If you’re running a real-world, physical shop (as opposed to an online one) then you’ll need to pay special attention to the way it’s laid out. Just as a website has myriad opportunities to direct attention toward profit, so too does a real-world store. Get things wrong, and your store will be far less effective; get things right, and your store will, all other things being equal, prosper.
In choosing your floor plan, you’ll want to consult with a specialist field sales agency, and consider a few different factors:
Your customers have a limited amount of attention, and they can focus only on one thing at a time. Assail their senses with a million different unrelated products simultaneously, and they’ll feel overwhelmed. Promote some products ahead of others, however (by placing them on their own special stands, or making them the centre of a display, and you’ll direct your customer’s attention to the things they’d like to buy.
In your real world store, you’ll have a limited amount of space – into which you might want to place an effectively limitless number of products. Clearly, you’ll want a layout which makes the best use of the available space – and the more diverse your product range, the more this will be so. In this respect, angular shelves and displays are superior – you can fit more of them into a store, and you’ll be able to have them in closer proximity to one another.
The more products that your customers are able to view, the more of them they’ll be inclined to buy. While this piece of conventional wisdom doesn’t always hold true, it’s certainly so that there’s a relationship between the two things. Allowing your customers to move unimpeded around your store is therefore essential – if they run into particularly severe traffic, then they’ll be more likely to find a way to leave the store than they will be to persevere with their browsing.
In order to guard against shoplifting and related crimes, you’ll need to be able to see what your customers are up to. If you’ve packed your store to bursting with narrow, tall shelves, then doing so will probably be impossible – even with the aid of CCTV. This means that you’ll need extra staff on the floor to keep a lookout and provide a deterrent – but this will further reduce the flow of traffic.
What store layouts are there?
When you’re deciding on your store layout, you’ll need to decide on a compromise between each of these concerns. Let’s examine some of the more popular designs.
Straight floor plan
This floor plan is akin to a grid – though it needn’t be entirely uniform. Rectangular shelves and displays are arranged parallel to one another, so that the maximum amount of floor space can be covered. These sorts of layouts can often be found in smaller convenience stores, where space is at a premium. That said, they offer economy at the cost of traffic flow.
Diagonal floor plan
This floor plan sees rectangular displays arranged diagonally. This allows excellent visibility – both for the people buying your products and those selling them. It’s also easier to move around a store arranged in this way.
Angular floor plan
This floor plan comes with something of a misleading name – the displays in such a store are more often circular than angular, so as to allow greater footfall around each display. They’re spread throughout the floor space, allowing customers to easily move around and view the items – but they offer less room for product displays. Accordingly, they’re best used in stores whose product range is narrower – high-end luxury goods are best sold in this environment. This floor plan also comes with an added bonus in that it ensures excellent visibility – which is all the more essential if you’re selling expensive, portable goods.
Mixed floor plan
Of course, there’s no hard-and-fast rule saying that you need stick with any one of these floor plans rather than going for a compromise between them. You might divide your store into sections depending on the sort of product being displayed, with each little are acting as a store on its own, sharing a POS system with the rest of them.
If you’re wondering how best to lay out your store, then you might enlist the aid of a specialist field marketing company. They’ll be able to provide the insight you need to select a layout that’s right for your business.