The objective of all retailers is to ensure 100% of customers see 100% of product. Sounds straightforward yet in recent research in United Kingdom they found that 75% of customers only saw a maximum of 20% of product. Imagine how sales would improve if customer flow allowed 100% of customers to see 100% of product.
Your aim as a retailer is to direct your customers around your store, do not allow them to wander without clear direction, if you do, sales will drop off dramatically.
You must create a racetrack and not a runway. A racetrack goes around store and exposes customers to all product departments.
A runway goes up and down store and encourages people to speed up and walk faster.
1.Create a Store Layout that Reflects Your Image
Prior to developing your customer flow, you need to establish what image you are aiming to achieve as this will then assist you in deciding what style of layout you should develop.
My aim is not to make you a store designer, this is an area where you should seek expert advice, but you do need to appreciate various styles of retailing.
There are two extreme styles of layout. The two extremes of style are:-
2.The Grid Layout
Supermarkets are experts at this type of layout and this is a simple design to ensure 100% of customers see 100% of product.
3.Informal or Boutique Layout
This layout is common in smaller stores and leading clothing fashion retailers are very skilled at getting consumers to flow around an informal layout
There are obviously stages in design layout between these two extremes, all of which work for different styles of retailing.
4.Position your Checkouts to Direct Customer Flow
The position of checkouts is critical in establishing how customers will flow around your store. When entering a store general reaction is to walk away from checkout. If position of checkout is wrong you may find you have hidden half your products from your customers.
As a general rule in Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom, we are accustomed to keeping to left. It is therefore advisable to try and establish a clockwise customer flow, finishing with a service counter on right.
The worst scenario in many stores is to place a service counter in prime sight line, this will create a runway to counter and reduce browse shopping considerably.
5.Bounce Customers Around Your Store
The aim is to get customer around whole store and therefore placement of products or departments is critical.