Now that shoppers are returning in greater numbers, it is essential that owners convert these visits into sales. Thames Contracts, one of the top names in shop fitting design in and around London, share their top tips for making sure that visitors spend their money with you and not a rival store.
First Impressions Count
Whether your store is within a high footfall area, such as a shopping centre, or located on the back streets of a town, first impressions always count for shoppers. Take an objective look at your store front and consider how passers-by might feel about your business. Does it represent your brand and the products you sell? Is the entrance clearly defined and welcoming to potential visitors? Would people walking near your store be drawn to come inside?Starting a New Project? Free Quotation
It is important to ensure your store front is kept tidy and appealing, with windows and doors washed regularly, the outside street area swept and kept clear of any litter, and signage is cleaned and maintained. Irrespective of what your store may sell, if the exterior is not pleasing to the eye customers will not be encouraged inside.
An eye-catching window display can stop passers-by in their tracks, piquing their interest on what might lie inside the store. Ensure you regularly change the products on show to meet current consumer needs or seasonal changes and consider including prices so customers have an expectation of how much your products cost before entering.
A welcoming atmosphere is the key to increasing footfall instore. If the weather allows, consider keeping your doors open all the time to create one less barrier for customers entering your shop. Ensuring at least one staff member is located near the front of the store to greet browsing visitors can encourage customers to remain in store for longer and generate more sales.
Store lighting can directly impact how your store is perceived by your customers, making them feel emotionally connected to your brand and your products.
Whenever possible, make the most of natural light as studies suggest this helps to relax people and make them more likely to spend longer in your store. If natural light is not available, try to replicate its tones with soft ambient lighting rather than harsh, artificial solutions.
Stores with a large floor space should use a uniform light source to highlight the wide range of products equally, whereas smaller shops should use spotlights to draw attention to key areas or items.
If your store operates into the darker evening hours, ensure your exterior signage and entrance are well lit and all the lights are functioning properly. Don’t forget to check your interior lighting is displaying the key product ranges in your window display in an attractive way.
…And Colour Does Too
A tired interior or exterior can really affect our view of a property, and this is never more important than when we go shopping. Ensure your painted surfaces are regularly rejuvenated, especially in high transit areas, such as entrances and exits, and high contact areas such as sales counters and stock room doors.
Utilise colour within your store to create contrast areas, such as around the sales desk, between different department types or to highlight a new product area. The colours you choose should be aligned with your branding, your customer type and the nature of the products you sell.
Calming colours, like blues, whites and greys can encourage customers to stay in your store for longer, so are recommended for multi-department stores and more considered purchases such as clothing and electricals. If your store is geared towards impulse buys and essential purchases then warmer, brighter colours such as oranges and red can stimulate shoppers to act with more urgency.
Make Layouts Logical
There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find what you need in a place you expect to find it. Shoppers expect a certain layout type when they visit a store, and by utilising this knowledge you can ensure customers have a pleasant experience in store, rather than a frustrating one.
Group together complementary products to stimulate impulse buys. For example, put socks and tights near your shoe section, place batteries and cables with your electrical products or brushes and rollers within your paint department.
For large stores, ensure signage is well-placed to help to direct customers to relevant departments and more specifically to payment counters, which are often hard for customer to locate. For smaller stores, ensure shoppers have enough space to move around the shop fittings freely and can view products clearly.
With an increase in online sales, consider offering dedicated click & collect points to keep online customers and instore customer sales separate to prevent delays at the till point. Likewise, a dedicated Product Returns and Customer Service desk can help limit frustrations caused by customers making lengthier transactions, such as returning goods or seeking advice.
Create Space to Relax
Everyone enjoys a bit of space and never more so than when shopping. By creating a store layout with a good flow and plenty of room for shoppers to pass each other as they browse, customers will spend longer in store and be more likely to buy.
People visit stores because they want to touch, feel, hold, smell and taste the product in the flesh, something they can’t achieve with online retailers. By creating a calming environment and allowing products to be handled by consumers, retail stores can create a unique experience that generates positive emotions for their customers.
Shopping can be an exhausting exercise, whether it’s walking endlessly up and down the high street or dragging round tired children (or grown-ups!). To capitalise on shoppers who might appreciate a break, consider adding strategically placed seating, for example near changing rooms or shoe departments, or going further and offering a children’s play area or free drinks. By including these little extra touches, your store will be remembered as a destination rather than just another shop.
Shop Fitting Design from Thames Contracts
With over two decades of experience, Thames Contracts offer bespoke shop fitting design services in and around London, including St Albans, Stevenage and Watford.
We offer advice on complete refits and partial refurbishments, entirely tailored to your business needs. Our specialist service means you have only a single point of contact for your whole project, ensuring your agreed budget and schedule is met and a high-quality, long-lasting result is achieved.
If you would like to get in touch and learn more about our retail shopfitting services in the London area, follow this link and fill in the online form or call us on 020 8368 0045.