by Lizzie Weakley
The front end of your store is responsible for most of your customer experience. A great layout and thoughtful presentation will result in increased sales across the board.
Impressions Are Everything
A store sells an experience as much as it sells a product. In a world where customers can order most items online, in-store purchases are driven by the desire for immediate convenience, visual product comparison, and shopping aesthetic.
Your customers’ experience starts as soon as they enter your storefront. Store design, lobby displays, and background music are all noticed in a single moment. This first impression, and the impressions that your store continues to make, will greatly impact their purchasing decisions.
Choose every element of your store design based on the way it will make customers think and feel about your brand.
Layout’s Impact on Sales
Customers need to be able to move freely through your store. If a table is placed in front of a display, customers are more likely to walk past it than around it. Small layout issues might not seem consequential, but they can drive foot traffic right past the products you are most interested in selling.
Your customers should also have a direct path into your store, through the areas they would like to visit and up to the register. Small obstructions will negatively impact their shopping experience and reduce overall sales. A store’s layout can dictate which products are sold and how long customers spend on their shopping trip. Prioritize visibility and ease of access in all of your layout decisions.
The Benefits of a Professional Design
A great store design starts from the ground up. Every part of your storefront, from the placement of shelves to the type of furniture you use, will have an effect on the customer experience. Professional shopfitting or commercial design consultants, can help you plan every element of your store’s design. Professional consultants help you select custom furniture, make important layout decisions and install the necessary equipment in your business. Work with your consultants to develop a cohesive and attractive store identity.
Maintaining an Atmosphere
Businesses evolve over time, but core identities tend to stay the same. You should have an idea of the atmosphere you want your store to project; this identity will be apparent in the layout and presentation decisions you make across the life of your business.
When you first design your store, choose furnishings and fittings that will be easy to maintain. Select items for ease of use and flexibility of purpose. As your store expands, choose new elements that reflect your original identity.
The final atmosphere that your store projects will be a culmination of your design efforts. Good layout and display choices will result in a relaxed and accessible environment that appeals to a wide customer base. If customers enjoy shopping at your business, they will buy more products and return for purchases in the future.