OPINION: How to make the most of your retail space

After the insanity of Cyber Monday and Black Friday in December, the battle for supremacy between online shopping and the high street is officially on. Online sales are now approaching 20% of all UK retail and the market share continues to rise at an astronomical pace. With the beloved British high street under threat, what can business owners do make the most of their retail space and maximise sales? Debra Jamieson, sales and marketing director at UK Point of Sale has a six-step guide.

Over the threshold
The hard bit has been done – a customer has entered your shop. Like in an interview, the first impressions last the longest. In 10 seconds, your customers will make judgements on price, quality and how well coordinated your space is. Try to leave a clear pathway; less is more. Any products in this area will be overlooked as the customer moves into the main body of your shop.

In stark contrast to your entrance area, you should really try to capture your customers’ imagination with your interior display. A common theory is that people usually look to the right first – watch your customers’ behaviour, if this is true for your store, make the space stand out with high profit or high demand items. One way of instantly grabbing the attention of your customers is to invest in eye-catching digital display systems. They offer a strikingly unique and interchangeable method of promoting your products.

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Pick a path to follow
Your customer has entered, been guided through your beautifully clear threshold to your jaw-dropping display on the right. You’ve got them this far, now guide them systematically through the rest of your shop – the tour should conclude at your register. The effectiveness of creating a path will vary with regard to the size and shape of your store. With an interchangeable display, digital point of sale devices can guide your customers around the shop floor and make the smallest boutiques look spacious.

Slow the flow
It’s no good having a perfectly-positioned pathway if people just walk through, unaware of your product offering. Point of sale devices can help to catch peoples’ attention and slow them down, meaning they’re more likely to stop and make another purchase. Industry experts refer to these items as “speed bumps” and that’s a good way of looking at it. Too many customers pacing through at breakneck speed and your sales figures are bound to crash. Think interactive; iPad displays and other touch screen devices can help keep people intrigued.

Break your areas up
You’ll often see two extremes in retail spaces – one shop will be jam-packed full of low-cost items, trying to get products flying off the shelf; the other will be very minimalist, with high-quality items that yield a bigger profit and sell at a slower rate. Either way, breaking up your displays will give you the opportunity for cross-selling, highlighting what items go together from a shoppers perspective – this is another way in which interactive devices can prove useful, helping to make your customers aware of your offering.

Watch your customers
We don’t mean in a weird or accusing way! We’re not asking you to keep an eye out for thieves! (Though you should do that as well). The best way to learn what works in a retail environment is to watch the behaviour of your customers. When they enter, try to recognise what they’re drawn to, what they avoid and what effect the positioning of your products has on their respective sales figures. Trial and error will help you to learn good arrangement habits.




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