If you own or manage a retail store, you probably already know that your store’s interior design and layout directly impact your customers’ purchases. For example, strategically placing products in some regions of the store can keep shoppers in the store longer, increasing their chance of finding more products to buy. Ultimately, optimizing your retail space is important because you can influence buyer behavior.
This article highlights how you can improve retail space optimization with people counters in your store. Whether you’re looking for solutions for boutique or shopping mall space optimization, read the following suggestions for the best ways to improve the interior of your retail space.
Common Store Layout Strategies
Optimizing store layout involves aspects like designing your floor space and strategically placing your products in your store to positively influence a customer’s behavior. It turns out that design is the biggest environmental factor that impacts a customer’s approach to your store. Alternatively, an important aspect that can influence store layout is customer flow — the pattern in which customers move around your store. Combining an understanding of these aspects allows you to create a strategy for your store that helps you become more profitable.
Most stores generally use one of four layouts:
- Grid: Most commonly used in grocery stores, a grid layout arranges shelves in long rows, guiding customers up and down each aisle. This layout is successful because store owners can place commonly-shopped-for items in the back of the store. This technique makes shoppers looking for necessities walk down one or more aisles, creating a higher chance they’ll see — and buy — something else they might have wanted or forgot they needed.
- Loop: The loop layout is exactly what it sounds like — one central aisle that loops around the entire store like a racetrack, leading the customer back to the entrance.
- Spine: With a spine floor plan, your store has one central aisle that flows from the front of the store to the back of the store, with branches breaking out into various departments.
- Free-flowing: The free-flowing layout features merchandise, displays and fixtures grouped together to make up a seemingly random layout. Popular among small businesses, this floor plan emphasizes open space and allows customers to wander around the store and find items that pique their interest.
Understanding how the layout of your products and the way your customers flow through your store is key to turning a profit. Choose a layout that will make sense for your store and will show your customers you had them in mind when designing it.
What’s the Decompression Zone?
The decompression zone of your store is the first few feet inside the door, where customers adjust to their surroundings and prepare for what your store may have to offer. Creating an effective decompression zone is essential because customers may leave if they feel overwhelmed as soon as they enter your store.
Here are a few tips to make the entrance of your store feel welcoming:
- Open, clutter-free space: Keeping your decompression zone clutter-free provides a vast space for customers to enter your store. Also, note that keeping this space open will help the traffic flow coming in and out of the store if you only have one entrance and exit.
- Featured products: Displaying products you want customers to buy around the decompression zone can impact sales. Of course, you should keep the displays tasteful and straightforward, so your customers feel enticed to explore your products.
- Create an aesthetic: Since the decompression zone of the store is the first space potential customers will see, it’s your chance to impress them with your store’s unique style and aesthetic. Decorating using eye-catching displays can draw your customers into the space.
The Importance of Facilities Maintenance
Maintaining your retail facility to stay in optimal condition will positively influence your customers’ experience. Facility maintenance is another factor that can directly benefit from understanding the customer flow through your store and where the high-traffic areas are located. When you understand which places your customers frequent the most, you can ensure you keep these areas especially clean.
For example, you should maintain spaces like bathrooms or main aisles to keep up a good appearance. When you’re completing maintenance tasks, try to do so after hours so your customer can shop uninterrupted. Preventative maintenance on building systems, like heating and lighting, is also crucial so you can avoid surprise issues. When you implement maintenance checks, you can deliver a clean, comfortable and consistent shopping experience for your customers while creating more time for yourself to devote to retail space optimization.
How to Use Data From People Counters
In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept of people counters in retail stores, they’re sensors that collect and monitor data, like how many people enter your store, how long they stay and how many of your visitors turn into buyers. They can be especially helpful in determining high-traffic areas of your store.
You can use the data from people counters to do the following:
- Analyze traffic flow: As we stated earlier, understanding the way customers flow through your store is vital in deciding how you should display your products. Knowing which way your customers tend to walk out of the decompression zone can help you determine where to place certain products to increase profits. You can use the data from people counters around your store to determine if the layout of your store is successful.
- Assess high-traffic areas: People counters can also help you assess your high-traffic areas. Understanding the location of these areas can be beneficial to you because you can place products you want to highlight in the heavily visited areas of your store.
- Determine busy and slow times: Using people counting data to determine the slowest and busiest times of the day and week can help you schedule maintenance or additional staff members in a way that’s most beneficial for your space.
Contact Traf-Sys for a Free Quote for Your Retail Business
If you’re looking for the best ways to optimize your retail space, consider implementing people counting systems around your store. Analyze the data to help you make effective decisions about store layout and when the best times are for maintenance or more staff members to be present. At Traf-Sys, we pride ourselves in offering accurate people counting systems to a variety of businesses, and yours could be one of them.