It’s no secret, shop owners know it, suppliers know it, the architects know it and EVEN the shoppers know it. The presentation of a shop moulds the customer experience in every sense. The fixtures and fittings in a retail space lead the shopper to conclusions very quickly, leading to a potential interest or disinterest. Hence why the environment you create is so crucial.
Therefore, what is paramount here is understanding how the individual interacts with their surroundings in a typical retail environment. Architects study and revise continuously over complex plans to map how the foot fall will be directed around the furnishings. Shop fitters aim to make and fit features to such a specific detail, as it needs to fit with the overall shop ambience. All down to the fact that, shoppers are irrational creatures. The nature of desire is not one that weighs up the terms and conditions but looks to impressions, sentiments and senses. Therefore this is why we must consider all points of input for these messages.
The first and arguably most important sense is sight. Companies such as Apple spend millions on their stores. When an iPhone retails at £499 but costs only £112.89 to make and ship, the rest is on the presentation. Now the most successful retailer in the world with 400 stores, Apple spends $6000 per square foot on average on their shop and their fittings. That’s double luxury high-end jewellers Tiffany & Company. However, their Fifth Avenue store in New York generate them $35,000pa, a successful ROI by anyone’s standards. Sight is one of Apple’s main tools. They look for clean futuristic metallic laminate walls; the subtle white light features instantly changes the atmosphere once entering the store.
The simplicity of this fit out is their key. There are no counters simply table to act as areas for presentation and informal customer-staff interaction. The visual layout is key, the shopper must navigate through the large spaces with multiple points of interest. There is no definitive flow, and the look that there is more and more to see as you go further into the store. Keeping the shopper in the store for longer. Apple perfectly and precisely frame their products as best as possible and this makes a huge contribution to the store’s success.
Sound is another influential factor shaping the impact on your customer. For example, sound is an essential in fashion retail, where the products themselves all allude and contribute to an overall emotive position put forward by the brand image. Fashion brands sell a concept, a state of mind associated with their products. This is found in all industries but it is typically more prominent in fashion. We buy in to the products hoping to associate ourselves with or even attain this mental state displayed by the brand. Here is a shop fitter is able to work with architects to understand where the dynamics of sounds in the store work best. Where a sound system would be most effective, and incorporating that into the overall look of the store. The European Journal of Scientific Research studies music’s power over shoppers. There research suggests that shoppers move quicker through shops when volume is louder, but slower and quieter music makes them stay longer. Genre’s attract different demographics, for example slow tempo pop music makes purchasers more likely to spend on impulse purchases. Therefore, a professionally installed speaker system is a smart choice for your store.
Other sensory effects, include smell’s incredible association and memory ability. Odours have a substantial tie to memory and this is something to consider your shop fitting. Touch. Shoppers ability to hold products increasing likelihood of sales, with the “nothing to hide hypothesis”. All these aspects should be consider when a retail shop fit-out is undertaken.
Increasingly with the threat of online retailers, the high street has to compete. The price transparency, the selection and ease of access of internet shopping will not be beaten by the traditional shop. However industry leaders, such as Seth Godin a marketing guru and globally known strategist, suggested a new path for retail. The retail theatre and the experience of the store is how retailers will regain ground. Consumers increasingly look to brands to identify themselves with and the store is the best platform where this can be presented. Businesses throw money at new products, packaging and marketing. So why fall at the crucial point of sale? The last hurdle that essentially closes the sales and can drive your stores forward.