As a business owner, you might be able to spot a marketing or a store layout strategy a mile away, but the average shopper probably just wants to find the product they are looking for and get out quickly. For anyone coming into your store, whether they know what they are looking for or not, you want to make their shopping experience as convenient as possible while also trying to increase sales. This can be done with certain store layout tactics. Without making it apparent to the customer, you can arrange your store in a certain way or place featured products in the right space to grab their attention, make them stop and look at the products, increasing their chances of making a purchase.
At Visual Retail Plus, we offer a point of sale system for small businesses looking to increase their sales and grow their business. There are a variety of POS systems out there, but when you want your store to stand out from the rest, the right software can make all the difference. With the right tools, inventory management system, CRM, purchase order creation software, and more, you can manage your whole business with ease. While our software can’t create a store layout strategy for you, it can help you determine which products are the most popular. Contact the Visual Retail Plus team today for a demo.
Layout Tactics For Retail Stores
If you’re lucky enough to own a store that features a space for window displays, you better take advantage of it! When a customer walks by, this is their very first impression of your store. Your window display is an opportunity to show off your products in an enticing way, giving people a chance to stop and look at what you offer, and to decide to come in or not. When designing a window display, pick a theme, choose a color, and keep it simple. You don’t want to overwhelm the potential shopper with a clutter of products. When they are presented with too much, they will have a harder time focusing on anything at all and will keep walking. Choose a select few products to put in the display and let them shine. When they see something they like, they’ll come into the store so they can see even more.
First Impression of the Inside
Typically, there isn’t much at the front of a store that will grab a shopper’s attention right away, maybe a row of registers to the side with a few small items hung up. This gives the shopper an opportunity to do whatever they want in the store, which is usually to hurry through aisles, not stopping to look at anything. Instead, set up a fresh display with seasonal products and items they can interact with. Choose the items carefully as it will either cause them to turn around and leave or to continue on so they can see what else the store has to offer. Think also about how the display is set up. You don’t want to make it so huge that it blocks the view of the rest of the store. Use shelves that are no taller than waist-high and no wider than around three feet. Give them just a glimpse so they are more likely to keep walking and also engage with the products.
Point Customers to the Right
It may be a habit when we learned how to safely walk across the street — look left and right before you cross — but studies have shown that shoppers tend to look left first when entering a store, then right, and then walk counter-clockwise through the store. If you can imagine what the inside of a PetSmart pet store looks like — there is a slight circular layout with two directions to choose when you first enter. The brightly colored birds and fish tanks are on the left, the dog and cat departments are on the right. The birds and fish capture your attention as you look left, and the curve of the aisle pulls you to the right. This may be coincidence, but it’s more likely a smart store designer.
Lead Customers Somewhere
There’s a reason why shoppers enjoy spending time in the huge home furniture and decor store, Ikea. The departments and pathways through each section are designed in order to lead the shoppers in a certain way through the store. No matter where the customer is walking, give them something enticing to look at, a display at the end of an aisle, for example.
Grocery stores, for example, use very straight aisles in order to keep the store structured and easy to manage for shoppers. However, for clothing, furniture, or sporting goods stores, providing some angled aisles can create an appealing space for shoppers to meander through. Keep in mind, though, that angles need to be used with caution and only when there is enough space for the customers to feel comfortable.
When there are long, front to back shelves that are packed with products, there’s a good chance that much of the shelf space will be skipped. Break up any length of shelf that is longer than 20 feet, either with a special display, a sign, or break it up with a different colored product. This will allow the shopper to rest their eyes, even if just for a moment, before moving on to the next space.
Have you ever walked through a large antique store that has created smaller spaces by protruding a half wall out toward the middle of the store? There may be a central aisle, but these smaller spaces welcome in the shopper, inviting them to take a closer look at the merchandise displayed in that section. Apparel retail stores can utilize this tactic by designing apparel displays with walls and mannequins.
How Visual Retail Plus Can Help Increase Customer Satisfaction
Just like implementing store layout strategies can help a customer feel welcome and comfortable in your store, using the right software can help your employees provide exceptional customer service for your customers.
Visual Retail Plus has developed a point of sale system for small businesses that includes various functions and features to help you run your store. Here are just a few of our top features:
- Point of Sale: More than just a POS, our software offers search functions to quickly find items without tags, product images, product groups to help maintain an organized store, auto-discount system, and more.
- Inventory Management: Track what products are coming in, the count of each product, sales, orders, and seasonal planning.
- CRM: Maintain strong relationships with your customers with emails, coupons based on their shopping history, product recommendations, and more.
- Coupons: Easily create coupons for a certain percentage off, a dollar amount off, or create automatic discounts for certain time periods, for certain products or categories.
- Store-to-Store Transfer: When one store location doesn’t have a specific product, use the POS software to quickly search the surrounding location so to find one that does. The customer has the choice to place the item on hold until pick up or it can be delivered to a location that is convenient for them.
Improving how a shopper interacts with your store can help them feel comfortable and more likely to purchase. Utilizing an all-in-one point of sale system can also give you the tools you need to improve their experience. Visual Retail Plus is passionate about providing the software you need for your company to be successful. Whether you own a jewelry store, a bookstore, or a shoe store, manage your employees, inventory, customers, and more with our intuitive point of sale system for small businesses. Get in touch with our team today for a free demo.