Retailers spend a lot of time thinking about how to optimize product placement and signage for optimal profitability. Sales is the name of the game. But few apply the same strategic analysis to the way a store looks and feels.
If you want your store to transform from a place where people shop to a place where people genuinely enjoy spending time, you’ll need to make some key changes to the design. Are you motivated to make that happen?
6 Ways to Enhance Your Store
Every retailer has a unique brand and distinct flavor. It’s your job to translate this into a distinct and engaging store design. Here are some suggestions to make it your own:
1. Make it immersive.
“When cooking up retail design ideas, make it a point to think about the big picture,” retail strategist Francesca Nicasio writes. “What’s the overall experience that you’d like shoppers to have? What feelings do you want to evoke? The answers to these questions will help you craft retail designs that make a strong impression on your customers.”
When you explore these questions in detail, you’ll discover that the best way to engage shoppers is to execute immersive strategies that address all five senses across your full store layout and merchandising setups. Remember, shopping should be an experience — not just a transaction. When it goes from transactional to experiential, everything changes.
2. Make it comfortable.
Too many stores have a sterile, commercialized vibe. And while every brand has its own unique flavor, most retailers will benefit from making their stores more comfortable. You can learn a lot from casino marketing tactics since casinos are amazing at making their customers stay comfortable.
You’ll have to be the judge of what this looks like for your retail stores, but it could be as simple as installing an electric fireplace in a furniture store, opening up a small kitchenette with coffee and snacks in a clothing store, or creating a kid’s play area in an electronics store.
3. Design a power wall.
If you’ve been in retail for any length of time, you know that 90 percent of American shoppers turn to their right when they walk into a store. You can leverage this phenomenon to your advantage by creating something called a “power wall.” This is simply a wall with an array of products and designs that are accessible and engaging — and add value for the shopper.
“Your own sales statistics can determine the mix of items you place on your power wall,” Ryan Gilmore writes for ShopKeep. “If there are certain in-demand products, you may choose to place them where customers can see them right away. Other retailers may choose to have their most popular items toward the back of the store, giving customers a chance to check out their other items as they wind their way toward the popular items.”
4. Don’t overstock.
You don’t need to display every single item you have in your inventory. Overstocking does nothing but add visual stress and chaos to your store. That’s why you should avoid the chaos, and emphasize your best products. This can be easily done by using display pedestals to catch the attention of your customers. It’s much better to simplify you product offerings and keep extra inventory out of sight.
5. Get the lighting right.
Walmart might do just fine with harsh white lighting, but that doesn’t mean you should use the same lighting approach.
In order to make people feel comfortable in your store, use warmer, softer light. Not only does this ease stress on your shoppers, but it also makes your products and displays look better. A good strategy is to use layered lighting, which is simply a mix of ambient and accent lighting to accentuate key products and areas of the store.
6. Be present.
You can’t have an inviting store if your salespeople and employees aren’t personable and engaging. Free your staff up to spend time with customers, and your shoppers will notice the attention to detail.
As a general rule of thumb, they should spend more time having conversations with shoppers than stocking items and worrying about administrative tasks.
Adding it All Up
Your in-store design shouldn’t be an afterthought. It matters just as much as your products and services. It’s more than just an extension of your brand — it is the brand. Take your time designing and iterating the space until you get it right. The right approach will have a positive ripple effect on your entire business.