Plenty of thought, consideration, and energy goes into the selection of merchandise that is sold in a store. This means that just as much energy should go into the display of this merchandise, otherwise, how does it get sold? That is the end goal, after all.
The retail design and layout of a store are paramount to how its merchandise moves. Shoppers can be distracted, fickle, and particularly selective, so even the smallest store design mistakes can put your customers off.
Here are some of the top design and layout faux-pas to avoid in order to create an aesthetically pleasing and convenient store experience.
Common Store Design Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
One of the most important aspects of store design and layout is to focus on what makes your merchandise and brand unique. This should relate to the colors you use, the fixtures, display, branding, and every other detail.
Keep in mind that a confusing store layout is a killer of sales. Help your customers find what they’re looking for by following a store design guide that is focused on a simple, free-flowing, and well-considered shopping experience.
Here’s what to avoid:
1. Overlooking the Flow of Traffic
As mentioned, traffic flow throughout your store is one of the most crucial aspects to consider. A poorly designed space and flow of traffic can lead to frustration, mess, and unhappy customers. This includes twisted, narrow aisles, overbearing displays that take up too much space, inaccessible shelving, lack of stock, and more.
When a store is congested and cluttered it can be off-putting. It’s a fast way to drive your customers away who do not feel like battling crowds or searching tirelessly for what they need.
Keep your store traffic flow free-flowing, ensure there’s enough space between shelving, racks, and aisles where possible. Try not to place displays in the center of walking paths which can create unnecessary distraction or congestion. Restock shelves as often as possible.
2. Neglecting Your Quality of Lighting
A poorly lit store is another major no-no. Lighting is the best way to create an atmosphere in your store, and an inviting atmosphere is more likely to inspire sales. A store that is dim, dark, and moody may have its place, depending on what you’re selling. However, the overall goal is to create a warm, enticing atmosphere that showcases your merchandise at its best.
Good lighting is make or break for your store. It sets the overall tone, which should be in-line with your branding. You can also use lighting to highlight displays, sales areas, and provide additional signage.
3. Overlooking the Importance of Smart Storage
Another very frustrating thing for customers is a lack of stock on display or in-store. There’s nothing worse than looking for something specific, and you cannot find your size. If a customer has to ask for their size, it’s super important that it’s in stock in your storeroom. Basically, a lack of stock and smart storage is a fast track way to lose sales.
Bear in mind that sales floor fixtures that display popular items should always have built-in storage areas. They should also be restocked regularly. Overall, this increases convenience and accessibility for your customers, which makes for a better shopping experience.
4. Being Inflexible With Your Design
There’s no point in strategizing just one store design layout and sticking with it until the end of time. It’s important to be flexible in your store design and layout and change things up every so often.
This is because new merchandise requires new displays in order to grab customer attention. Remember that ”newness” and change will keep your customers interested. Make sure to invest in modular mix-and-match fixtures so that they can be moved and adjusted as needed.
5. Poor Customer Service at Checkout
If there was one area of your store design layout to focus on, it’s the checkout service. This is hands-down one of the most important areas of your store because it’s where customers encounter staff. It’s also their last port-of-call in your store, so their impression of this area is a lasting one.
Just because a customer has made it to checkout with their items, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. You must ensure your customers receive 5-star checkout service in order to keep them coming back for more. They notice things like cleanliness, organization, staff attire, and presentation. Make sure this area leaves the best lasting impression possible.
Bear in mind that customers want to see an uncluttered space that is inviting and offers impulse purchase opportunities. It should also be bright, clean, and well-branded.
6. Constructing Flimsy or Overcrowded Displays
The last thing you need is an unstable display that topples over onto your customers. Don’t make the mistake of investing in flimsy, cheap products that fail to do your merchandise justice. This just defeats the entire point of your store.
Remember that too many products on display at once can look disorganized, cluttered, and can be very confusing. It’s also dangerous and could pose a risk of injury if the display area is knocked over. Keep your display areas simple, clean, and well-branded. High-quality visual merchandising attracts customers — don’t forget it!
7. Neglecting the Advice of a Professional
If you’re a new store, in a new area, it’s always best to hire the help of a store design and layout professional. Even if you’re a seasoned retailer, it can be exceptionally helpful to have the insight of an expert who knows what customers look for and how to avoid store design mistakes.
They can also help you bring your store design to life by listening to your vision and creating it in the most economical, convenient, and professional way possible.
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By avoiding these simple store design mistakes you can offer a shopping experience that leaves your customers inspired. A happy, satisfied customer is one that will return time and time again, and also do a good job of referring others to your store!
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