3 Ways Store Design Can Create a Winning Experience

January 02, 2015 | Retail


The customer experience is a retailer’s secret weapon against a slumping economy. More than selection, travel distance, price or product, the experience reigns as the one thing that can make or break a store.

The retail shopping experience evolves almost weekly. Customers have shopping options galore, from self-service kiosks to smartphone apps, from paper catalogs to virtual dressing rooms. The key is to ensure an exceptional experience across all channels, especially in stores. Here are three ways to implement store design and create a winning customer experience.

1. Deliver on Quality

Retail store design must be consistent with a store’s brand image and marketing strategy, as well as the quality of the product. The store has to strive to make customers feel they are special and that they always get a good deal. Understanding the business’ target customers and their needs and expectations allows the store to deliver on those expectations, and then some. Closer examination of the customer relationship can be an invaluable investment for companies that have been focusing solely on maximizing the next transaction and reducing their costs to serve customers.

2. Review the Assets

Retail competition is fierce, so it is critical to have a clear map and know where a store fits into that landscape. Important things to consider include:

  • Store location. Is the store in a shopping mall? Is it freestanding? How do local demographics affect business?
  • Competitor’s location(s). Where are they? Who are they? How will the store stack up against the competition?
  • Overall retail landscape. What has been happening the last five years that will affect the business? Trends?
  • Marketing/advertising. Where does marketing/advertising fit in the overall picture? Is the company standing out or making white noise?

Ruthless cutting after evaluation is key. Look at every piece of the retail business, from the hangers to the website — if it isn’t pulling its weight, cut it out.

3. Engage with Customers

Person-to-person, in-store experience consistently ranks at the top of the issues customers feel as most important. Don’t let merchandise, brand and value fade into the background when personal interaction steps onstage—it’s critical to keeping customers engaged with your store. Every manager understands employees are the first line of defense against losing customers. A less-than-positive interaction with an employee can spark a virtual forest fire of negative word-of-mouth for the store.

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Posted by Angel Carra | Request as a Speaker

On the go, mother of two, who believes things happen for a reason. SVP of Sparks Retail focused on driving the best client and customer experience.