Many people who love to shop also love to sell, and many avid shoppers have opened their own unique boutiques. If you are one of those entrepreneurs, you are always on the lookout for new and innovative designs that will boost sales, please customers and help you display your merchandise in a more attractive way.
Whether you sell jewelry and fashion accessories or linens and restaurant table bases, you need to design your retail space with the needs of the modern customer in mind. Shopping behavior has changed radically in the past couple of decades, with busier schedules and the rise of the internet altering the way we interact with retailers and shop for the things we want and need.
Many old line retailers have developed an inordinate fear of technology. The worry that providing free Wi-Fi access will encourage customers to check out the products in the store but buy from an online retailer instead. They complain about showrooming – trying products in the store and then looking for lower prices on the Internet.
While some of those fears are justified, that is no reason to eschew technology. In fact, smart companies are embracing technology and making it an integral part of the customer experience. Some clothing retailers, for instance, are planning to include interactive touch screens in their dressing rooms, allowing shoppers to interact with store personnel, check out accessories and even see how various colors will look on them.
Encourage Shoppers to Linger
Too many stores try to see how many customers they can get in and out of their doors in the course of an hour. They set up their retail spaces to encourage customers to come in, make their purchases and leave.
In reality, the opposite approach is often the most effective. Smart retailers are redesigning their spaces and encouraging customers to linger. Whether that means setting up seating areas or creating spaces where customers can hang out and try the merchandise, this approach has been paying dividends for retailers of all types.
Modern customers are much more sensitive to how the things they buy impact the environment. They worry about excessive packaging ending up in landfills. They worry about plastic bags contributing to the waste filling our oceans. They fret over the hardwoods in their furniture being harvested in an unsustainable manner.
Smart retailers are responding to that environmental concern and creating green spaces that reassure customers and help them shop with confidence. There are many ways for retailers to encourage that environmental concern.
It could be something as simple as handing out reusable shopping bags, using recyclable floor display stands, or something as complicated as replacing traditional case lighting with lights that automatically dim and un-dim as customers walk by.
Flexibility is Key
No matter what type of retail store you own, flexibility is the key. In the past there were luxury retailers, low end retailers and mid-range department stores, but these days the retail world mixes more freely.
Customers are used to seeing high-end merchandise and more affordable goods sharing the same retail racks, and they have become quite adept and finding exactly what they need. Setting up your own retail space with flexibility in mind can improve your results, build your brand and help you make the most of your marketing efforts.
Vanessa Landry works in a design team that has created a diverse range of retail spaces. She likes to provide her views and insights online and writes regularly for a number of relevant websites.