Running a physical retail store in the age of ecommerce might sound a bit behind the times, but the popularity of a physical place to buy your goods hasn’t really gone away. If you’re starting up a retail business, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of getting your business to appeal to people on a personal level rather than via their screens. You can make the most of the tech in a physical store anyway, by using things like scan as you go, or make an app for people to use in store, so the interactivity becomes more 3-D, but the first thing you need to think about is the actual premises. How can you set it up to appeal to potential customers?
Think About Your Designs
People are prone to making snap judgments about your store from the second they set foot. For a medium to large-sized store, the first 10 to 15 feet is where your customers will decide if the store is “for them.” This is what’s called “transition mode” for customers, and the area of the store, known as the “decompression zone” shouldn’t be full of the best items. In fact, this is an area most people are likely to ignore because they are taking in the surroundings. So, this is your chance to make the design and grandeur/understatement appeal to customers. Your artistic temperament may take hold here, and you should make a big statement for your customers. It’s at this point that you should think about what your vision is. If you’re a bathroom supply store, do you want tools hanging around, a stainless steel tube and a whole metallic sheen? Or do you want to communicate a rustic, warm environment? For a store that is covered in silvers and metal design, the colors will be a big factor in if people want to stay in the store. A supply store, as a rule, looks more like a warehouse, not a warm and comfy environment. Likewise, a trendy clothes store needs a dynamic, sexy image to put across, which can be communicated with swathes of color and big bold images. The goal is to entice customers, so if you are too harsh with your imagery, or it doesn’t communicate the type of brand you’re trying to setup, then this can be a big issue resulting in no custom.
Guide Them Around The Store
Did you know that 90% of consumers in North America subconsciously turn right when they enter a store? So, making the most of the “power wall” (the first thing they see after turning right) to entice customers should be part of your gentle guiding process. Create a path that people will naturally follow (like Ikea does), and so you can hit them with every offer or product you need to push. Integrate the notion of “speed bumps” also, where people naturally come to a stop so you can demonstrate the items you’re pushing, keeping them at eye level. Keeping them comfy and relaxed will appeal to their senses, and taking them naturally to a POS area at the end of their journey will bring the whole experience to a conclusion.