Tuesday 23 December 2014, 5:32PM
By Mills Display

From the moment a customer walks into your store, everything they encounter will have an effect on whether they make a purchase at the checkout – and that’s why decisions around how you fit out your store is so important.

Understanding the science surrounding how stores are designed is vital to making your business a success, and it can be broken down into key areas:

Entrance: The first impression a customer has when entering a store gives them the initial impact on how expensive your shop is and how well you’ve coordinated your colour-scheme, displays, fixtures, fittings and lighting. Because this area (typically only 2-3 metres) is a customer’s transition from a non-retail to a retail area, they aren’t likely to take in products or signage straight away.

Making the right decision: The vast majority of shoppers turn right when entering a store, this gives you a vital space for hard-working displays of high-demand or high-profit products. It’s also the space best used to help sell your “retail story”.

Follow the path: By clever use of visible displays or by how you lay out your unobtrusive store fixtures you can ensure customers tread a path throughout the store. The more products they pass, the better the chance of having them make purchases. The general rule of thumb for product placement is for high-demand products at eye level and lower-grossing products lower or higher. The better the layout, the better you can control the flow of customers through your store too.

Go with the slow: Stores will spend a great deal of time and energy on merchandising products so it’s vital that you give customers the chance to take it all in. By breaking your laid out path with special signage or temporary product displays, you will encourage customers to make impulse purchases and also help them make informed decisions by grouping like products together. By keeping these displays temporary and changing them around, you’ll also give repeat customers novelty to their shopping experience.

Checking out: The counter, the wall behind the counter and the area where customers will queue for the counter is the ideal spot to create engaging and interesting displays, and to encourage impulse buys.

Future trends strategist Patrick Dixon addressed how to improve customers’ retail experience in a keynote speech to BNP Paribas recently. His ">YouTube video here gives great insights into how you can use the very latest research – and Mills Display’s expertise – to fit out your store.