Identify the key objectives of good store design.
As a store owner, it would be great if you could be standing at the door every time a customer enters. You could greet that customer, tell him you want him to feel welcome and relaxed, and show him all the products you’re most interested in selling him.
Shoppers make up to 80% of their purchasing decisions while they’re in the store.[Store design—everything from the height of the shelf to the carpet on the floor—can help influence those shoppers in a way that’s favorable to the sale.
Design and the Shopping Experience
Before we even start talking about store design, we should go over a couple of customer behaviors that inform those designs. Mainly,Shoppers walk counterclockwise. Every time you enter a mall, a supermarket, the corner store, you will veer to the right if you’re able. It’s just what people do.
Shoppers avoid upper and lower floors. In fact, shoppers really enjoy staying on the same floor they started on when they entered the store.
Shoppers hate narrow aisles. In most cultures, that is. If customers have to pass each other at an uncomfortably close distance, they won’t go down the aisle. Shoppers need to “orient” themselves. Referred to sometimes as the “transition zone” or “decompression zone,” this is the area where a customer gets used to the idea that he or she is in a store. It’s where they stop to see which way they might go. Usually there are shopping carts and welcome signs in this area, but not much else, because customers aren’t yet ready to focus on the shopping experience.
If your store design were to go against the grain of those customer idiosyncrasies, you’d already be at a disadvantage.
A store layout will show the size of each department, any permanent structures, shelving and other fixtures, and even customer traffic patterns.