5 Ways to Improve Your Retail Store To Provide a Better Customer Experience

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With internet sales increasing every day, retail establishments have to be savvier than ever to gain and keep a loyal customer base. After all, if you’re not sure what the experience is going to be at a retail location, wouldn’t you rather just shop from home in your pajamas as well?

According to the Harvard Business Review, brands and establishments that are the most successful are the ones that kept things simple and consumer-focused – leading consumers to make purchases and decisions, rather than waiting passively for them to make the move.

And while you may not always know exactly what a consumer wants when they enter your store, there are things you can do to help them find what they’re looking for more easily, increasing the chances to a sale. These five tips will help you plan your path to success no matter what type of retail establishment you run.


#1. Direct People Where to Go

Consumers today are often in a hurry. They want to get in, get what they’re looking for, and get out again. If they can’t find what they want quickly, they’re more likely to move on. So, it’s up to you to direct people through your store with a well-planned layout and easy-to-locate items, as well as a simplified path to purchase.

According to the Retail Doc, one of the fastest ways to close a sale is to make things easy to not only access, but learn about. While ideally, you’ll have a salesperson meeting each consumer in a timely way, this isn’t always possible. So, consider creating some well-placed and designs signs around your store that can help get people to the place they want quickly, and give them the information they need to make a quick decision.

Signs can be hung from thin chains attached to the ceiling on hooks, allowing you to swap them out as you move things around the store. Take care to group things logically, so items that pair well together can be found near one another, and include small placards wherever additional information is needed about an item so consumers can access it quickly.


Cost and Money Saving Tip:

Hooks cost around $10 to $12 a piece, while a roll of chain retails for around $30. Have custom signs printed, or to save money, consider painting your own with chalkboard paint. You can then create whimsical or appropriate images and designs you can easily erase and redo as merchandise changes.

# 2. Keep it Quiet

A busy retail location can be loud and chaotic. And for many consumers, this type of atmosphere can be offputting. So while a lot of bodies in one space may be the ultimate goal, you may want to consider ways to help absorb some of the sound in the space, which can allow consumers the auditory space to concentrate on decisions or have a conversations with a friend or salesperson without feeling like they have to compete with the noise of the crowd.

Acoustic ceiling panels are one method to absorb sound, but there are numerous other materials and styles of acoustic paneling around today. Create a unique display of acoustic stick-on shapes and tiles on a wall to showcase your brand and absorb sound at one time, or consider lining the walls of “quiet corners” with decorative paneling to create pockets of silence.


Cost and Money Saving Tip:

An acoustic ceiling can be installed for between $125 and $325 in most locations. To save money, consider investing in a few panels for walls at a time and install them yourself, rather than doing an entire ceiling or room at once.

#3. Install Resilient Flooring

A long day of shopping can be murder on the feet and legs. And when your ultimate goal is to help keep people in your store as long as possible, it helps if you can keep them comfortable while they’re there. And while including seating certainly helps, a chair won’t help them navigate around your displays, so installing a resilient flooring material instead can be a better option for many retailers.

Many stores tend to rely on porcelain or marble floors to make a statement, but these can be hard and punishing underfoot. Instead, consider installing cork tiles in place of harder materials. Cork is a natural, eco-friendly flooring material that is soft and springy underfoot. You’ll be showing your consumers that you’re both eco-conscious as well as conscious of their comfort at the same time.


Cost and Money Saving Tip:

Cork flooring costs between $3 and $5 a square foot, while tile installation runs around $70 an hour. To save, consider just installing cork in those areas that consumers are most likely to go or to stand for longer periods of time.

#4. Make Them Remember Your Brand

It’s not enough that you get consumers already in your store to make a purchase; you have to keep them coming back as well. And this is easier said than done when consumers make so many purchases at so many locations today that they’re often hard-pressed to remember exactly where they got something.

So, take the time to remind people in subtle ways just where they are. Make sure that your logo is front and center where it can be seen not only by those who first enter, but those who are in the process of checking out. Paint or stencil it right onto the front of your sales desk, hang it above the desk, or consider putting it on an accent wall, either painted, as a sign, or as a large vinyl decal.

In addition, coordinate all the colors in the store around your logo. For a dramatic effect, find the color that sits opposite on the color wheel and use it to paint the walls around your logo to make it pop. For a more soothing atmosphere, select colors that sit beside your logo’s color on the color wheel and use them throughout the space.


Cost and Money Saving Tip:

Costs will vary based on how you want to create your logo. A new sign can cost a few hundred dollars, but a vinyl decal may cost about $50. Painting the interior of your store to highlight your brand will cost around $200 to $400 per room.

#5. Keep Things in Good Repair

A clean, well-stocked store that has counters, tables, flooring, and merchandise tables in good condition is crucial to increasing sales according to Retail Training Services. So, if your counters or tables are getting beat up, take the time to have them refinished or replaced. This can be a great time to also incorporate more branding into your store, by ensuring that these fixtures are done in your brand’s colors and styles, while they provide the clean, well-maintained look you need.


Cost and Money Saving Tip:

A carpenter can build or refinish your tables and counters for you at a cost of around $70 an hour. Otherwise, consider saving money by sanding down and repainting or staining wood surfaces to help give them new life.

Improve Your Retail Location

Attracting and maintaining customers is every retail location’s goal. And it isn’t difficult to do when you consider that most consumers simply want a better shopping experience, not necessarily a lot of bells and whistles, and that while consumer tastes are changing, it’s still possible to give them what they need. Use these 5 tips to improve your retail location, and start getting more out of every customer interaction.

Yuka writes about home improvement tips & tricks to help homeowners learn more about improving their properties. She also delivers useful cost information you can use to help improve your own home at Fixr.com.