High-end retailers like Lord and Taylor and Neiman Marcus are among the well-known brands that declared bankruptcy due to COVID-19.
High-end retail stores that are opening up are doing so in a time of unprecedented uncertainty. To survive, you have to get every single detail just right.
The one overlooked piece is your retail store layout. A great layout can encourage customers to shop at your store again and again. It can also increase your sales.
Read on to discover how you can create a retail store layout that gets the attention of shoppers and sales for your business.
Know Your Customers
Your customers expect the very best from your store. They expect to have their needs met as soon as they walk in the door.
You have to truly understand your customers in order to meet their expectations. You need to think like your customers and know what they’re looking for.
High-end customers have different needs than price shoppers, and you need to take that into consideration. Your customers may be impulse shoppers, or they may be a bit more pragmatic.
Some customers want to learn more about products and compare them before they make a purchase. Impulse shoppers will know what they want and demand it immediately.
Take the time to understand the needs of the customers, their values, interests, and what they want from your business.
Choose a Layout Style
What kind of store layout will your customers respond to the most? There are several commonly used layouts.
A grid is used in just about every grocery store and hardware store. It may be appropriate for your store, depending on what types of products you sell.
Most high-end retail stores will opt for an open layout, like a herringbone style. This allows you to have an open space in the middle of the store and have your products line the walls.
Right or Left?
There is an ongoing debate in retail. Should your store design direct customers to the right or the left? It depends.
In the U.S. customers typically lean right when they walk in a store because most are right-handed, and they’re already accustomed to keeping to the right in all other areas of life.
You’ll notice that behavior in store aisles. Customers will usually keep to the right. In other countries like England, people will veer to the left because they are used to driving on the left.
You have to keep this in mind to design the traffic flow of the store. In a herringbone style layout, you can place your most important items to the right as soon as customers walk in.
Keep Things Interesting
You should refresh your design to keep things interesting for customers.
There’s a difference between refreshing the store shelves and revamping your store. A refresh updates your shelves with new products and your customers still know what to expect.
You have to be careful with this if your retail space is large. Customers are busy and they don’t want to go through your store a dozen times just to find that one item.
The store should have minor updates every week. That may seem like a lot, but you don’t want your store to become second nature to passersby.
The store isn’t going to be thought about by them, so you have to shake them up a bit. This is usually a way to spotlight new products.
Use Product Demonstrations
About 62% of shoppers visit retail stores to see items and try them on before buying. They also don’t want to wait two days for the item to arrive.
You can encourage customers to try products before they make a purchase. High-end retail stores have to go beyond the typical changing rooms and opportunities to sit on the furniture.
You can create an in-depth experience by integrating technology with your product demonstrations. Visit this website to see technology and product demonstrations work together.
Test Different Layouts
You don’t want to start with one store layout, decide that it doesn’t work, then change to a different layout. That is costly to your business and you can confuse returning customers.
It is possible to test different layouts before you install them in your store. Develop your designs using layout design software first, then visualize them in the store space. You can use temporary structures that are easy to move to try out different designs.
When you find the right one for your store, you can install permanent structures.
Focus on the Experience
Step back from your layout design. Now is the time to take a high-level view of the entire customer experience. Every interaction with staff, product shelves, and the design work together to create one incredible experience.
High-end retailers need to find creative ways to justify premium prices. A superior customer experience goes a long way to justify those higher prices. In some industries, people pay up to 16% more because they have a better customer experience.
How can you deliver an unforgettable customer experience in your store? That’s the million-dollar question. You can start by having enough trained staff available to answer questions and assist customers.
Find ways to personalize the experience, either through rewards or loyalty bonuses. That will encourage customers to purchase more and become more loyal to your store.
Design for High-End Retail Stores
Creating a store layout for high-end retail customers isn’t always easy. Customers have incredibly high expectations, and you need to deliver a quality experience.
Make sure that you know your customers’ preferences and make it easy for customers to find what they need.
High-end retail stores have to treat layout designs as dynamic. You have to consider the entire customer experience, not just the layout of the store. That’s the right approach to use when designing your layout.
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