How to Lay Out Your Shop

By SME Insurance

Posted 05/07/17

Imagine you’re a shopper working your way through a maze of overstocked shelves to find that crucial item you need to buy; you’d soon abandon your search. A carefully thought through, customer friendly shop layout is important. But how do you go about creating the best layout? Here are some practical tips to get you started.

1. Pick A Plan

Before you start rearranging your shop you need a plan. A floor plan that is. There are three types of floor plan and the one you choose depends on the stock you sell [1].

Grid Floor Plan

A grid floor plan resembles a supermarket layout. Aisles are generally made up of shelves and provide a clear route for customers to take. This type of plan is ideal for retailers with large inventories that can be stocked on shelves for example gift or book shops.

Loop Floor Plan

A loop floor plan gives you huge control over the flow of your shop and the direction customers browse. It gives you the chance to make the most of wall displays and really show off your stock. This kind of layout is ideal for speciality retailers like beauty, homeware and toy shops.

Free Flow Floor Plan

These kind of floor plans let you get creative. It lets customers browse exactly the way they want without much guidance or influence from you. A free flow plan is perfect for boutiques and maximises space as carefully selected stock is given room to breathe. It’s well suited for upscale shops and retailers that stock a mixture of goods such as bakeries and delis.

2. First Impressions Count

The entrance to your shop is important. It’s where shoppers make a conscious leap from the high street outside to the inside of your shop.

Many shop design experts agree that the entrance to your shop shouldn’t be overwhelming. Studies have shown that customers are more likely to stop and shop if your entrance is free of clutter and overpowering sales messaging. This space is known as the ‘decompression zone’ and should give customers a chance to relax into shopping [2].

Similarly, studies have shown that we’re more likely to turn left when we enter a shop. This is where you should place your promotional displays for maximum exposure. These displays should grab customer’s attention and appeal to their spending habits. If you spot a good bargain in a shop, are you more likely to hunt another one down in the rest of the shop [3]?

3. Pay Attention To Positioning

Regardless of the type of floor plan you choose, your prime stock should be at eye-level. This will usually be the middle shelf and should feature your best selling items, high value stock or top brands.

The bottom shelf should be reserved for bulkier items and own brand merchandise. Shoppers of these ranges will be actively seeking them out so you shouldn’t waste prime shelf space on them.

The topmost shelf should contain necessary items of lesser known brands. These items will be slower selling but will act as an alternative option to your prime position stock [4].

4. Check It Out

The location of your tills will depend on how you’ve laid out the rest of your shop. Generally speaking, the tills should be at a natural stopping point for shoppers. It shouldn’t interrupt the flow and should blend in with the rest of your shop. Small retailers with few employees should also bear in mind the need to have a full view of the shop floor and customers entering and leaving the shop.

If you really can’t find the right place for your checkout, consider the route your shoppers will walk. For example if you have directed them to the right hand side and they have followed a loop, the front of your shop on the left is the best place for your tills [5].

5. Trial and error

Don’t feel like you have to choose one layout for your shop and stick to it. Testing different elements and asking for feedback from employees and customers will help you craft the perfect shopping experience.

Looking for a shop policy? Get a shop insurance quote from us today.




Posted 05/07/17

Author: SME Insurance

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