[This article was written by Lizzie Weakley.]
For customers, a sensible and seamless shopping experience is generally expected when walking into a store. While the goal is simple, creating a store that is easy to navigate can actually require a lot of creativity, critical thinking and experimentation. Improving the design and presentation of the store’s interior is a fundamental component of shaping a positive customer experience, so it’s something every owner needs to consider.
Encourage Active Customer Service
While it’s important to give shoppers breathing room while they are in the store, there should always be a customer service representative available to field questions and offer assistance. Customers who appear confused or frustrated shouldn’t have to look far for help. Employees should be familiar with the products and layout of the store so they can offer accurate and expedient assistance when necessary.
Install Signs and Aisle Markers
It’s hard to overstate the value of a large and colorful sign when directing shoppers through a store. Many large retail outlets and department stores have high-profile department labels throughout the store to help customers navigate. Store owners who don’t want to use labels or signs can also mark the contents of each aisle by setting up a display of a selection of items at each end. End caps are also useful for advertising discounts, new products or seasonal specials.
Love Your Lights
Stringing a few fixtures to the ceiling may be enough to light a room at home, but stores need to be more thorough with their lighting choices. High visibility ensures a safer shopping experience for customers, especially those who have vision impairments. Efficient and powerful commercial lighting options, like 8ft LED tube fixtures, can offer affordable and flexible solutions that store owners can tailor to their needs.
Think About Your Layout
The layout of the store isn’t about the convenience of the store owners or employees, it’s about optimizing customer experience. Owners should consider their customer’s shopping habits, like typical traffic patterns throughout the store and high-demand items, when they design the store. For example, many grocery stores display fresh produce in an open area rather than an aisle to give shoppers more space to stop and select their merchandise.
Get Reviews and Improve
The most important tip for making your store easier to navigate is to look for opportunities to get better every single day. Store owners should seek out honest reviews from their customers and employees about their shopping experiences. These insights can provide valuable information that helps guide future design and layout decisions.
Owners of successful retail establishments know how important interior layout and customer experience are for generating long-term growth. Every store, regardless of size or niche, should take steps to streamline and improve the shopping experience for their customers.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.