Shopping is all about the experience. Whether it’s the great tunes, attractive lighting, or friendly customer service, a store needs to entice its customers, and encourage them to stay as long as possible.
With the increase in the popularity of online shopping, retail stores have a fierce competition. It’s difficult to match the prices, efficiency, and convenience of online stores. For this reason, it is more important than ever for a store to fit out their space in the best way possible and offer an amazing experience – something that a website could never achieve!
The back storeroom may seem like the last thing that should be on your mind, but this is where a lot of store management goes wrong. This is the the brain of the shop, and it needs to be organised and clean. First, invest in a heavy-duty shelving unit to take advantage of the vertical space. Make sure there is adequate light, safe stepladders, and that all heavy packages are stored low down. This will prevent injuries and make it easier to find and sort through products.
Keep in mind that this is most likely where your team will take their breaks, so you should make it a warm and comfortable place to hang out. Provide appliances such as a fridge, kettle, and a microwave, as well as free goodies such as tea and coffee. There should also be chairs for your staff to rest on during their breaks. Although your shop needs to be customer-focused, there is nothing that makes a business stronger than a healthy and happy staff environment!
The displays in retail stores are usually a strong factor that draws customers in. Professional photographs of the products or well-lit displays are ideal to show off the merchandise. These are two important fixtures that are the foundation of a successful store. Window displays are one of the most powerful ways to entice customers. It’s important to capture the brand aesthetics and vibe of your store, more than just the product itself!
Imagine you’re a customer walking through the store for the first time. What do you see first? Where do you walk? What do you pick up? Does the shop have a natural flow to the counter and point of sale? These are all important things to consider when fitting out retail space.
For instance, if you sell shoes you’ll want to make sure that there are models in easy reach for people to pick up. There should also be full-length mirrors around the store, and comfortable chairs or benches for people to try them on. Is there a discount table? Bring it to the front of the store to draw in customers! What’s your bestseller? Make sure it’s the first thing your customer can see.
What kind of experience do you want your customer to have? Think of a bargain store and a high-end bookshop. These are both designed to sell products, but they do so in different ways. A bargain store may have flashy colour schemes, with bold patterns. Displays will be full and overflowing with products. All of this is a conscious design that encourages the customer to get in and out quickly.
However, a high-end bookstore may create a more comfortable environment for customers to take their time and browse. The shelves will be spread out into different sections, to make the products more straightforward and clear. The colour tone may be more muted and relaxing.
These are two great examples of successful stores that have different sales approaches through their shop-fitting decisions.
To compete with the popularity of online shopping, a brick and mortar store needs to be an immersive and positive experience, reflecting the product, and the brand.
On top of the aesthetics, the shop also needs to be logistically sound. Make sure the computers and point of sale devices are installed properly. Get the cabling and lighting done well in advance of the store opening. If your store has a phone, ensure that it is hooked up and ready to go. The key is to be prepared and organised long before the grand opening!
Check out your competitors.
To get some good ideas, it is always smart to check out your competitors and what they’re doing. Even getting an insight on businesses elsewhere can help you come up with new ideas for your retail space and improve the full potential of your shop. This does not mean that you need to copy what other people are doing, but rather take notice of what works, and what doesn’t. Shops that aren’t successful can be very educational, and in most cases, their shop-fitting can be considered the cause of their inability to attract better customers. On the other hand, successful businesses can provide good examples and great ideas.
Think about what your space can do for you.
When approaching retail shop-fitting, it is really important to think of your space as a blank canvas of sorts. What can you achieve? How can you make the most out of every square centimetre at your disposal? Fitting a retail store is as much as enhancing practicality, as it is providing additional appeal.
The most effective approach to retail shop-fitting is definitely a combination of good aesthetics, versatility and practicality. In other words, your shop needs to be able to appeal to consumers, as well as highlighting the value and the perks of your products. Having said that, your retail location should also be a practical, comfortable and inviting space where your employees can work seamlessly and get the job done. Customer service, sales, productivity, and efficiency might all depend on your shop and how it is set up! Keep that in mind when considering fitting solutions for your retail space.