Inspire, excite and engage―these are the three words that reflect the holy-grail of contemporary retailing.
Where visual merchandising might be an art, store design is a science. First impressions count and being able to create a retail space that is inviting and interesting is key to having a successful store:
1 We want to avoid overwhelming or confusing the customer
2 We want to make sure our customers can feel at ease, we want them to stay as long as possible
3 We want to make sure our customers can find products in store, and that they have all the relevant information they need to buy with confidence
4 We want to inspire
5 We want to make sales!
Lucy Given, owner of LUC. Design in Hobart, shares her tips to ensure your brand and the experience within your store are represented cohesively.
Define your space
First things first, defining your space is all about your brand and image, how it gets people into your store, and what they do once they’re there.
This is the big picture—what are you selling, and who are you selling to? There needs to be a consistency of style and function in your store that reflect all of these different factors, to tie the whole shopping experience together.
Organising the space
When a customer shops online, they have an entire store at their fingertips, with the ability to look at multiple different types of products at essentially the same time. This isn’t quite the same for the in-store shopping experience. But, just like a well-thought out, intelligent website, it’s important that your bricks and mortar space is well-organised, and as intuitive and easy to use, as possible.
A customer who enters a store should have a clear path to follow, with different categories of products clearly sign-posted or displayed, logical and clear product groupings, and a means of quickly finding help if they need it.
A well-organised store is one that makes customers feel safe and comfortable, and is structured so that they can get what they need and where they need to go without wasting time.
Offer a consistent sequential experience
Successful stores deliberately plan the customer experience, both figuratively and literally. Literally, it’s about planning the store’s layout for the optimal customer experience; figuratively, it’s more about the chronological path a customer takes to get there—an awareness and knowledge, through marketing, that encourages them to come to the store (whether print, web, online socials or even just the store-front window), then exploring the store and browsing products, and finally, making a purchase. The experience needs to be consistent―your style, your fonts, your colours, your service… your brand.
Want to read more? Check out the full article in our Christmas digital magazine!