Psychology plays a definite role in consumer behavior, albeit often subconsciously. As a pharmacy owner, it’s important to consider this fact when deciding on your particular pharmacy design. There’s a science behind things like the proper use of lighting, floor plan design, location of shelving and other fixtures, product placement, and decor that’s been verified through psychological studies, focus groups, customer surveys, and sales data.
Drug store owners who study and understand the importance of pharmacy design and how it relates to customer behavior should be more than happy to undertake changes that will improve their bottom line, and the tips offered here are meant to do just that: improve the overall customer experience in your store while simultaneously increasing the sale of merchandise.
The Psychology Behind Pharmacy Design
- Most customers entering your store will automatically choose to turn right and move in a counter-clockwise direction through the front end merchandising area on their way toward the back end pharmacy counter. They should be encouraged to take a route that allows them to see all areas of the front end section, and each department should be clearly marked with appropriate signage.
- Displaying products on attractive, modern shelving will show that you place value on quality. Lighting should be soft, warm, and comfortable, but focused in a way that allows items to be clearly seen. Old-style fluorescent tube lights are unpleasantly harsh and should be replaced with compact fluorescents or LED lighting.
- It’s important for the store to be clean without appearing clinical. White and beige colors, which are fairly typical pharmacy décor colors, should be replaced with soft, muted colors highlighted with bright accents for effect. You want to create a warm, comfortable environment.
- Incoming customers’ attention should be immediately grabbed with an up-front display of high-volume, seasonal, holiday, and sale items. This same display should be mimicked in several other locations throughout the store.
- The addition of natural lighting through the use of large, uncovered windows or skylights will help bring the outside into the store space, as will the display of green, non-flowering plants.
- Waiting/resting areas with comfortable chairs should be available for customers who need a place to sit. This is most important since customers may often be ill, elderly, or disabled and thus unable to stand for long periods of time. These sitting areas should be in centralized locations where the general layout of the store is easily visible.
- The checkout counter is best located near the back end of the store so that customers must walk through the retail merchandise area to reach it. The counter should be large to encourage easy placement of a large amount of purchase items. Display shelving and fixtures should be nearby and offer impulse items like candy, chewing gum, magazines, and daily personal need items like toothbrushes, razors, and pain relievers.
- Merchandise should be displayed on shelves no higher than eye level, and all items should be clearly price-marked. Customers don’t like having to ask how much something costs and will often just pass it by if it’s not marked.
- Aisles should not be crowded and should be wide enough for customers to shop without bumping into one another.
- You want to provide a comfortable, friendly atmosphere so that customers feel at home and will want to spend more time in your store as well as recommend your pharmacy to others.
The psychology of pharmacy design is likely more important than you may have previously realized. Hopefully this information will prove valuable in bringing the subject to light.