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Store Design and Layout Best Practices

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The pandemic has changed how most people shop nowadays, as most turn to digital outlets and web shops. As the situation slowly goes back to some semblance of normal, retail stores will need to think about potential issues in their store’s design and layout. 

 

Customers will now pay attention to the space they have to freely move around, and they’ll be more mindful of how the products are placed around the store. Add to that, due to the rising interest in online shopping for the sake of convenience as well as safety, you’ll need to work a little harder than usual to get them to come to your brick-and-mortar store. 

 

The design you choose will not just serve to attract people to your brand, but to make them feel comfortable buying from you in these trying times. You’ll need to address the fear factor and come up with ways to build the right atmosphere while preserving your brand’s essence in your business. Here’s what can help this year, and beyond!

Understand your buyer persona

Do your customers want on-sale items and are crazy for those discounts, or do they come to your store for the pampering, luxe items? Which generation do they belong to predominantly? What about their core concerns when making a purchase decision?

 

These and other questions need to give you a clear idea as to who your ideal buyer persona is. Based on the data you collect both online and in the store, you can create the persona in question and then adapt the in-store experience based on that specific information. 

Use the layout to boost customer flow

The layout of the store might not be perfect, but what you do with it can make all the difference in how your customers interact with store clerks, each other, and how safe they will feel perusing your items. Create clear categories that will help you avoid crowded aisles and make sure not to place anything in the immediate vicinity of the entrance – it will cause a congestion in the customer flow and perhaps stall people before they get the lay of the land, adding to their confusion.

 

Continuously review how your store is organized by analyzing customer movements. If particular items aren’t selling, it could be that people showing interest in them are constantly getting bumped into, which inevitably ruins the experience. Eliminate these tight spots and maximize the flow in your store.

Maximize the use of CTA signage

Creating an immersive store layout and maximizing shopping potential with the right, branded design also means using digital and tech-based tools inside your store. Signage helps you change your CTAs with ease and play immersive videos at your store, but when you place them in the window, you can expect more people walking by to take an interest and perhaps hop in to check out your latest collection.

To attract more passing customers and to inspire action, stores can use commercial digital signage with dedicated CTAs that are both inspiring and memorable. Combine the right phrases with using your brand colors in your signage, and the panels will bring your brand to life even more so than merely displaying your products. Digital displays can play different content, reminding customers to keep their distance, telling them where your latest collection is, or showing off your latest wearables on a model.

Introduce cleanliness-boosting spots

In the post-pandemic shopping overhaul we’re sure to experience soon enough, once things calm down and retail stores can once again work freely, more spaces will use dedicated purifying and cleansing booths. These are designed with top-notch tech in mind, to provide a quick and effective temperature scan for the person entering the establishment, but also give a speedy “decontamination” to prevent spreading infections.

 

Decontamination helps reduce the spread of the virus, but it also puts your customers’ minds at ease and keeps the influx of customers into your store at a natural rate, preventing overcrowding and breaking the rules of social distancing that still apply across the world. 

Create a focal point for each section

Not all floor plans are created equal, which brings us to a vital question for your business: do you know how to maximize the use of space in your store not merely to display more merchandise, but also to make it easy for people to spot the latest items in your collection?


Using your floor plan to create a focal point in specific spots of your store will help your customers navigate towards what they are interested in the most without causing congestion or preventing other shop visitors from roaming around.

 

Avoid overcrowding your shelves or display desks with things – too much piled up stuff can only make it impossible for people to quickly understand where they should look. Some stores, especially those selling beauty products or fashion items can color-code their collections, simplifying the selection process for visitors. Then again, seasonal collections with a spotlight on a specific item can pull the customers towards items they didn’t even know existed in your store!

 

Although some existing principles of smart store design remain relevant, most retail spaces will be in need of a post-pandemic spruce. With the customers’ safety in mind, combined with access to a wide array of immersive tech and digital solutions, your brick-and-mortar store stands a better chance to attract more customers, retain the existing ones, and above all, ensure a stellar in-store experience that will make your brand all the more inviting and appealing for your target audience.