4 Ways Store Layout Can Influence Shopper Behavior and Impact Sales

4 Ways Store Layout Can Influence Shopper Behavior

Take advantage of basic psychology in designing a store layout that will impact customer behavior.

Most retailers know store layout has a significant impact on customer behavior. It influences how they’ll behave within the store, how long they’re going to stay, and what they’re most likely to purchase while they’re there. Understanding this, you can use some basic consumer psychology tips in your layout and design that will allow you to maximize the impact your layout has on shopper activities.

4 Rules for Store Layout and Merchandising that can Improve Sales

Rule #1: Be intentional in Your Efforts

Pinterest is filled with beautiful displays and designs. In many cases, you may find yourself trying to recreate the things that you’ve seen there. You may even succeed, but fail to realize the results you expected because of one thing: Not understanding the guiding principles that went into the original design.

Your replication may look great, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the perfect solution for your business. Instead, choose to be intentional about each element of your design; including:

  • Choose product placement carefully. Place items that you want to receive more attention in highly-visible items throughout the store.
  • Take advantage of the changing seasons to display seasonal merchandise and play on customers’ emotions; for instance, the spirit of giving around Christmas, for example, or love and romance around Valentine’s Day.
  • Create a sequential layout throughout the store that allows customers to experience your store’s “story” in a logical order.

You should also pay clear attention to the first impression that potential customers receive of your store. The customer’s first impression can determine whether or not they’re going to come in, whether they are going to stay, how much time they’ll spend browsing, the opinion they will take away, whether they’ll return, and whether they’ll tell other people about your store.

Rule #2: Make Key Items Stand Out

Some items in your store are simply more important than others. These are the high-margin items that allow you the greatest profit, and you want them to stand out so that customers will take notice of them. Use store layout space carefully to ensure that these items are placed where customers will be the most likely to take note of them, and where the customer is most likely to realize they want or need them.

Even in individual displays, the most important or high-profile items will determine how the display is arranged. For example, if you’re displaying jewelry, an expensive necklace might be placed at the center or at eye level, where it will be the most likely to attract customer attention. Placing other items around it will allow your customers to choose impulse items that go with it—the matching bracelet or earrings—but it’s the necklace that you really want to be the star of the show.

Use negative space productively in order to showcase those items to full effect. You don’t want to stuff your displays full of every item that could possibly be related to the important one. Instead, leave some empty space to really allow your items to shine.

Rule #3: Pay Attention to Lighting and Colors

The colors you choose to use in conjunction with store layout can significantly change the way customers view your products. How you utilize them can help create “speed bumps” that will get customers to slow down and capture their attention, increase engagement, and raise the odds that customers will purchase high-margin items. Some basic tips will allow you to make the most of lighting and colors throughout your store.

  • Use colors to evoke the mood you want. Orange, red, and yellow evoke a sense of excitement, while cool colors like blue and green promote calm and serenity.
  • Change your colors or lighting to draw attention to specific areas. Brighter lighting in a specific area can draw the eye and encourage customers to come see what’s been displayed.
  • Tailor your lighting and colors to your audience to ensure that you’re creating the right effect.

Rule #4: Your Story Matters

Your brand’s story is unique. There’s something that sets you apart from everyone else in the industry—something that will keep bringing customers back to you. Remain intentional in the way you tell your story.

Each time customers step into your store, they should encounter a linear progression that allows them to browse through all of the items in the store. Ideally, this progression should be logical: group like items together to make it easier for customers to find the item they’re after. Keeping key items near the back of the store will also encourage customers to walk through it.

You want to sell products that satisfy the needs of your buyers. Most importantly, however, you want to create store layouts that delight your customers and give them the full experience when they choose to shop with you. By sticking to these rules, you’ll find that you can create a more effective layout and design that will better encourage customers’ shopping habits.


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