Behind the Mind of the Retail Shopper: Tips to Entice Your Buyers
It’s the holiday season, and you’re competing with the Amazons of the world. While the trend of online shopping has progressively increased over the years, there are still plenty of brick and mortar shoppers out there looking for the last minute gifts. We’re talking about some general philosophies of retail store design to help your customers enjoy their shopping experience.
To the Right to the Right
Research indicates that the majority of US retail shoppers veer toward the right as they enter and begin to walk through a space. By placing important signage and visually appealing displays at the front right hand side of your establishment, the shopper will have an idea of what you’re offering. Be sure to use fixtures and displays to direct the flow starting at the right so you can lead your customer through the store.
You’ll need to decide on a flow of traffic for your customer as they work their way through the store. Planograms and traffic flow analysis are great tools to use for the overall layout and directional flow of the store. Start with a blank floor plan showing just the permanent fixtures and place your free standing fixtures to fill the space. There are a few general types of plans depending on the directional flow you’d like to use. The Grid is the most straight forward, no pun intended. The Loop will allow customers to wander in a U and the Free Flow is whatever you make it using your freestanding fixtures. You’ll notice the grid used at most big box stores and super markets. You can find the U in a lot of larger apparel retailers and specialty retail stores. The Free Flow allows for the most creativity and versatility, although it is mainly used in high end specialty retailers and small boutiques. Whichever you choose, be sure to account for the ADA code guidelines.
The Decompression Zone
It is a common misconception to place your most enticing and best selling product directly in front of the customer when they walk into your store. Although this concept may seem effective, customers appreciate walking into a store to a relatively open, clear space known as the decompression zone. The area at the very front of the store, 5 feet for a smaller store, 15 for a large establishment, should remain relatively open and uncluttered to allow the customer to decompress, and adjust to their surroundings. Try to make this area of your store as open and inviting as possible to welcome your customers to enjoy their shopping experience. Experts believe this area should be free of any over the top displays and large scale signage.
A human has 5 senses. You’ll want your customer to experience as many senses as possible while meandering through your establishment. They’ve walked into your store for a reason. They’ve chosen to shop in reality versus the click and add to cart most likely because they want to feel, see, hear, smell or taste your product. By creating an atmosphere surrounded by appealing visuals, sounds and tactile objects, you’re providing your customers with the experience they’re seeking. Be sure to think about your buyer and their preferences when designing a visual display or a musical playlist. Your ideal customer and range of products your selling will clearly define the style of music and visuals that will appeal to your brand.