Shelving Design Systems takes pride in the variety of retail shelving we offer, as well as the shelving design services that make our installations work. But we’re aware of something else, as well: your product is only half the equation — and not even necessarily the more important half. Viewed in that light, your shelving is important as just one component in your floor plan; the floor plan, in turn, drives the more important part of your retail operation: customer experience.
Retail Floor Plan = Story
Too many retail stores underutilize their available space. It can be something as glaringly obvious as neglecting window displays to seemingly minor things like changing your floor layout with the seasons. Your floor plan isn’t just a set of shelves piled with merchandise, or a peg wall stuffed to the gills. It’s a narrative that begins with a need or desire and ends with a purchase followed by a glowing review and a return trip.
Good Planning is Inclusive
A good retail floor plan includes the customer in that story. Whether it’s keeping not only your aisles but also your merchandising ADA compliant, or understanding how to reach buyers in different life stages — kids, Millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers alike — you want to ensure that everyone has a stake in your story and a reason not only to buy but to recommend you to others.
Planning Drives Buying Decisions
For customers, unexpected discoveries and impulse buys are part of the fun of shopping. However, these “chance” finds are anything but. If you’ve ever wondered why a trip to Target for toilet paper results in a full cart and a $200.00 purchase, you know there’s science and careful floor planning that guides customers’ buying habits. We understand the art and the science, so we can help you guide customers’ paths and their attention exactly where you need them to be.
A Well-Planned Store Feels Better
At one time or another, we’ve all visited stores and felt a vague sense of regret creeping in. Not because we’re afraid we’ll spend too much, but because something doesn’t feel quite right. A poor floor plan doesn’t just fail to invite people in; it can actively repel them, or cause them to rush through their shopping because it’s a chore and not a joy. Custom shelving creates a customized experience that speaks to your customers.
Emphasis on “Experience”
We close with one of the biggest disruptions coming to retail, one that isn’t being driven by Amazon or Walmart. It’s coming directly from your customers. Demographic changes mean a younger shopping cohort that’s buying less in order to experience more. Retailers that understand this and capitalize on it will be in a better position to build long-term brand loyalty among shoppers for whom the meaning of retail itself is changing.
This approach takes a number of forms. At one end of the spectrum, there are the branded boutique areas favored by retailers like Best Buy and Target, but this isn’t a phenomenon limited to multimillion-dollar companies. Smaller businesses are creating event spaces in neighborhood book and record stores, pop-up experiential layouts that increase brand awareness, or places in which lectures and classes that dovetail with your product offering have room to flourish.Of course, all of these opportunities go hand-in-hand with significant challenges (that goes double for retailers with smaller square footage). But getting some outside help with retail design can help bring your ideas to life while also giving your bottom line a proverbial shot in the arm. If you suspect your business would benefit from a better floor plan, schedule a design consultation with Shelving Design Systems to see what we can create together.