Leveraging the Customer’s Line of Sight: 9 Tips for Retail Stores

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In today’s competitive retail world, it can be challenging to keep up with the wants and needs of your customers. Once you have drawn customers into your store, the next crucial step is to keep them engaged and to leverage their line of sight in order to best ensure an appealing environment and positive sale.

The following tips will help you create a customer experience that embodies contentment and effortlessness as the customer navigates your store.

First impression

Always keep in mind what you place in the front of the store sets the stage for the customer as they move deeper. Create intrigue in what you have to offer right off the bat by placing a display in the front of your store that will get the customer to slow down and set the stage for a great experience. A display of seasonal appeal is an extremely effective way of doing this, and creates a point of interest for the customer to build on as they move through the store. If you can, draw shoppers to the right side of the entryway. Studies have shown that most people naturally look left first, then move right as they enter a store. If you can guide them in this direction, you are not forcing them in the “right” direction so much as you are working off of their natural route instinct.

Surrounding Décor

The décor and supplemental arrangements need to act in support of your merchandise. It’s best to use decorations and organizational materials that reflect a clean and open feel, leaving plenty of space for your retail items so as not to distract from the overall intrigue of what you are trying to sell. Be creative and use décor items that supplement your brand and product, but as you aim for a unique feel, make sure you don’t go overboard.

Packaging

If your product is packaged in any way, aim for a bold appeal and unique delivery. Be careful, however, that you don’t create any sense of distraction from the actual product, as it will not deliver its first impression as clearly as it should. Think about how you can implement packaging that communicates exactly what the product is or does while at the same time, standing out in what may be competitive product territory. Assess your use of color, font, shape, etc. in order to adequately communicate your company’s overall brand and image.

Placement and Organization

Where you place your products can greatly affects their potential for sale. Shelves and racks need to flow in a way that makes sense for both the browsing shopper and the shopper who is “on a mission.” Accessibility is also crucial, as items places too high or too low will go unreached, unseen, and unsold.

Lead the customer

When mapping out the structural framework of your store, aim for a continuous flow whenever possible. Don’t stop a display at a blank wall, closet, or employee area, as this can create an awkward transition and loss of attention on your product(s). Engage the customer with creative organization, and create a flow that makes sense, is appealing, and also reflects an upbeat sense of your product and your company.

Relationship

Make sure that one shelf of products doesn’t distract attention from another. Flow is always important, and if you establish cohesiveness between your displays, customers are less likely to become overwhelmed and/or disinterested. Be careful not to place a long line of products that goes on and on—this increases the chance of customer boredom and goods being skipped over. Small break spaces can be filled with unique standout merchandise or light décor to give the customer a chance to take a breath and become drawn in by the next display.

Checkout and Point of Sale Displays

It’s never too late to generate product intrigue. Even as your customer heads to the checkout counter, aim to complete their purchase with strategically placed merchandise that is often necessary but forgotten or even overlooked. Highlight smaller products that will appeal to a wide consumer base within your target demographic, and make sure they are at a most comfortable (and therefore, appealing) price point.

Bigger Picture

Of course, how you think about your company’s overall image will surely impact the customer’s in-store experience. Make sure you have aligned your brand, store layout, and merchandise to fit your target demographic. Take time perfecting your company logo and think about incorporating it into your displays and/or merchandise layout. Copywriting is another very broad area that affects retail stores on many levels. Words, signs, and product descriptions can dramatically enhance the customer experience and assist in encouraging your customers to maximize their in-store journey and delve deeper into your products. Also, change displays regularly, perhaps even using many of the same pieces, but rearranged and re-inspired to create a fresh perspective that will draw the customer into your products and best guide them around your store.

Store Specificity

Depending on your specific niche, there may additional methods of appealing to the consumer that rely on the particulars of your store, employees, and of course, the customer. Have employees give first hand input regarding common complaints or discrepancies they see as customers browse the aisles. Create an engaging and open atmosphere by simply asking frequent and loyal customers how they might better be served or access your products.