Over last few weeks, I have visited pet stores in USA, Europe and Australasia. Some of these stores were keen to ensure I was exposed to all products they had on offer, whilst others hid products from view. The old adage is that if you cannot see it, you cannot buy it.
Researchers tell us that 70% of buying decisions are made with eyes and therefore first priority in setting up a retail pet store is to ensure you expose customer to products you have on offer.
In one store I visited, they were determined I would see their total offer, whilst in another store I was exposed to less than 20% of their offer.
It’s Not Product; It’s Flow
Remember, first priority is not product; it’s customer flow. Researchers such as Paco Underhill, in United States, had carried out a lot of research on how we shop; theories apply to all types of retail outlets and pet industry is no different to a hardware store or fashion shop.
The first priority is to understand how subconsciously consumers who like to shop shop. This all depends on what side of road you drive on.
Those of you reading this article in countries where people drive on left-hand side of road will find consumers will prefer to shop in a clockwise arrangement. Those who drive on right-hand side will prefer to flow around your store in a counter-clockwise arrangement.
This means position of your checkout is critical to your success.
As a general rule, in left-hand drive countries counter goes on right and on left in right-hand drive countries.
The worst layout I have experienced is what is commonly called “pig trough” retailing. This is where counter is placed in centre of store, about one third in. This encourages first third of store to be shopped and not behind counter.
We recently worked with a retailer where he had a “pig trough” system. We physically moved counter on day and client phoned me at end of week to inform me that sales, since counter move, had increased by 20%.
It’s Not Product; It’s Personal Space
People need space to shop. According to research by David Lewis and recorded in his book “The Soul of New Customer”, biggest stress when shopping is lack of space. Don’t provide customers with space and they will not linger longer.