When seeking to refine and improve a store’s retail experience, business owners often focus on two key areas, which are staff and products. Employees receive training allowing them to better understand and cater to the needs of customers, while products are redesigned to boost their appeal. Both of these improvements have the potential to work but can easily be undermined by one often neglected area of consideration: shop fittings.
From the customers’ perspective, being able to navigate and browse a store well is fundamental. If retail furniture is ill-placed or problematic, to the extent that it becomes more difficult to find an item, store design removes the appeal of products and devalues the brand’s appeal. Examples of this include freestanding displays blocking vertical eye lines, precarious displays, and a lack of focal points within the store.
We’re sharing a guide on how to avoid these mistakes, so that retailers can better understand the importance of shop fittings and improve their retail experience by better utilising their placement and design.
The demand placed upon store spaces is not consistent. A weekend in December is likelier to be far busier than a Tuesday in February, for example. And yet, despite this drastic shift in footfall and sales, many stores continue to keep their retail designs consistent.
By installing modular retail furniture, those assets that can easily be moved, adjusted, or altogether dismantled, your store can adapt to the needs of shifting demand. Busy periods can be prepared for by reducing the amount of floor space occupied by shop shelving and fittings, while slatwall and other flexible shelving set-ups can cater for the same greater demand too.
Your store’s displays, from its stand offs to its lighting, plays an important role in helping customers to navigate. If signs are not visible or an innate sense of direction is not curated, customers are likely to become confused and, ultimately, stressed. Not only are stressed shoppers far more likely to leave but comfortable shoppers are more likely to browse for longer periods, increasing potential spend.
Focal points can be created through central displays, utilising mannequins and products, as well as through lighting, which directs customers’ point of view to certain areas of the store, whether the next area of products or the checkout counter.
Your staff, products, and branding each play an important role in communicating the quality of your brand. However, each can be drastically and potentially undermined by ill-considered store fittings. For a business to truly emphasise its luxury, every aspect of its retail space should be given due consideration. This is why, for example, upmarket clothing stores pay close attention to hangers and rails, because the quality of an item is exemplified, or compromised, by its mode of display.
By the same token, product and brand value can be elevated by improving the quality of store furniture and shelving. Custom-made and bespoke items have the potential to upgrade a shop’s quality, improving customer perception of the store.