Does it ever occur to you that whenever you enter a store an unseen force is guiding you in a particular direction? Perhaps you walked in for some ice-cream, but the store’s flow guided your path via the fruits aisle, and suddenly you felt the craving for a sundae treat. Consequently, you walked out of the store with more than you intended to purchase. This might puzzle you!
This is very much possible with strategically planned techniques offered by leading space planners that retail stores employ around the world. The manner in which merchandise is exhibited and shop fitting shelving is laid out can drive customers to buy more stuff from your retail store. Retailers generally rely upon space planning methods or hire top space planners to retain customers inside the store for a longer duration. This increases the chances of you stumbling upon a product you need or want.
This article will provide you with a deep insight into the space planning process and its influence on the way shoppers navigate a retail space, discover the products they want, and influence their buying decisions.
What is Space Planning/ Space Management?
A retailer’s prime objective is to drive sales and improve the consumer’s shopping experience. They employ a fusion of product displays, aisle navigation, shop fitting shelving to maximize sales per square meter of their store while delivering an ultimate shopping experience as well as the perfect shopping destination.
Space planning can be understood as the process of rearranging or organizing in-store elements to map out a customer flow, like a map navigating the path to featured merchandise. For instance, grocery stores are laid out in a manner that leads you to the best-looking goods first. Displaying fresh food is another retail technique that space planners often employ to make you feel less guilty about buying processed food later on.
On the basis of buyer research, consumer demand, and competitors, a retail store will reposition shop fitting shelving, aisles, and even the merchandise to deliver an up-to-date & modernized appearance along with vibrancy. Here are some space planning techniques retailers often employ in their retail store projects to enhance sales.
Which space planning methods will drive shoppers to purchase more?
- Enter the Decompression zone
Stepping into a store, a shopper tends to get their first impression of the store. This initial space also known as the decompression zone is designed to open your mind to a great shopping experience welcoming you to explore various assortments. This place manages the transition from outside to inside and is designed to make you feel safe & secure. This zone prepares you for what
- Clockwise vs counter-clockwise
It’s crucial for the store owner to make the products easily accessible to the shoppers. Mostly, retail store owners opt for counter-clockwise space management (from left to right) because the majority of the population is right-handed and they will instinctively turn towards the right.
However, there has been a switch towards a more unfamiliar clockwise layout (left to right) these days. This major change is made with an aim to grab shoppers’ attention.
- Slowing down their motion
Several retailers create short visual breaks, regarded as speed bumps, to provide shoppers the chance to make impulse or seasonal purchases. “Speed Bumps” can be created with the help of signage, specials, or placing popular products halfway along a particular section. This way people will be encouraged to walk along the aisle to find their favorite products.
Store owners tend to restock the items shoppers purchase most frequently at the back of their store. This is done to retain the customers inside the store for longer duration, increase the size of their baskets, and encourage impulse buying opportunities.
Certain conditions make it difficult for the shoppers to resist the temptation to buy products other than what they need.