What was the last store you entered? You wouldn’t have noticed, but chances are the entire shop fitout was designed with your buying behaviours in mind.
The design of any retail store, whether it’s a service station, café, clothes store or other retail environment, is crucial to ensure customers are attracted to enter the store. Just as importantly, the shop fitout design can determine how long the customer stays in the store, how much money they will spend and whether they return.
In short, if you own a retail store, your shop fitout design will unlock the potential of what your business can achieve.
Key steps to a new retail fitout
There’s a lot more to a successful shop fitout design than where to place your products. It requires careful thought and a solid plan:
- Let’s start with the plan, or the brief if you prefer. What do you want to achieve with your new retail fitout? What are the objectives? If you are rejuvenating an old design, what works and what doesn’t? Asking yourself these questions, and detailing your answers, is a great starting point.
- It’s commonly said that your brand is more than just your logo. When you’re designing a new shop fitout design, make sure it supports your brand. Your store should reflect all the things that go into making up your brand, including your logo, name, colours and online presence.
- Understand your target customer and what they want when they enter your store. How do you understand what your customer wants? Ask them. It could be as simple as asking customers who enter your store, or you could do it via your website or social media. Ultimately, basing your shop fitout design on customer needs will deliver on what you want.
- Don’t forget your people, particularly the ones who work in the retail store. They’ll likely have some excellent ideas to improve the experience for them and the customers.
- It’s also important to analyse the space you have to work with. If you’re rejuvenating a store, take a look at how customers and your people use the space currently. Are their underused areas, places where people bump into items or other people, or dead ends?
- What’s your budget? At the end of the day you probably won’t have unlimited funds to spend on your shop fitout. A company that specialises in shop fitouts can help. They’ll be able to guide you on the expenses you’re likely to face and also ways to make your dollar go further.
- Based on the needs of your customers and employees, your brand, site analysis and other aspects from your plan, create a layout for your store. The layout can be simple at first, little more than a mud map, but will need to become more detailed as you progress. It’s important to remember that for most shop fitouts, having plenty of room to move is imperative. Over-crowded stores were once quaint, but are now generally considered annoying.
Shop fitout design elements
With a solid and detailed plan in place and the layout decided, you’re well positioned to forge ahead with your shop fitout. So, what are the next steps?
There are many elements you’ll need to decide on and get right to ensure a successful project:
- The flooring you choose for your shop fitout design is important. And it’s not just for practical reasons like cleaning, maintenance and longevity. Flooring can have a major impact on the emotions of the customer, with aspects such as colour, noise generation and comfort all important considerations.
- The product displays, point of service counters and other fixtures is next. This is essentially the nuts and bolts of any shop fitout. There are many options and like the flooring, the choice of factors such as colour and materials are important.
- For some, lighting is the most crucial aspect of any shop fitout design. The lighting in your store will help feature your merchandise, highlight important or beautiful elements of your store, and can help guide customers. If you’re lucky enough to have natural light, you’ll need to plan your shop lighting accordingly. Another important consideration with lighting is energy efficiency. Thankfully, it’s now possible to have lighting that is extremely effective as well as efficient.
- Furniture can be a must in some retail environments, such as cafes, or not generally needed in other stores, such as service stations. However, the addition of some furniture in many stores is warranted. It can give customers a place to rest so they can stay in your store longer.
- If your store has display windows they will be a vital element to your retail fitout design. They are often the first thing that customers see and play a vital part in whether a customer decides to enter the store or not.
- Most shop fitout designs will also need to incorporate signage. Easy to read and well placed signage will help direct customers throughout your store, for example to product sections, fitting rooms and point of service counters.
Create the right first impression
It’s often said that you only get one chance to make a good first impression, so you’d better get it right. Well known American performer, actor and social commentator Will Rogers put it another way. “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”
We’re pretty sure Mr Rogers wasn’t thinking about shop fitouts when he made the famous quote, but it certainly isn’t out of place.
If your business is considering a new shop fitout design, get expert help with Retail Recharge.
Whether you’re considering a full interior refurbishment or a more minor project, we specialise in making first impressions better, with elegant designs and clear brand identity. We can transform your shop from commonplace to competitive and elite.