A lot goes into planning out a successful retail space, especially for those who are new to the game. If you're in the planning stages, or else getting ready to reorganize your store, there should be one word that you're constantly keeping in mind – convenience. While aesthetics are essential, even the most beautiful store will drive customers away if its layout and operations are uncomfortable, awkward or confusing. Here are some ways you can make sure your retail location is a comfortable space for shoppers.
Think like your shoppers
To get a good idea of how things should be spaces and organized, you'll need to do a bit of role-playing. Leave the store and re-enter as if you were walking into your space for the first time. Is there a natural flow to the store? Do pathways and aisles organically guide you through the items you have for sale? As you walk through, if you find yourself coming across any dead ends, narrow passages, large empty spaces, or if you finish up your tour and realize you missed an entire part of the store, then you'll need to do some organizing.
Make your store an assembly line
Customers should have an experience not unlike a factory's assembly line. They should be welcomed into the space, be easily able to navigate your wares, and find themselves at a register when they're shopping trip is complete. The registers themselves should also be set up in a neat and orderly fashion. Think about where a line at the checkout counter would naturally form. If it's not clear, you may want to use store racks or display tables to indicate where queuing customers should stand.
Consider your customer base
To make your space as convenient as possible, you'll need to think of what your average customer is like. If your client base is mostly women, you may want to avoid high shelves that could be out of reach for customers who are a bit shorter. Likewise, if you draw mostly older shoppers, then make sure the space is well lit, and that there is no clutter on the floors.
Even if your store is perfectly organized, distractions and annoyances can make the space feel inconvenient. Avoid music that is too loud or repetitive, as this will drive shoppers away and make them lose focus while shopping. While a few adult and child mannequins are a good way to push sales, you don't want them around every corner or lining entire aisles.