Picture this: you’re in a room full of people you’ve never met before and one of them could be your soulmate. You talk to each one, telling them about your hobbies, your job, and your family. All you have to do is connect with one of them enough to earn a second date. It seems easy enough, right? Now imagine doing it in 60 seconds or less.
As a retailer, that’s exactly what you have to do with your customers every day: connect with them in a very short amount of time to earn their business and loyalty. After all, in today’s rapidly changing marketplace, competition is found in many different business models.
Grabbing consumer’s attention can be pretty difficult if you don’t properly display your products and create a flow in your retail store that leads them to the checkout counter. If you want to learn how to impress your customers from the moment they enter your business from the time they leave, keep reading.
1. Create eye-catching displays
Who doesn’t love a colorful promotional display full of their favorite products? By carefully positioning the right promotional displays near the entrance of your store, you will excite customers from the moment they walk in and get them thinking about making additional purchases they didn’t plan on making prior to walking into your store.
Point of purchase (POP) displays are a great way to grab the attention of your customers and advertise special promotions. These free-standing displays can be extremely creative — sometimes taking on the shape of the products they’re selling or creatively displayed at checkout. However you choose to use POP displays in your store, just be sure not to overdo them and crowd your store to the point where you’re confusing shoppers.
The signage in your retail store can also have an effect on the success of your business. Although you likely sell a variety of brands and products, the general signs in your store directing people where to go for certain items or advertising store-wide sales need to be eye-catching, consistent, and easy to read. Having consistent, helpful messaging throughout your store shows that you’ve thought about the customer journey. Here are more reasons why the signage in your store is so important.
2. Utilize impulse sales
If you’re not taking advantage of impulse sales, you could be losing out on big business. Impulse sales (also known as impulse buys) are unplanned purchases customers make while spending time in your store. Impulse sales can significantly increase the profitability of any business.
When deciding which products you’re going to use to promote last-minute purchases, don’t just focus on the products — think about the fixtures you’re going to display them on and how they relate to the design and layout of your retail store (see below for more on that). Impulse sales are often spurred on by placing products on end unit retail displays or creating a strategic checkout experience.
According to a poll taken by CreditCards.com, 84% of respondents said they’ve made an impulse purchase at some time, and 77% in the past three months. If that’s not enough evidence to convince you that impulse buys should be an important part of your business strategy, check out these impulse buying statistics every retailer and small business owner should know.
3. Think about the store layout design
The layout and design of your retail store are going to be among the top determining factors of whether or not a customer buys something. It’s all very simple. If someone walks into your store and immediately feels crowded, confused, or that it’s going to take a long time to find the products they’re searching for, they’re most likely going to leave without making a purchase. This also increases the likelihood they will never return to your store.
Think about the customer journey from the moment they enter your store. Is there a decompression zone where they can take a moment to look around at everything before browsing, or are you crowding the entrance with large signs and bulky displays?
Create structure and order to guide customers throughout your store. If everything is set up correctly, you’ll eventually lead them to checkout — hopefully ready to make a purchase! The right retail store fixtures and shelves will make it easy to create an exceptional store layout and design. Learn more about the importance of a good store design here.
4. Train your staff
Nowadays, it’s easy to buy the things you need online rather than go to a physical retail store. So why would customers come to your store instead of ordering something online? For some, it could be a way to get out of the house. Others may not have time to order a product online, or the product they’re looking for can’t even be bought online.
Whatever the reason may be, customers expect a stellar customer service experience when they walk into your retail store. Take the time to train your staff on proper ways to greet customers, encourage them to strike up a conversation, and make sure employees are friendly and sociable.
The benefits of great customer service can prove extremely beneficial to your business. In fact, if a customer has a friendly conversation with one of your employees, they could very well go to work the next day and tell their coworkers about it. This word-of-mouth marketing can bring in new customers and help create a great reputation in your community.
Now you know what it takes to impress your customers and earn their affection — er, sales. Although you won’t be creating your store design and layout to find your soulmate (hey, you never know!), using the analogy of speed dating can help you visualize the importance of capturing a customer’s attention in the first few moments they arrive.
If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to the layout and design of your store, trust Handy Store Fixtures to guide you in the right direction. Our team has over 60 years of experience creating straightforward and efficient retail store shelving and layout processes for independent retailers. Contact a store design specialist today.