers and boost your bottom line. But first, you need to know a few things that Walton, and other retailers have found to be most effective when strategically planning your new store space and capturing the attention of prospects and loyal customers. Here are a few elements and logistics many retailers have implemented into their store layout that have proven to captivate shopping interest:
Studies have shown that the natural inclination of shoppers is to shop in a counterclockwise movement throughout the store. Any display set up to the right of the door is prime real estate and should be set up with high profit goods. Shoppers will pay attention to displays in this area, so target appropriately.
2. Shopping Carts
Shopping carts or baskets should be made available and you should make them big. When it comes to shopping carts, size matters because when they are full, customers feel compelled to complete their shopping, but if there is still room in the cart, more often than not, customers will continue to shop.
3. Key Items
When it comes to staple items, such as bread and milk in a grocery store or printer ink and paper for an office supply store, the most sought after items should be placed way in the back, as far away from the door as possible. Doesn’t make logistical sense to the consumer, but for retailers, sales are increased when the consumer has to walk through the store to get the “one thing” they came in for. When you increase the amount of time consumers spend in your store, the more items they see and the more times they are stimulated to add more to their giant shopping cart.
4. Influence the Influencer
Remember to take into account consumer psychology of the influencer when arranging the physical layout of your new store. Influencers may not actually be spending the money, but they definitely influence how much money will be spent. To appeal to the younger generation of influencers, place desirable items at eye level, that’s kid’s eye level, not parent eye level. Make it easier for folks to grab those “must have” products that will boost your profitability.
Don’t overlook the importance of creating a positive mood or atmosphere in your new store. If you are hoping to create the discount feel of getting a huge deal, shoppers respond well to a more stripped down environment. Nothing spells “deal” like exposed beam ceilings and stark overhead fluorescent lighting. Hoping to create an atmosphere of customer service with a boutique feel? Plush carpeting and soft lighting with touches of warm color appeal more to this crowd of shoppers.
6. Smell and Sound
Everyone knows there is no resisting the allure of a fresh, hot homebaked cookie. They entice and comfort. That’s why retailers are incorporating homemade baked goods into their daily shopping experience. They offer a persuasive pull and create a contented, settled feeling for the shopper. Consider bringing in your own version of homemade goodies or utilizing a scent generator to comfort your customers.
While they are enjoying the comfort food and shopping, you can fully enhance their shopping experience with a little music. Classical music typically breeds higher spends and slower music can increase the amount of time a shopper spends in the store.
7. Mirror, Mirror
One bonus tip that many retailers are unaware of is the power of the mirror. When consumers can see themselves, they tend to behave more properly. Mirrors have also proven to be a wonderful theft deterrent.
Continue to use the proven techniques, but try new ideas that keep your space fresh and inviting. The worst thing you could do when organizing the space in your new store is to let things grow stagnant and stay the same. The key to solving retail curiosity and accumulating repeat shoppers is a little creativity, a lot of change and a front row seat smack dab in the middle of your competitor’s location. Settle in and get used to being one of their most frequent shoppers. It will be the best deal you have ever struck.