The Perfect Fit – How to get the best out of the space you have
A key factor to using your space efficiently is to ensure you don’t overcrowd each area. The customer needs to be able to see a product clearly rather than a clutter of items. This also applies to where you place your stands/floor units, too close to the door and you’ll create a blockage, discouraging people from sometimes even entering the store.
There can be a temptation to overload the store with products to show that you have everything, this can usually end up working against you as your customers struggle to wade through the masses of stock to find what they want. Good customer service must accompany good space planning to ensure the customer feels looked after and happy.
It can be a useful exercise to walk through your store as if you are the customer, looking at it from another point of view and not taking criticism personally for the way the shop is laid out can be vital to seeing the problems yourself and correcting them.
- Should you set aside an area that can be used for displays, and if so how to make the most of them?
Absolutely, displays are what really sell your merchandise, it gives the customers a glimpse into how certain products can work together which encourages related/add on purchases.
A display can vary in size, anywhere from a small shelf with a mannequin bust to a large central display taking up a couple of metres. It’s important to get the balance right as every shop is different, however the same premise applies to all stores; take the time to change up the display and reap the benefits that come with it. Keeping displays and merchandise looking fresh and updated generates renewed interest every time a customer returns to the store.
- Displaying a range of different goods and sizes can be tricky
Nowadays everyone wants a one-stop-shop for everything, so the pressure on retailers to stock everything is growing more and more. Our advice is to focus on your core products and grow from there. If something isn’t selling consider if it’s being merchandised correctly first before throwing it out.
Having the correct fittings for your products is a key part of reducing this stress. Ensure you have the right equipment for the job. Investing in your fittings sends a message out to the customer about you and your store; if you are seen to be investing in yourself they are more likely to invest in you. Being able to navigate products easily is key to ensuring your customers make that purchase rather than walk out the door empty handed.
- Best tips on store layout to increase customer experience
Store layout is key to ensuring your customers not only get to see everything in your store, but are given a good experience. Ensuring walkways are clear and easy to navigate can go a long way to ensuring they get what they came for. With the rapid growth in online shopping, outlets have to play to their strengths and that comes down to delivering an experience, making the customers feel happy and comfortable that they’re in your shop. The layout is critical and is sometimes dismissed. However, attractive stores and layouts relax customers and places them in the right state to be able to make a purchase.
Counters should always be at the furthest point from the entrance / exit of the store with good vision throughout. This being said, it shouldn’t become difficult for the customer to find you or the pay point. Have good directional cues with the use of your stands/floor units, signage and even dedicated flooring to ensure they don’t go wandering in the wrong direction trying to find you or the counter.
Floor units should always be a good distance away from the main entrance; make your store as enticing as possible for customers to come in. People like space, so give them at least a metre to walk in and decide where they want to go.
Having well defined ways in and out of the store also helps improve customer flow, meaning you can get more people in and out with minimal fuss which potentially can lead to more sales.
- What advice can you give on lighting as this seems to be widely overlooked in the equestrian industry, when premises are often converted farm buildings
Lighting is often overlooked and is the downfall of many stores. While the general theory is that brighter is usually better, this isn’t always the case. Over the years we have found that contrast is the important factor that lighting brings to the table. Creating a lighting plan has never been more crucial to showing off your products successfully.
Colour temperature is something to consider when choosing your fittings, this refers to the light appearance that the bulb emits. ‘Warm white’ is the most commonly used and creates a warm, cosy ambience. This provides a comfortable environment that feels safe resulting in customers spending more time in your store.
There are two types of lighting that are required, the first is ambient – this is the general lighting levels in your store. This needs to be mapped out properly to ensure there are no dark areas that discourage your customers from visiting certain parts of your shop.
The second is spot lighting (also known as accent lighting), spot lights help point out where you want the customer to be looking, this can be a big help in showing off your star products, or help give some extra attention to the stock you’re struggling to sell.
Converted farm buildings are usually tall with no lowered ceiling, which means different approaches can be taken. One option is to fit a suspended ceiling to maintain the shop look and make the lighting plan a little easier, but high ceilings with beams adds to the overall charm of a converted farm buildings. There are many lights on the market which can be used in these scenarios and a shop fitting and lighting company working together to create the optimal solution is important to ensure the lighting is in the right place for your newly designed store.
- General Shop Fitting Advice
Shops need at least three key things, good fittings, good flooring, and good ceiling/lighting.
Stores break down into three categories: Demand, Impulse, Browser.
Demand: These are the items that must be identified by the shop as the things most customers come in for. This is usually located at the furthest point in the store.
Impulse: These are the items usually located on the customer’s way to the counter/around the counter area. These are add on purchases which can boost profit.
Browser: These are the items that people need to take time to think and consider, it’s important that they have the space away from the counter and other queuing customers.