Monday, 3 June 2013

In Store and Online Layout - Tips

The purpose of any retail business is to maximise the conversion rate of your in store footflow or online visitor count. To do this there are some ways you can improve your chances, simple techniques to help your customers find the most attractive products.

Online Store

Driving traffic to your website is only stage one of the game of online retailing, by getting them to click on your link does not generate you any income, and you may find your conversion rate is very low. Even some of the best traffic driving campaigns have proven fruitless for web stores because of the poor layout of their shop, a landing page full of text, with no clear links to products will turn off a large proportion of your audience, you can understand the behaviour of your visitors by looking at your web stats, number of pages visited and length of time will indicate if your landing page is perhaps not capturing the imagination.

  •  Banner - Your top bar should be the graphic and slogan for your business, this will mainly be to let those who visit know what it is your shop is doing. Avoid flash designs with moving parts as these are proven to be bad for eccomerce. 
  • Top Left - The top left is the next place visitors will look, their eyes drawn automatically to this space. It is the area you want to ensure that the customers are captured. Whether you have an amazing deal, sale or some great selling products, this is where they should be placed. 
  • Centre - The central area should be a showcase for both some product graphics and information about your company. The Text ration for an online shop is not the same as a blog and you should not be tempted to overload the text area with repeated information. Include links to relevant CMS pages if you wish to provide more details.
  • Top Right - If they are still on your page by the time they analyse this information then firstly, well done. This should be a section about reassurance, if you have a physical premises then showcase it here, contact details for more info or alternatively some of your last items you sold.

Window Display

Your shop front window is a great way to showcase your products, showing a variety of each item you stock in store. There are two schools of thought when it comes to window display and both can be productive depending on your inventory. 

Showcase Everything - This is the most popular method, a little of every type of product, changed on a monthly basis to keep those who frequent your shop to continue to be interested. Ensuring you have the right display stands is key, to fit all your inventory into a small space without looking cluttered can prove difficult if you do not have display cases, wall fittings or Mannequins.

Entice them to come inside - This method is becoming more popular, it is a teaser of what is in store. Many people cannot process too much information in the 3 second interval it takes them to pass your store, so with the showcase everything strategy you are relying on something catching their eye to make them stop. With this technique you would place an unusual or high end item in the window, targeted at those you wish to come inside to satisfy their curiosity. For Instance if you are a gents clothing boutique you may avoid putting simple jeans and a T-Shirt in your window, instead opting for the most expensive Jacket with bright vibrant colours and unusual design, this will make more people stop and look, even if it is something they wouldn't buy. Unusual is good, the window is facilitating them coming inside your store and should be a showcase for your best items, but don't forget to ensure it is in keeping with the theme of your store, a book store with a Framed Painting in the window is simply misleading.

Themes- Themes are a great idea, if your local community has events coming up why not come up with that theme for your shop window. A local sporting tournament may be a great way to showcase some sporting theme, and you can be sure the local visitors and any tourists will be caught as they walk past. Keeping up to date with your local communities and societies ensures you will hear about these events well in advance and by doing this, you may even have those societies work to promote your business.

Store Layout

The layout of any shop is of course partially dictated by the size and space of your premises but there are standard practices that would help you with conversion rates.

Floor Layout - On Entrance the customer should be greeted by a sale, this will also be visible from outside, which will attract customers in to browse. The other items visible from the entrance should all be your top selling items and general stock. Any items which are slow selling should be put into areas not visible from the shop entrance.

Unusual Display Stands - You can also attract interest with your fitting, having an unusual display stand, perhaps a reconditions boat or recovered drift wood would really make customers interest peak.

Till Placement - Around your till should be small items, impulse purchases which are low in value but attractive, this will generate those last minute panic buys when they come to checkout.

Remember this is only a small part of successful commerce, you should not ignore the importance of customer service, pricing, trends and advertising.