Getting a store’s layout right is one of the key strategies that can be used to generate more sales. Retail store layout refers to the designing of its floor space and planning the placement of goods to maximize sales per square foot. By implementing the correct layout, you can ensure a smooth customer flow through the store, influence the customers’ shopping behavior and improve the ambience of the store.

The goal of a well-planned store layout should be to attract and encourage customers to buy. Planning an ideal layout for your store requires a lot of attention to details like the size of your store, the products that you sell, and more importantly, your target customers.

Here are a few tips to help you create an effective store layout:

• Make the entrance welcoming
The entrance is the first area that customers view when they enter your retail store. This area acts as a ‘standard’ on which customers will judge whether to continue shopping at your store or not. This area is also known as the decompression zone, which is the first 5 to 15 feet of your store.

The entrance should be designed such that your best products are on display in an attractive and appealing manner.

Select the right floor plan
Use the right floor plan to create an organized flow of customer traffic. Select a floor plan which will suit your store, keeping in mind factors like what would be economical for your store, how to showcase your products and on whether you want to guide customers through the shopping process or encourage them to browse and go in any direction. Keep in mind that first impressions matter.

• Make the most of the right turn
Research shows that majority of customers turn to their right when they enter a store. This is known as the “invariant right” and is a result of most people being right-handed. The space found to the customer’s immediate right is also known as the ‘power wall’ in the retail industry. This power wall should be designed in a way that the customer’s attention is immediately captured.

Use the power wall for product displays that create maximum impact and bring in colors that match the ambience of the store. Customers are more prone to visit if power walls are creatively set up and re-designed regularly to stock different products as per the season.

• Showcase more products to entice customers
The process of navigating the store should feel natural to your customer. By keeping staple items at the back or at opposite ends of the aisle, you can encourage customers to walk past other products, which would increase the chances of buying more products. Breaking up aisles with attention-grabbing displays and placing small ticket items like candy / chocolates etc. also nudge customers towards impulse buying.

Shelves should be designed to provide your customers easy access to products that increase sales. These products need to be displayed at eye level so that customers need not make any additional effort to reach them.

• Get customers to slow down
A store’s layout should be designed in a manner such that customers are enticed to slow down and have a closer look at products available in the store. The more time customers spend in your store, the higher are the chances of a sale.

Breaks or speed bumps displays placed strategically throughout your store to slow customers down. Speed bump displays maybe used to showcase new products, seasonal products or products on sale. Appropriate music and lighting in the background also helps create the right atmosphere for your customers.

It is essential that retailers invest time and resources to create a positive in-store shopping experience for customers such that they are inclined to spend more time and buy more. Choosing the right layout, showcasing products in an manner that is eye catching and changing displays frequently all a few things retailers should always keep in mind.