What is Store Space Planning in Retail?

The customer experience and the journey they take when in your store can greatly impact whether or not they decide to make a purchase. As a retail store, you want to be sure that you are creating a unique experience for your customers, one that differentiates your store from your competition. Having the right floor layout and design can influence consumer behaviour and create the right flow to ensure that customers are urged to make a purchase. Store space planning in retail also contributes to the maximising of the space. As most retail outlets have a small floor plan, you want to be sure that you are designing a space that is easy to walk through while also ensuring you are able to display everything clearly. The store plan of a retail space is therefore extremely important for managers to consider! 

Is Store Space Planning Important in Retail?

Yes, store space planning is incredibly important! As you would have spent a lot of time, effort and money in getting customers to come to your store, it is imperative that these resources not be wasted by a customer simply leaving without making a purchase. Store space planning can help a business to highlight certain products and ensure that customers are spending as much time as possible browsing through the items on offer. 

What Are The Tips and Tricks to Store Space Planning in Retail?

There are a variety of different ways that a retail outlet can better structure its store to attract the attention of customers and help to convince them to make a purchase. The following are just a few tips and tricks when it comes to store space improvement planning in retail. 

Decide on a Retail Store Layout

Your retail store layout should be planned according to the consumer and how much space you have available. When it comes to space planning according to the consumer, it is important that you consider what the most popular items are and what is selling best. organising the store according to this can help to get people in the door, so these items are usually located in the front or towards the back, ensuring that customers make their way through the entire store. You also need to be sure that you have organised the space in such a way that the area does not feel too cramped, placing items out in a way that allows shoppers to easily make their way through the store and see what you have on offer. 

Create a Blueprint of Your Store Layout

Creating a blueprint of your store layout helps a store space planning manager to better understand the dimensions of the area and create a more effective store layout. Blueprints can allow a manager to plan out where products should go and what storage space may need to be created in order to keep the flow easy to navigate for the consumer. Blueprints need to be created accurately, with exact dimensions to ensure that the mapping of the store is correct! There are many different kinds of store space planning software that can be used to accurately create the layout of a store, allowing you to effectively plan where products should be placed. 

Consider Traffic Flow & Customer Behaviour

Considering the flow of traffic and customer behaviour can impact whether or not a consumer makes a purchase. The entrances and exits should display popular items to ensure that a customer is drawn in and if they are leaving, they are convinced to spend a bit of extra time browsing through your products on offer. The longer that a customer spends in the store, the more likely you are to make a sale! If you are selling necessities for example, like a grocery store, you would consider things like milk, eggs and bread to be necessities, place these items towards the back and front of the store to ensure that customers have to make their way through other items before reaching these products. This may convince them to purchase other items along with what they came in to buy! 

Position Your Checkout

Checkouts should always be positioned at the front of the store with the most necessary items placed at the back. This will ensure that a customer has to make their way through the entire store before paying. One of the main issues of having a checkout counter at the back of the store is that the customer will then walk back out, passing by the items that they may want to buy. Since they have already made their purchase, it would be inconvenient for them to once again head to the checkout. Ending the customer journey towards the front of the store is therefore recommended. 

Add Comfort Zones & Customer Amenities

Having comfort zones and amenities for your customers to use will ensure that they remain in the store for longer, increasing the chances of them making a purchase. Having chairs set out near changing rooms and toilets for customers to use can be a great way to ensure that they remain in your store for longer! Some stores may even provide free water and drinks for the customers to sip on while they browse! Doing this also ensures that they will more than likely want to finish the drink that they have, further extending the amount of time they spend in the store.

Ensure Your Store Is Accessible

Having a clearly marked and welcoming entrance can convince those who are passing by to come in and browse what you have on offer. Store entrances that are cluttered and small may make a potential customer think twice about entering the space and having a welcoming retail store space plan can ensure that your store is easily accessible. 

What are The Challenges of Store Space Planning in Retail?

One of the main challenges when it comes to implementing strategies that have to do with store space planning is that every store will be different. The system in place for a hardware store business plan may be extremely different from a retail store that sells clothing. Store space planning is highly dependent on the consumer and the specific target audience a retail store is trying to attract. It is therefore important to find unique ways to structure your store and plan out the space to attract customers when developing store space planning in retail! This is what makes store space planning jobs so important in retail!