Is Your Store Easy to Shop?
Opening a retail shop, whether on the high street, in a mall or at an out of town location, is still a valid way to sell your products. Shops still sell. Despite the growth in online shopping, many people still prefer shopping in person. No, it might not have the convenience of online shopping. But it has something better. Shopping in real life is an experience. As a retail customer, you get to touch products, speak to people, ask questions and enjoy the atmosphere. Yes, it takes longer than clicking a button, but you are more likely to come out of it with a product that you love and a smile on your face.
If the store does it well, there are so many shops on the high streets that don’t. Big shops, with huge budgets, often make simple mistakes that mean that their stores don’t offer excellent customer experience and aren’t easy to shop. Here are some of the things to ask yourself if you are wondering if your store is easy to shop.
Does Navigation Make Sense?
Navigation is perhaps more important in a clothes shop, where there should be changing rooms, as well as pay points and stock. But it’s an essential factor in any retail store.
If you do work in clothes retail, ask yourself if your fitting rooms are easy to find? Do your stands lead easily to them? Or are they tucked away in a corner, out of site? Are your till points in a clear and prominent location? Does each till have its own code scanner so that employees can work as quickly and efficiently as possible? Is there room for a queue, without blocking off products and pathways?
Is it Overcrowded?
Overcrowding is a common problem in larger stores. They want to show everything that they sell, in all of their different colors, shapes and sizes. While you should display one of everything so that customers can easily find what they want, overcrowding can make it look messy and cluttered, it can make it hard to look at things, and prams and wheelchairs might have a hard time getting around. The best way to avoid overcrowding is by limiting your lines.
Do You Practice Perfect Partners?
If you sell TVs, the wires and cables that partner that TV should be nearby. In a fashion store, tops that work well with bottoms should be displayed nearby. Perfect partners mean that people will buy more and that they will find it easier to shop.
Is it Light and Easy to See?
Light walls, even and bright floor systems, a natural light source and bright overhead lights might not be as trendy as dimly lit shops with dark and moody atmospheres. But, they do make it much easier for customers to see what they are looking at.
Does it Maintain a Comfortable Temperature?
Too cold and people won’t want to try things on. Too hot and they’ll be keen to leave as soon as possible. Try to keep a consistent temperature, but remember that you also need to keep your staff comfortable.
The best way to make sure that your store is easy to shop is to ask your customers for feedback and advice. When you see it all of the time, it’s always going to be easy for you to get around. But it might be entirely different for someone that’s never been in before. Start conversations with customers to gauge their views, and offer alternative ways to provide feedback.
Less is more when it comes to clothing retail. There’s really no need to have more than one of each size hanging on the rail in a smaller shop. It drives me doo-lally when I knock things off the rails simply because they’re crammed on.
I can’t tell you how often I’ve entered a shop with low lights and just walked right out. Things like lighting and temperature really do matter.