How to organise your shop to increase your visitors and sales

By Greg Bell

How you layout your Gold Coast commercial property has a big impact on the experience of your customers. A well-designed store encourages customers to part with their hard-earned cash and therefore increases your sales.

What should you keep in mind when designing your commercial layout?

1) The customer pathway

Customers tend to head to the right when they walk into a shop, according to American Express. This means that whatever you place there is going to get a serious amount of traffic, making it your premium spot. Place goods with a high profit margin here so you gain the biggest return.

Products you're known for and sell the most of should be at the back of your shop. Customers have to walk past everything else you sell and spend extra time in your shop, increasing the chance that they buy more than they originally came in for.

It's not just the person with the money you need to think about. How often does a parent buy something to stop their child asking them for it? While one member of the party might have a particular item in mind, the other people they are with can have a significant impact on what is eventually purchased.  

2) Shelving display

How you organise your shelves could impact whether a customer thinks a product is worth buying and whether they leave your store feeling satisfied. Striking the right balance between empty and full shelves is key. While full shelves are attractive, a partially empty shelf space makes customers think other people have bought the product and that it must be worth having, according to The effects of in-store layout- and shelf designs on consumer behaviour by Tijmen Elbers. The product immediately becomes more attractive.

As well as what the shelf looks like, where products are placed also influences buying. Products at the end of an aisle receive more attention than those in the centre, while consumers think that items are ordered by price and popularity, continues Elbers.

3) Get your queues in line

If your checkout queues are visible from the door, they might put people off coming in. To combat this, have enough check out stations for the number of people you expect to see every day, and do the same for changing rooms if you are selling clothes.

Even if you can't reduce queues, at least see if you can rearrange the system from straight to wrap-around. Keep experimenting before settling on one system. Seeing a queue could be enough to dissuade someone with a basket full of profitable items from buying anything at all.

Baskets and trolleys are in themselves one way to increase sales. Make them easy to find and big enough to fit lots of products in. A small basket will fill quickly, and when it's full it signals to the customer that it's time to check-out. Make sure they can fit plenty of your products in their basket so they don't check out too soon.

4) Create a welcoming atmosphere

If you want customers to part with the big bucks and spend as long as possible in your shop, you'll need to make it appealing to enter and comfortable to stay in. A big drafty warehouse that echoes doesn't encourage a long and leisurely stroll through the aisles. 

Depending on your audience, it may be appropriate to have music, dark or light paint or decorative accessories. Some stores even use scent generators to tempt customers through the door. Think about how tempting the smell of fresh bread outside a bakery is, or the scent of coffee outside a cafe and you get the idea.

5) Look good from the outside

What you do with your window plays a big part in whether customers decide to walk through the door. It takes a mere moment for a customer to make a judgement about what they will find in your shop, and whether the goods, prices, and atmosphere will be to their liking. The window display is a snapshot of what your store contains. It sets the tone, explains visually what kind of products visitors can expect to find and needs to attract the attention of otherwise disinterested passersby. If your lease and council permissions allow, you could spill out on to the pavement to really make your wares obvious. 

To find the commercial space you're looking for, speak to Ray White Surfers Paradise now.

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