Store Layout – Catering to Customers’ Eyes

John Wyckoff, a reputable marketing consultant, sales trainer and author, had some store layout wisdom to impart in a Nov. 2004 column entitled “Retail Trends: The Eyes Have It.” In it, he explains layout lessons from big food retailers that can help smaller businesses (like cellphone dealers) move product. Wyckoff says that – because huge food stores have so little interaction between store staff and their customers – location, lighting and packaging become the main product communicators.

Although cellular retail is heavily dependent on customer-salesperson interaction, there’s no reason a few big-box layout strategies can’t help you make sales while customers browse, before they ask their first question, or before your salesperson inquires, “Can I help you?” russian food store Wyckoff says food retailers put the milk in the back to force shoppers to wander through all kinds of tempting foods before they reach the milk, which is what they actually came for in the first place.

Likewise, cellular retailers should put their handsets on the back wall, thereby making customers walk past the snazzy new accessories and the iTunes display before they see what they originally came for: cellphones. Customers look left and turn right.

Big box research has shown that the vast majority of people entering a store look left and turn right, notes Wyckoff. For this reason, grocery stores put the bakery on the right – it smells good. Then the path carries customers past the fresh produce, with its vibrant colours, attractive shapes, mirrors, water and ice. Next in line are the deli and butcher sections.

Each of these appetizing areas is presented to the customer in sequence, immediately after they enter and turn right. After that, they’re directed to the aisles, where they can stroll up and down as they please. To keep customers eyes on attractive, featured wireless items, align such products along the right side of your store – drawing customers to the back (where the handsets reside) – and finish off the shopping experience with the cash till on the left side of the store. Women look down; men look up.

Wyckoff says that these visual tendencies are due to anthropological predispositions: “Back in the dawn of human time, men hunted food in the trees while women tended the children and food growing on the ground.”

With this in mind, grocery stores place their food products on a shelf three to four feet above the floor to maximize sale potential. Studies have shown that unlike men, few women buy exotic, high-priced foods. Therefore, these things go on the higher shelf and it works, says Wyckoff. Perhaps the same is true for certain male-popular cellphones and add-ons. It can’t hurt to try it out.

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