by Phillip Adcock
Is your store layout a little stale? Do your shoppers seem bored or unable to find what they’re looking for? Do they fail to take advantage of your offers?
If these questions resonate with you, then you might be considering changing the layout of your store. While change can be a good thing, make sure your changes are for the better and that they help customers to have a more satisfying experience; giving them easy access to all of your products, rather than confusing them and potentially causing them to shop elsewhere.
1. Reassess Your Signage: Is it in the Best Possible Place?
One mistake that retailers often make is putting their signage in the wrong place; whether they’re hanging offer labels too high, printing them in too small a size, or printing in a color combination that doesn’t attract the eye.
We are naturally more attentive to labels displayed at eye level or below, so given the average height of citizens (men at 5’9” and women at 5’3”) the ideal height for labels is around 5’ off the ground. Don’t waste prime space on the non-essentials, such as aisle markers – if the shopper is likely to make the effort to look for it, then it can be above their head and it will still do its job. 5’ to 3’ is the best height for the products you want to promote the most. By putting cheaper, staple products closer to the ground you are making key space for promotions and new products.
The size and coloring of labels also has a surprising effect on their efficacy. We view larger offer labels as better value, even if the smaller label has the same price reduction. We are also naturally alert to colors such as red and yellow and combining either of those with another bold color, such as black or white, helps to attract attention. Bright, primary colors also give the impression of inexpensiveness, so they are perfect in some cases, such as discount clothing or supermarkets, but inappropriate for more high-end products, where smaller monochrome labels produce the impression of higher quality.
2. Is Your Shop Floor Laid out in a Logical Way?
One major source of frustration for many shoppers is an illogical layout; this can apply to any type of store, from clothing to consumer electronics. If the store is badly categorized, and the
shopper can’t find what they want, they are likely to go elsewhere. Likewise, if there are items stocked past the checkout, shoppers are less likely to pay attention to them, because if they want to buy them they have to go back and stand in line again.
You can also consider organizing your store in a slightly different fashion; putting items together that signify a particular event, such as a date night. Shoppers are more likely to make impulse buys when these categories are suggested as the shopper forms an image in their mind of the event that persuades them to purchase; they are buying the experience, rather than the product.
3. Is Anything Misleading or Confusing?
Have you stocked your products in a way that is clear and easy to understand? If there is a multi-buy offer for example, are the offer items mixed in with non-offer items? If sale and non-sale items are mixed in together, shoppers frequently don’t realize which are on sale and which aren’t until they take them to the register. When they are told that the offer isn’t applicable, many shoppers will feel annoyed and leave without purchasing rather than going through the hassle of selecting products and then checking out again. This can be easily avoided by separating offer items and non-offer items more clearly, for example by labelling them or clearly outlining the area.
When making changes to your store, remember always to take on the customer’s point of view and think of any difficulties they might have. Don’t forget that shoppers can easily be put off by one bad experience and may end up going elsewhere, but will also remember a good experience and come back to your store.