There’s a lot of talk about website design and search engine optimisation nowadays: how certain fonts should be used and where to place them or what kind of images to put up on a website. These are tools that entrepreneurs use to boost their online or e-commerce sales. These tools focus on the layout and design of a web page, and whether it convinces potential customers to stay on the site and eventually make a purchase.
While this focus on selling online is understandable—Kiwis spend NZ$4.6 billion on online retail annually, after all—the Nielsen New Zealand Connected Consumers report states that four in five people look at items online but ultimately buy in-store.
The continued popularity of in-store shopping means that retailers still need to create a store layout that can positively impact sales. This can be achieved by following these pointers to creating high-converting retail store display:
Design a welcoming threshold
Your store’s threshold acts as a decompression zone. This is where your customers make the transition from the outside world into your store and experience what you have to offer. Here, they’ll be able to determine right away whether what you’re selling is expensive or not and whether they want to browse your products.
Give your customers a welcoming vibe by making your threshold spacious. Cramped spaces are usually unconsciously associated with chaos and disarray, which can turn potential customers away. When they have a clear view and path towards the rest of your store, they may want to explore further.
Use the right floor plan
After welcoming your customers, your next concern should be directing them to items you want to sell. This means using the right floor plan, which plays a critical role in managing the flow and traffic in your store.
With different types of floor plans for retail stores to choose from, you must first determine what you want to sell and how best to showcase the items. For example, a straight floor plan makes all products easy to see. Meanwhile, an angular floor plan reduces the size of the display area but gives focus on fewer, more popular items.
Apart from that, take into consideration the size of your store and the products you sell. Your target market’s buying behaviour should also be taken into consideration. Do they shop in a hurry or take their time? Do they need guidance throughout the store or are they more of a self-service type? These factors can help you decide how to direct them throughout your store.
Showcase your products properly
After choosing the best floor plan, turn your attention to how to use shelf space as a part of your store’s layout design. By using heavy duty longspan shelving in retail stores, you’re giving your customers easy access to high-profit items.
The key in shelving is to place your expensive and in-demand items at eye level. This trick prevents customers from having to make any additional effort to peruse and choose items. ‘Stoop level’ and ‘stretch level’ items—those you need to bend down or stand on the tips of your toes for—should be products with low profitability.
Place checkout at the opposite end of where your customers start
In the US and other countries that drive on the right side of the road, 90 per cent of shoppers will turn right when walking into a store. In countries such as Australia and New Zealand, where cars drive on the left side, shoppers are more likely to turn to the left when entering a store.
A good rule of thumb when deciding on where to place your checkout counter is to put it at a natural stopping or ending point in the shopping flow you’ve designed. So, if customers naturally turn left when entering and you want them to explore the store, the front right is the most ideal location for your checkout counter, as that would be the most likely endpoint of your customers.
Your store layout affects your store traffic, customers’ dwell times and sales. That is why it’s critical that you thoroughly think about how your store looks and feels. The key is to observe your customers, see what they’re drawn to and keep those elements in your store’s layout and design.