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5 affordable ways to maximise the space in your store

Article by Sureswipe

How can you affordably maximise your small retail space, while still enticing shoppers to enjoy their experience at your store – and come back for more?

With rentals becoming more expensive while shoppers are increasingly more price-sensitive, independent retailers are faced with the dual challenge of enticing shoppers to buy even though they’re operating from smaller premises.

The good news is that there are a variety of strategies you can use to entice shoppers to buy at your store – and the size of your location isn’t one of them.

Did you know?

“Your goal as a retailer should be to ensure that the customer feels at home and that they are comfortable from the moment they walk into your store, to the moment they check out,” says retail shopfitting specialists, Creative Shop. “Customers must be able to find what they are looking for easily and quickly.”

Five ways to use your space for bigger returns

The best way to grow loyalty in your store is to ensure customers enjoy their shopping experience when buying from you. The restricted square footage of your store doesn’t have to limit foot traffic or your sales. Optimise your floor space with these affordable hacks:

Don’t use every bit of space

Bigger doesn’t mean better – or more memorable and noticeable – but more space means you can make better use of your shop floor, right? No.

“The limits on space may encourage you to try and squeeze as many products in as you can to maximise the potential profit, but this could actually damage sales,” says Aaron Eaton of Replan.

Consider placing only one colour of each item on display. “Not only will this declutter your store, it encourages customers to interact directly with your staff, giving you a chance to convert the sale and even upsell any additional products,” says Eaton.

Create the illusion of more space

Your store space is more than just your floor space. Have you considered hanging items from the walls, the ceiling or placing products on floating shelves or hang rails?

Ali Newton, Marketing Executive for The Display Centre, also suggests using neutral colours on fittings and fixtures to make your small space appear bigger, because:

  • They ensure that your merchandise stands out more than the displays that they are on
  • They visually push the walls outwards, whereas strong colours can make a space feel smaller
  • Your shop’s atmosphere and colour scheme can be easily changed from season to season.

“The accent furnishings and colours of your clothing can change the look and feel of your whole room without needing to update fixtures and fittings,” says Newton

Be selective with the products you stock

Convenience is king in today’s busy world, and consumers are looking for a one-stop-shop for everything. Instead of giving in to the pressure to stock everything, Eaton advises focusing on your core products and growing from there.

“If something isn’t selling, consider if it’s being merchandised correctly first before throwing it out,” says Eaton.

This is the same strategy that Ducharn Vasconcelos uses for his business Gregory’s Convenience & Take Away. “I only have about 100 square metres floor space, so instead of focusing on groceries that are slow-moving and don’t have a long shelf-life, I stick to convenience items that customers need regularly,” he says.

Light up the corners

“Lighting is important in any retail shop, but it’s particularly critical in tight quarters,” Libby Langdon, author of Libby Langdon’s Small Space Solution says. Lack of lighting in even a corner of your shop means some square footage is as good as lost – and so are potential customers.

“Customers are unlikely to approach areas that are not well lit,” says Credibly’s Haley Perkins. “This is not because of fear, but because they may simply assume that part of the store is not meant for public access.”

Langdon recommends using a combination of track lights, lamps, and picture lights to not only brighten your space, but make shoppers enjoy being at your store and recall their customer experience fondly.

Gain loyalty with the familiarity advantage

Your smaller shop space means higher interaction with customers and a natural rapport with regular customers who come to your store on their way home or to pick up a particular product you have in stock.

According to Business Insider, 86% of consumers still prefer shopping at physical stores, while 66% of customers are willing to pay more for excellent customer service.

Place convenience items close to the tills and ensure staff remind customers of your loyalty programme or any specials you have running to encourage repeat sales.

Do you want to boost customer satisfaction and drive loyalty?

Talk to Sureswipe about a cost-effective loyalty programme. We can assist in customer retention through a platform that helps you communicate directly with customers through email and SMS. Call 0860 200 111 or fill in your details here and we’ll call you.

Sureswipe is a proud Partner of the NSBC.