Quite often we find ourselves in the role of the shopper and come across retail shops that are so inviting and cozy that they make us easily lose track of time while exploring and spending money without a second thought. What makes them so welcoming? What are the first things one notices when entering a shop of any kind? How do some shops become so attractive to the public? Well, in order to answer these questions we’ll have to look into some facts that combine marketing and interior design skills in order to make the perfect recipe for a successful store.
First of all, what should be taken into consideration when arranging a shop is the target customer and their needs and wants. If the customer’s needs are not satisfied then they will not come back. As a merchandiser you will have to first become familiar with your customers and the market – this includes both people who are already your customers and those who could be. In order to do this whatever the shop is selling should be advertised in such a way that the customers will be given what they expected.
The best means of advertising a product and making it a success on the market is the shop itself. Knowing this, owners invest a lot of resources in order to make shops attractive and welcoming for the public.
The way a shop is designed is imperative since it constitutes a turning point in the customer’s decision of entering the shop or not. This is where interior design teams up with marketing techniques.
Regardless of the items a shop is selling there will be a few invariable that apply to any category:
- The store should have a theme. This is first decided when the owner opens the shop. What kind of shop will it be? What kind of products will it sell? What will it represent? Will it make a statement?
If we are talking about jewelry shops there might be a few differences from one shop to another depending on what kind of jewelry they are selling. For example, if it’s a handmade eco-friendly jewelry shop, a small business started by an artist who makes her own items, then the environment will be significantly different from a globally renowned jewelry store. Small shops like that give out a cozier, unpretentious, even intimate vibe. The clients can have direct contact with the owner and there can always be some sort of familiarity between the seller and the client. This way the owner can always keep in touch and be updated on the wants, needs and expectations of their present and potential customers.
In case of much larger, global scale businesses the approach will be totally different. If the store is selling expensive and exclusive jewelry, the range and type of customers will differ, and the approach of the shop towards the clients will also be different. Regarding the theme, there will be a simpler and more elegant one, characteristic to classic jewelry – be it silver or gold. Here are rare occasions in which the actual owner will interact with customers.
- The shop should have an ambiance to fit the theme. After deciding what the shop will be selling, setting the atmosphere will be the next concern. When setting the mood for a shop it is essential to use visual merchandising elements such as color schemes, displays of various shapes and sizes, lighting etc.
Depending on the theme chosen for the store, the environment can vary from colorful, funky and vibrant, to simple and minimalistic. Music, smells and light are all important features when creating a pleasant ambiance for the shoppers and can encourage them to hang around and explore some more. Any of these elements when exaggerated can cause discomfort – music that is too loud, strong fragrances or badly directed light – and make the client turn around and leave in a blink.
Color and lighting tricks can also do real magic in case of a smaller shop that needs to create the illusion of space. In order to solve this problem paint athe wall in a different color from the rest, it will create the illusion of receding in space, or it can be done in reverse depending on the effect you are looking for.
Displays are very important when arranging a jewelry shop. Their positioning and shapes – horizontal or vertical, symmetrical or asymmetrical – are key to attracting attention and giving the store a tidy and well-organized look. The size of objects and the way they are arranged can also create interesting effects and help create harmony in displays or shop windows.
Avoid clutter and chaotic arrangements of items when positioning displays and stands of any kind. This may confuse the shopper and give off a sloppy impression and also make walking around the shop more difficult.
In addition to displays, mannequins and other decorations can greatly aid in creating the atmosphere you are aiming for and bringing more life to space.
After a customer has entered the shop they will meet the shop keeper – the person they see behind the counter or greets them at the entrance. That person will be the image of the store and they will greatly affect the client’s view on the shop and the brand itself.
How many times have you come across a shop keeper than was either too pushy or too absent minded and disinterested? Think about the impression that person left on you. In most of the cases it would either intimidate or overwhelm a potential client, or it would make them exit the premises with a displeased scowl.
Either way, the shopper leaves empty handed. In order to avoid making a bad impression that mirrors lack of professionalism from the store’s part, the shop keeper should be helpful, but not forceful when trying to aid customers or sell an item. Being honest when reviewing products and giving advice will make a much better impression than trying to sell something at any rate.