The retail industry has always been known as highly competitive with small profit margins, adding to which in the last decade, is the increase in online shopping, which requires the owners of physical shops to make an effort to remain current and relevant.
Large retailers as well as small and medium businesses understand that they must invest in the design of the store in order to create a competitive differentiation for themselves, and in order to provide a unique experience for the customer which will motivate him leave the house.
A store’s commercial success is measured by revenue per meter, number of customers per day, and customers’ return visits.
These parameters are more important that the aesthetic value of the store and the shopping experience in itself, and they are the ones which will determine whether it will succeed and survive over time. In order to draw in customers and sell well, the stores must be smart, meticulous and designed in an overall vision of sales. It is possible to improve the revenues of the business by tens of percent and more, through professional design and planning of the point of sale.
Many believe that successful marketing has to be based on aggressive sales and efforts of persuasion, but more than once, these methods cause people to buy things they do not necessarily need. It is preferable to encourage consumers to make informed and right decisions without the aggressive intervention of sales personnel or promotional tactics. It is possible to do so through the meticulous planning of the customer’s route in the store, while creating a pleasant shopping experience at the same time.
The right planning of the customer’s walking route as part of the store’s layout, is one of the factors which most impact sales. The key is to create interest and maintaining it throughout the shopping experience, otherwise the customer will increase his speed, skip products, and find his way out, which will ultimately affect the total shopping cart. There is crucial importance to the location of the entrances and exits, the check-out lines, the various categories and the interaction between them, the location of interest points and the avoidance of dead zones – all while thinking through the eyes of customer. The retailer’s credibility is expressed in the selection of the design concept which is compatible with the image, to the level of pricing and the target audience of the product in the store (avoiding a sophisticated design language for low cost products, and vice verse), and in the consistency on the customer’s route (avoiding “surprises” in the familiar route, and changes the customer will find hard to adapt to).
Comfortable and aesthetic sales complexes evoke positive emotions in the consumers, enable them easy orientation and reduce their dependency on sales personnel. In respect of the retailer, the design concept should best reflect the brand values, and the design of the complex must take into account all of the operational considerations, area constraints, staff comfort, maintaining cleanliness, preventing thefts and reducing depreciation.
Links to articles by Lior Koren on the topic:
> Where the Customer and the Product Meet [ a lecture at the 4th “Architecture with the taste for more” Conference | November 2014 ]
About the importance of retail thinking when designing and planning points of sale, and its crucial impact on the performance of the store and its success.
> Version update in the shopping experience – leveraging the internet in favor of the physical store [ The Marker, Doing business segment | September 2015 ]
The multi-retailer customer uses all the available channels at his disposal to collect information and making a purchase – online or in the physical store. A successful combination between them will increase sales.
> Doing business: designing retail stores and complexes [ Building & Housing – BVD | June 2019 ]
The increase in online shopping forces the physical store to “reinvent themselves”, and offer the customer an invested and well planned experienced which makes leaving the house for it worthwhile.
> Integrating brands at the points of purchase – conflict of interest or a business opportunity? [ August 2013 ]
Shops and chain stores are facing the dilemma of whether to allow the display of the most sold brands in the chain stores, and if so, how not to harm their visibility.
> Planning the customer path in the store as a tool to increase sales [ Al Ha’Madaf magazine | May 2011 | Lior Koren ]
The planning the customer’s route in the store has a great deal of impact on sales, and its importance is great in any type of point of sale.