1 Keep entries clear: sometimes called the ‘decompression zone’, the threshold between the street and the store is where customers get their first impressions. Keep it uncluttered, with clear directions or information.
2 Be welcoming. If you cannot provide a clear view into the store from your windows, make your doorway welcoming. “Obstacle courses, visual clutter and “Do Not” signs on the doors are negative turn-offs that often result in a negative first impression and a lost customer,” says design consultant Donna Geary
3 Think right. Whatever your layout, the majority of shoppers will then turn right, according to research. This is when shoppers form an impression of your store, its prices and quality, so put a tempting display here.
4 Don’t block the view. Make sure shelves at the front are lower and narrower than those behind. This makes the store look well stocked and allows shoppers to see further back, advises Seattle-based consultant Pat Johnson writer for Entrepreneur magazine.
5 Use a power wall. “The first wall they see is often referred to as a “power wall”, and acts as a high-impact first impression vehicle your merchandise, so be sure to give it extra special attention in terms of what you choose to display and how you display it,” says Khan.
6 Put ‘in demand’ merchandise at the back or to the left of the store, so that customers are pulled through the store.
7 Avoid long, uninterrupted aisles: research has shown that customers have a habit of leaving their trolley at the end of an aisle and walking to and from the middle to get goods.
8 Your shelving is a reflection of your brand. If you’re after a sleek, contemporary image, go for glass and chrome. For something more rustic, you might choose wood or concrete.
9 Make sure your fixtures and displays are the right fit physically – can they carry the weight, are the dimensions correct?
10 If security is a concern, consider one entrepreneur’s tactic: bring in former thieves to advise on how to address vulnerabilities.
11 People are attracted to round and U-shapes, according to one expert, because they resemble a person holding out their arms for a hug. Think about how you can incorporate these into your design.
12 Use ‘feature areas’ as ‘speed bumps’ – to draw people’s attention and direct them. Shelving or displays at the end of an aisle can “dramatically increase sales”, especially for higher-margin impulse buys, according to Ghag. Promotional aisles, window displays, the walls – especially if space is limited: get creative about how you can use these to draw the customer to the products you want to highlight.
13 Use your imagination when creating compelling displays. But remember Jason Rueger’s advice: the main purpose of your displays and fixtures is to highlight your products. So don’t let an over-elaborate display detract from the product itself.
14 Keep your layouts dynamic – and look for components that can be easily moved or modified.
For more display tips and ideas please visit Shopfitting Warehouse