There are many aspects to consider when you are opening up a store. One of the most important elements of any store is its layout. A store layout says a lot about your business and directly correlates to your success. If you are looking for some assistance, follow our helpful tips for planning your store layout ahead.
Choose the Right Layout
The first order of business you will want to do is choose the right floor plan. As it turns out, there are multiple directions you can go with. Some common floor plans include the following:
- Straight: Takes advantage of walls and uses rectangular displays and tables for products. An issue people run into with a straight floor plan is that it can block products from certain sightlines.
- Diagonal: This simple approach has displays and tables set diagonally, which allows for more movement and flow in a store for customers.
- Angular: This plan features a circular design and is more so for higher-end specialty stores. The angular design is also an effective option to handle store traffic.
- Geometric: A great layout for stores that sell apparel incorporates various shapes. This creates a unique layout for your store that can pay off well for trendy items.
- Free Flow: This plan combines the various floor plans previously mentioned to create the most effective design.
- Racetrack/Loop: The final layout that you can use for your space features a loop-like design that displays products in an effective manner and helps guide customers around a store.
Reduce the number of Counters
Something else to consider when you are planning out your store layout is the number counters in it. Stick to at least one main counter and consider having employees on the floor. With today’s technology and the prominence of credit cards, you may not even need a full-blown cash register. This not only gives you more space for your products, but it can also eliminate long lines and inconvenience for customers.
Take Advantage of Senses
While the visuals of your store are incredibly important, there are more tactics you can use to entice customers. For example, you can play music to put the customer in a certain mood when they are in your store. The same goes for particular scents, which is incredibly effective in industries that involve food and candles.
Have Low Shelves
There is always a concern for theft when you are running a business. One way to avoid this issue is to ensure that you have a good view of your entire store by having low shelves. This way, you decrease the amount of cover thieves have to steal products. If you have a mix of high and low shelves, be strategic and make sure you can easily see the more valuable items.
Don’t Hide Products
This tip goes back to the point about choosing the right floor layout for your store. Perhaps the only thing you might want to place toward the back is your clearance section. Other than that, make sure all your products are front and center so customers can get a good look at what you have to offer. This means avoiding any obstructions and having clean and organized displays.
Avoid the Decompression Zone
In retail, there is a term known as the decompression zone, which is usually a huge display at the front of a store. This method isn’t as effective as some believe. Many recommend you avoid having a decompression zone and display your top products with a power wall. This is because most customers tend to glance over what is in the front of a store to instead see a complete overview. So, opt for a power wall instead of a big fancy display for your store layout.
Figure Out Customer Behavior
So, what do you put on a power wall? Do some research on what products your customers are most interested in and place them there. You can achieve this by going over sales numbers and finding your most successful product. Some people don’t spend a lot of time in stores, so give them what they will likely want in the place where they are most likely to look first.
Have Clear Sections
In any store, you don’t want anyone to get lost. The best way to avoid this is to have clear sections included in your store’s layout. For instance, clothing stores will often divide their space based on gender as well as the type of clothing. This only makes it easier for your customers to navigate. Add clear direction with the use of colors and labels to these specific categories in your store—especially when they are on sale.
Leave Room for Flexibility
When you are planning a store layout, you also want to leave some room for flexibility. You might have to try a few different layouts before you find one that works for you. You will also want to leave room for flexibility so you can change this up and keep it refreshing. This includes making it easy to change out displays that are in your windows and on the walls.
Let Customers Try the Product
An additional helpful tip for planning your store layout is to have areas where customers can try the product. This not only shows confidence in your product, but it also builds a sense of trust between you and the customer. Whether it’s changing rooms or a sample stand, make your product easily accessible to try.
Have the Right Amount Displayed
A final tip is to make sure you have enough of your product displayed in the store. The amount all depends on the size of your store. Having too much of one product available can actually hurt your business because having less can make your product feel like it’s more in demand.
Since color is such a huge element in business, consider Chromalabel for high-quality small colored dot stickers. You can use these as price tags or as labels for organizing inventory. Chromalabel also offers colored tape, labels, and custom designs to help your business succeed.
Update from April 2021
Having a consistent color theme throughout the store and keeping areas clutter free can making shopping more appealing. When you have a sign to hang or an area to emphasize, using a contrasting color for that sign or area can make it stand out more. Having a clutter free and consistent layout can also make it easier when you are bringing in new products or removing old displays.