One way that retailers are winning new customers and strengthening the bonds of customer loyalty is by making their stores more user-friendly. Retailers are attempting to streamline their in-store floor plans by displaying products according to their functional use, rather than the brand name on the label.
Not only is this a more effective way of organizing the store in terms of inventory placement and merchandising, it’s less intimidating for the customer. The result is an empowered customer who can make buying decisions quickly, easily and comfortably. This renewed manner of display marketing plays host to a more efficient and patient consumer audience.
FURTHER FOCUS THE CUSTOMER
This trend of merchandise display can be coupled with a branded in-store advertising theme to further focus on the needs of the consumer. Marketing products in-store using colorful, informative signage helps to guide the consumer to the point of sale. Customers don’t want to be lost in a sea of brand names and faceless displays.
If one were to watch the behaviors of retail traffic, one would notice that most visitors do not enter a store and simply stand in the doorway. Instead, they take a quick glance around the store and amble toward a destination that will be a starting point for their shopping excursion.
If they’re inclined to wander throughout the store and look at all it has to offer, the retailer must be considered fortunate. On the average, customers want to locate what they want fairly quickly. Attempting to predetermine that primary destination and thereby lead the customer on a specific course throughout the store is a retailer’s consummate charge. If a retailer can increase the likelihood of quick product selection and subsequent purchase, the reward from consumers comes in the form of repeat business.
During peak sales seasons, a streamlined store layout will trim down waiting lines at the counter and help alleviate that claustrophobic feel crowded stores often have. Customers will be more inclined to relax and enjoy their shopping experience.
Here, again, is another perfect example of how customers are affected by the way retailers display their merchandise and design their stores’ layouts. The customer must always win. And when customers win, retailers win.
SAME AS ONLINE
This trend in store layout and display design is not unlike an online shopping experience. When searching for products online, one searches by category. “Drapery hardware,” might be a search term for example. The consumer can then peruse the brands that offer products to solve their drab hardware problems.
In terms of brick-and-mortar retailing, stores have easily adapted this new trend with the aid of a carefully designed selling floor and effective in-store signage. Customers can walk into the store, locate “Decorative Drapery Hardware” products and choose which one best fits their needs.
It is essential for a store to be about function, even if to the customer it seems that’s not the case. For instance, a store with shag carpet lampshades and man-made ponds would admit that form and function must still serve a purpose. It comes down to stepping into the shoes of your customer and identifying their needs. Then, solving them.
The Nu-Era Group, St. Louis, MO. www.nu-era.com, is a worldwide supplier of retail fixtures, displays, and in-store merchandising items.