Successful retail planning and design is a complex challenge. One thing we know for sure is that there are some universal concepts to follow.
More than ever before, there is a demand for the virtual world of convenience to combine in-store with an interactive and engaging experience. This increases brand engagement, consumer loyalty, and, of course, sales and profitability. There are, however, some universal successful retail planning and design concepts that all merchants can use to boost sales.
It matters not whether you’re working with a stand-alone architecturally built building or a modest unit in an out-of-town shopping center.
We start with the space. In addition, there are four important design concepts to follow in order to maximize the value of that area. In addition, they will provide a great shopping experience for the customer and maximize your profit.
1. Successful retail planning begins with equalizing your retail space.
The main principle is this. Every square meter of the store should be working as hard as the next one.
If you imagine your space as a series of equal zones, each one must have an equivalent amount of selling potential. Dead zones are a waste of both space and money. Therefore, don’t make the mistake of thinking that optimizing space means packing in as much as possible.
It’s also important to consider the customer’s need for openness. The successful retail planning principles’ next three steps ensure that your area strikes the right balance between profit and a happy consumer.
2. Make your way through the store.
This is about planning a route through the store so that customers can easily get from the entrance to their category choice.
At the same time, they must also see as much of the rest of your inventory as is possible. Therefore, the placement and direction of gondolas and lighting are tools for moving people through the room and generating a flow.
In order to maximize the purchasing potential, the design and layout must result in your products being 1.2 meters away from your customers during their path and within a 45-degree turn.
3. Emphasize retail visibility and accessibility.
Customers require clear visibility and easy access to all areas of the store.
While still standing on the threshold, they must be able to determine where to interact, browse, and transact. Furthermore, they need to maintain control of their journey.
Additionally, placing lower units in the front of the store means that areas and goods in the back are visible. This gives them the information they need to make a decision.
A global paint producer began using sightlines in their retail space. The painter’s color table, visible from the front door of their business-to-business retail establishments, is a distinctive feature.
The unique design creates a striking focal point throughout the store. This brand’s redesign was the reason for double-digit sales increases for its paints.
4. Adjacencies and categories matter in successful retail planning.
It’s all about getting the right product to the right place at the right time, in the right condition, for the right price. That’s all there is to it.
Good category management and adjacencies enable a customer to understand where to find items. In addition, it appeals to people who are on a time budget. Further, it reinforces the feeling of control.
Therefore, group similar categories together. Things like belts and jeans go well together. Furthermore, make sure you showcase your best seller in a prominent area.
Gas stations are a good illustration of successful adjacencies. How often have you purchased a bar of chocolate that was conveniently placed next to you in the checkout line? Up-selling, cross-selling, and better sales will increase by optimizing category space allocation and adjacencies.
In addition, when following these rules, keep in mind Paco Underhill’s famous statement, “the butt-brush factor.” If a person in an aisle is brushed by merchandise a few times, they will depart without buying anything. So, go outside the box when it comes to floor space and make creative use of wall space.
Use power walls, for example, to effectively exhibit accessories while leaving the rest of the store free for key products.
At the same time, you can be making the business’s segmentation clear to the customer. Further, when employing gondolas, leave as much space between them as possible.
In addition, consider using the top of the gondola to display crucial accessories that complement the products below. It’s a terrific cross-selling opportunity that benefits both the customer and you.
The Journey of the Customer
The retail store’s idea must fit the customer’s expectations of the brand. Therefore, it’s the “ownership experience” that sets your product apart from the competition.
This begins a short distance from your selling location. Customers will be drawn to the threshold by bold branding and architecture. The store window’s job is to entice, generate curiosity, and stimulate contact with potential customers once they arrive.
Now they are at the threshold. This is an opportunity to make an impression with visual displays.
Let them demonstrate the breadth of product offerings and options available to the shopper. Further, customers will be drawn over the threshold by physical interaction. Whether it’s a multi-functioning technology display or a basic gondola with things at hand, interaction brings them in.
Once inside, they will need some direction. Therefore, the layout, signage, and category placement all contribute to a favorable first impression.
Smart design decisions make a huge impact on whether you make a sale or not. This begins the moment someone walks into your store until the time they decide to check out.