There is only one goal in every designer’s mind when they create an interior design for a shop. That goal is to attract as many customers as they can, and influence them enough so the customers are willing to part with their cash.
As of right now, there are many ways to do interior design for a retail shop, but according to our 20 years of experience in doing various types of interior design for shops, no matter what is the design, when you want your interior design to be able to attract customers, it has to have these 5 Important Design Principles for a Shop:
1. Eye-catching Product Display
One of the most important points in doing interior design for a shop, is the Shop Entrance. Why? Because every potential customer will not suddenly appeared inside of your shop (you’ll be scared if they did), and they all starts at the same place: The Entrance. From there they will subconsciously judge whether this shop is worth entering or not.
This is where the “Power of Visual Merchandising” shines the most. The reason is because what subconsciously affect the judgement of customer are the design of your shop entrance and more importantly, the products you displayed in the front of the shop. By displaying the right products in front of your shop, when potential customers come and see it, they will have a higher chance of entering your shop because now they know that you sell the products they need.
Now, the problem is how you can decide which product to display. Speaking from experience, the way you arrange and show your Display product must be able to tell a story and convey a message to your potential customers. By doing this correctly, then the potential customer will be more interested in your shop compared to other shops that sold the same kind of products.
2. Use All 5 Senses
As a human, we use all 5 senses to perceive the conditions around us. So to be able to attract customer easier, you have to make your products and interior design appealing to your customer’s all 5 senses. Of course, depending on the types of business, one or two senses can’t be used, but the point is, you have to maximize the arrangements and attraction in your shop’s interior design so people can get attracted to your store more easily.
Below are some of the examples of how we can use the customer’s 5 senses based on our experience:
- Sight: This is the easiest sense to affect. There are numerous ways you can attract customers using this sense, from using colors, changing the intensity of the lighting in your shop, to simply make a good arrangements of the products in your shop. When done correctly, you can even adjust what products the customer will focus on and how long they will stay in a section of your shop.
- Sound: There are multiple ways to affect this sense. People’s conversation, Background music, even the sound around you can affect your perception. For example, younger people tend to be attracted to shop at a place where they play upbeat music, while older people generally like a shop that play soft or classical music better.
- Touch: The sense of touch is a very important thing when you’re doing Interior Design. People will be more willing to buy something when they can try it first. For example, there are 2 shops that sell handphones. One of them allow customer to try it on the spot with security measures, the other forbid the customer to try the product and they can only see it. Which one of these two shop you’ll want to buy a handphone from? Generally, people will choose the first one. This is why the sense of touch is an important factor in Interior Design for a shop.
- Smell: Believe it or not, there’s an entire science to what’s referred to as “scent marketing”, with several studies and real-world case studies of global brands like Samsung, Sony, and Verizon applies it to their advantage. The reason being that smell is considered to be a fast track to the system in your brain that controls both emotion and memory, two very prominent factors behind why we choose one brand over another.
- Taste: This sense is mostly used in Consumables Department. When you give people the chance to taste a sample of the products you sold, they will be far more inclined to buy it. This is why usually in a place that sold consumables, there is a section dedicated to free samples.
3. Product Management
To make our shop look nice, we have to keep the interior of our shop clean and tidy. This is especially important for small shops, where things can easily get messy. The easiest way to avoid this is by doing some product and decoration management for our products. One of the most famous principles in retailing is, “Retail is Detail”. Therefore, to be able to manage all your products to satisfying level, you need to pay attention to any detail.
Don’t just put your products randomly because lack of space or motivation, but take your time to gather your products and see which product goes well together with which. This way, you can also create some space which enables you to not put your merchandise too closely with each other.
You can also separate your products using elevation so you can make customer focus on which product you want them to buy. To do this, put the products you want customer to focus on at eye level. Based on our experience, customers tend to pay more attention to the products caught in their eyesight than the products above or below their eyesight.
4. Control Your Customers
To make your customer browse through as much of your product as possible, the best way to do it is to design a path in the Interior Design of your shop. The path usually varies according to the shop’s size and the products sold.
The first thing you should remember when you decided to make a path in your Interior Design: Do it Counter Clockwise. Why? Because according to the research about customer behavior in the shop, almost 90% of the people tend to go to the right after entering a shop. So what we need to do is to make use of this habit and make sure that as they do that, they also continue walking throughout your store to gain the maximum exposure to your products. The more products you can expose to them, the more chances they will buy one of them.
By making a path around the store, you will also be able to control the customer flow. Moreover, if you can do this point correctly, you can make them focus on what product you want, make them go to a section of your shop, and many other things. Keep in mind that if you want to use the path to lead them somewhere, it’s better if you put an eye-catching and attention-grabbing display at the end of the path so the customers will be attracted to it.
Most stores use a circular path to the right to get customers to walk through to the back of the store and come to the front again. Some will make it even easier by covering the path with a different texture or look from the general flooring, paying homage to the old saying “where the eyes go, the feet will follow.”
5. Satisfy Your Customer
This is arguably the most important point when you want to make an Interior Design for any business. I think I have no need to say WHY making every customer coming to your shop satisfied is important for every business. But there is a need to explain HOW we can do it. Therefore, we will give you some points to take note based on our experiences:
- Product Location: When you arrange your product, make sure that you put a sign over each category of your product. Sign makes people feel easier to find things they need, and you can also use it to monitor their habit. See what products they like best and what products sell the least. Then you can change your next product order according to the result of your research to maximize benefits. People will also feel that they can quickly find things they want unlike other shops that didn’t provide any sign, thus when they want to buy something again, they will likely prefer your shop.
- Don’t block the flow of traffic: Your store should be easy to navigate and have enough room for multiple people to be in it at once without running into one another. Make sure your aisles are wide enough for at least two people pass through without bumping into each other.
- Provide Rest Zone: People often went shopping in a group. In a group, not everyone wants to buy the same things. Sometimes when they enter a shop, only part of the group wants to buy something. The others just wait. In this case, when they see a rest zone, or at least some chairs, then they can take a rest there. Sometimes, when they look around from their spot, they will see something they like, and they will go there and browse around. If there is no rest zone, then people will just go out and you won’t get a new customer. So, it’s essential to provide a rest zone in your shop, or at least some chairs.
- Adjust Lighting: Pay attention to the lighting. Well-thought-out and well-placed lighting will attract attention to your store’s displays and merchandise, show off your products, and even make them more enticing than they actually are. Be sure to adjust it so every place in your store got enough lighting, including the corners or your store. But be careful, supplying too much light will have negative effects. Don’t forget to mix uplight and downlight in your store. When an element of downlight is added to the uplight, shoppers will perceive the atmosphere as brighter and more comfortable.
Interior design for retail and shop business is an endless process. Every person has their own likes and dislikes, so there is no template for interior design of these types.
The only thing you can do is to adhere to these 5 Principles to make the Interior Design for your shop, then slowly observe your customers’ behavior and habits to know them better, then see what they like and dislike from your products.
Don’t forget to also memorize their movement pattern and behavior, so you can test several different arrangements and choose the most optimal Interior Design for your personal shop.
Keep all your 5 senses open and you’ll be able to create an interior design that is good for both of you and your customers.