Here’s a scenario to ponder over: let’s say you’re looking to increase your store sales but don’t know where to begin. Or you’ve tried a few things but still want to improve. To that, we’d pose this question: have you looked at what you’re doing around your floor planning? More importantly, have you thought about adjusting your floor plan?
Design a layout that makes it easier to navigate your store
As we’ve noted in other articles on this blog, one of the purposes of floor planning is to please your customers. Or, better yet, make the shopping experience so easy and pleasant that your customers enjoy it.
Therein lies the power of your floor plan - when carefully laid out, it can tempt your customers to shop for longer (and buy more) without them even realising.
Of course, to ensure that your customers do buy more, you first need to choose a layout that allows them to shop your store with ease. After all, it’s only once you’ve established your layout (floor plan) that you can think about increasing your sales.
When choosing which layout to follow, you also a few factors that you should acknowledge.
For one, there are your products to consider. As much as you need to design a store that is easy for your customers to navigate, you can’t achieve that if your layout doesn’t consider the type of products you sell. In fact, your store will look disorganised and visually unappealing.
On the other hand, you also need to consider the size of your physical store space. For example, as much as you might want to use a Grid Layout, which is the most popular store design, if you’re a small retailer with limited space, there are better layout options for you. Such as the Herringbone layout.
Best suited to stores with minimum space, the Herringbone layout makes use of a single passageway which runs through your store. Off this passageway are a series of paths which go all the way to your wall, which allows you to make the most of your retail floor space.
If you’re undecided about which layout to choose, you can read this piece about the advantages and disadvantages of the different store layouts.
Identify and understand how your customers shop your store
Understanding customer flow - how your customers move around in-store - goes a long way to helping you to figure out how to design a floor plan that meets their needs and expectations.
Also, not knowing how your customers shop your store is one of the biggest floor planning mistakes you can make.
Of course, it’s more than just that. Knowing how your customers shop isn’t only so that you can please them and minimise their irritations. It’s for your benefit as a store owner too. That’s because in understanding customer flow, you can optimise your product flow accordingly.
So how can you identify how your customers shop your store? There are a few ways.
Firstly, you can set up in-store cameras to monitor how your customers walk around in-store and which categories they shop the most. Secondly, you could place staff members throughout your store with the goal of monitoring how your customers shop. As a side note, they can also double as floor salespeople.
Book a personal consultation with a DotActiv Account Advisor to hear how our floor planning tool can help you build the perfect floor plan
Thirdly, you can look at your monthly sales data gathered through your POS system. This will tell you what is selling and how much. Data collected from a loyalty card programme can also help in this instance.
That said, you do need to be careful about how you track your customers. Just ask Nordstrom who came under fire for tracking the Wi-Fi signals of users who entered their store a few years ago.
As for how this can lead to more sales for you, we mentioned it briefly above: once you know how your customers shop your store, you can merchandise your products accordingly. In other words, you can create a floor plan that is specific to how your customers shop your store and leads them past merchandise that they might not have considered buying when they entered your store.
More than that, by knowing how your customers shop your store, you can look at spreading out any high-traffic categories. Not only does this mean your customers will shop more of your store. It will also go a long way to reducing floor congestion during peak shopping hours.
Give each of your categories the space they deserve on your floor plan
If you’re looking to increase your sales in-store, another way of doing that is to give each of your categories their fair share of space on your floor plan.
Let us explain:
Your floor plan is more than just a retail blueprint showing you where your categories are positioned in store. When built using data, you can construct a floor plan that gives each category the proper allocation of space relative to their sales contribution to your store.
The result is that you’re allowing each category the opportunity to grow naturally, which means more money in your pocket in the long-run. If you’re working in DotActiv software, our Highlights feature makes it easy to find out which categories are your best performers (and which are your poor performers).
Also, by apportioning the correct amount of space to each of your product groupings, you’re ensuring that you’re maximise the selling space of your space. In short, you don’t waste any of your store space.
That said, when giving your different product groupings their fair space, you also need to be aware of the different roles that you’ve given each category. You can read up on the four main roles in this piece.
The reason why is simple: Each of your categories has a specific role to perform. Besides implementing specific strategies, to help them perform their role, you also need to ensure that you provide them with the necessary space to do that.
For example, if you’ve chosen a Convenience role for your Dairy category, you’d want to give it the correct amount of shelf space. That includes not giving it too much space so that it encroaches on other categories. If you’ve given your Meat category a Destination role, for example, but you allow your Dairy category more room on the shelf, you have a problem.
Fortunately, it’s an easy enough fix. You simply need to look at your retail data and adjust accordingly. If you don’t, not only are you stifling the chance for your Meat category to grow, but you’re also giving your customers mixed messages about your Dairy category.
That’s one of the last things you’d want to do as a retailer - confuse your customers to the point that they don’t know what to expect when they walk into your store.