Winning the admiration of customers is a difficult task. There are many factors that contribute to their first experience in your store that can either lead to a return customer or could’ve been. One of most important factors is ease of use. What I mean by ease of use is the customer’s ability to locate what they are looking for.
Organizing your store in an “easy to use” manner will help the customer cope with their new surroundings and quickly start browsing for their product. Before we go straight into the layout, I want to give an example of a different industry that is already implementing these layout tactics.
Although it may seem odd but grocery stores have devoted millions to researching the habits of its customers. The basic layout of a store is a large “U” shape, on the edge are fruits, then onto produce, fish and finally the quick perishables like milk and eggs. The simple explanation for this is when customers enter a grocery store; fruits, meat and milk are the most common purchase. Simply put, the faster a customer can come in and quickly find what they are looking for, means faster revenue. Here’s an interesting fact; the reason the dairy and the eggs are at the back of the store is because when a customer comes in, the dairy is the last thing that is picked up before heading to the cash register, also they expire the fastest. For more information of this subject visit (http://www.marketstormer.com/supermarket-store-layout.htm)
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple ____ (insert your version here)
The first thing you should do is clear your store of clutter, the more products that are in your store the more overwhelming it may be for a first time customer.Thoughts. Nothing bothers me more than seeing a wall crammed full of stuff because it makes it that much harder to find anything. The longer it takes a customer to find something the more frustrating an experience it can be for them. Ex. The Apple store implements this K.I.S.S. tactic the best. The most important design concept of an apple store is its simplicity. They believe that a customer should be comfortable when making purchases and it must be working because there’s an apple store in every major shopping center. In other words; less is more. This article explains apple’s core design strategy (http://adaptivepath.com/ideas/e000331).
The second thing you should do is place your products according to season. This is geared more towards retail stores because every season new products are released or refreshed. The best thing to do is to place new products at the front of the store so customers can see the new products and the sales items towards the back. People are used to this layout and most people expect it. As a store owner use these habits to your advantage.
Kyle’s corner – if you have a lot of a single product, and this goes for any store, DO NOT put them all out on the floor at once. It hurts the appeal of your product as a whole. If there’s a lot of a certain product than a customer can draw a few assumptions from just the amount of product. The easiest one to assume is that the product is not selling, if something’s not selling then there’s a reason for that. The next is that having more of one thing will attract attention to that one area. This can be good because if it’s a hot product then you can just put other similar products close to it, but if it’s not, then you’ll have a surplus of products that don’t sell.
The third thing is just to be organized. Make sure your sections are clear, for clothing stores make sure your men’s shirts are with the men’s shirts and you proceed in a gradual order of clothing (shirt, long sleeve, sweater, hoodies, etc.) and that your women’s clothes are where they need to be. Don’t make your store as disorganized as a teenager’s room (If you’re a parent or sibling or even know a teenager, then you know what I mean). Another thing you should do is when clothes are not in season, (winter jackets when its Spring) either lower the price to move them or put them back in stock because those clothes are just taking up space that can be used for another product. No one is going to buy a winter jacket in the middle of summer… unless it's at a steep discount.
Use the “Back”
Everyone knows what “the back” is. It’s just leftover space left in the back where you try and fill with sale items, or other random things that aren’t really worthy of being in the front of the store. What you can do instead is put some of your personality in the back, I don’t mean getting an interior designer to move stuff around because you can do that yourself… for free. What I mean by that is if you like art put local art or nice paintings in the back. It’s your shop you can put anything you want. I’m a dancer; I would personally put a large stereo and vinyl flooring in the back. You can be as creative as you’d like, no one will stop you (unless it goes against pre-set building codes and or the infringement of any or and all contracts, licenses, copyrights or patents … I think I got all of them.) Ex. I used to work in a computer store and the manager had a music technology degree, so what he did was convince his boss to let him put a large music room in the back of the store. It worked well and it brought in customers.An example of the change room’s idea came from a store in Ottawa; they liked to try and individualize their store so they got large shower curtain covers and they hung them from the ceiling and played music while people changed. It was unique and I hadn't seen that before and it stood out for me.
A lot of this stuff you probably know from your own deductions but I do hope that I was able to add to your understanding. Like usual put your own spin to all of these ideas, I want to help give suggestions on what you could do; I do not wish to tell you what to do. I hope this helps.
This is a guest post by Kyle Chan
Image Credit: nuchylee