Store Layouts can Increase Customer Traffic

Floor Plan

The layout of your store isn’t just a function of the furniture you buy or the shape of the room. Store layout is the design of the floor space and product placement within the store. It is critical to consciously plan the layout of your store based on how you would like your customers to interact with your products.

In order to determine whether your store is laid out in the optimal manner, it’s important to monitor the flow of your customers. This means observing the way customers pass through the store, and counting how many and in what patterns they do so.

Once you have an idea of this pattern of flow, you can assess which areas are performing well and which areas need some adjustment, so you can better direct your customers to the products that you’d like them to purchase, generating additional profit.

A prime example of using store layouts to manage the flow of customers is the supermarket. Supermarkets are laid out in a grid fashion, with aisles extending up and down the store. Essentials such as milk are placed at the back of the store, so that customers are forced to pass through other aisles on their way to pick up the milk. During this time, the supermarket is hoping that a customer will remember something else they need or simply notice a product that interests them.

A lot of time and money goes into planning the aisles and product placement in supermarkets, and the same principles apply to small stores too. You should always be looking to improve the flow of traffic through your store to increase your sales. For example, keeping impulse items near the checkout and high profit products in high traffic areas can have profound effects on your bottom line.

Further to this, use signage and layout to direct your customers to areas that you think they should be visiting. Remember to allow enough room for customers to comfortably browse, pass each other, and even take prams and wheelchairs through.

A simple yet important addition to induce shopper behaviours is lighting – by spotlighting featured products, you will be drawing the customer’s attention to the product’s you want them to buy. Also, ensuring that your store is well lit generally is key in keeping customers in the shop. This is because they shouldn’t have to strain their eyes to view your products and prices. By creating a comfortable environment and an inviting ambience, you’re encouraging your customers to settle in and shop with you.

Some store owners think of layout and traffic as a science. They even analyse the flow of their customers via closed circuit television, making notes and measuring this against the goals they have set for product sales.

No matter how serious you are about analysing shopper behaviour inside your store, it’s important to apply the fundamentals and perhaps more importantly, assess the results and keep making changes to see how they affect flow and sales. Constantly tweaking your store layout and flow will help you discover the best formula for selling your product.