Talking Shop: Tips for an Enticing Store Layout

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As soon as customers walk through your front door, the first impression has already been made. So how can you make sure their first glimpse of your store is pleasant and, better yet, memorable? Anna Dizon of has some ideas.

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The moment customers step in to your shop, those first few seconds they take to look around their surroundings will decide whether they want to stay or not. This is why your retail store’s layout and design is a huge factor in getting those all important sales.

The good news is that you don’t need loads of money to invest in designing your store. Even a minimal budget, when used wisely, can bring out your store’s full potential. So if you’re looking to design your new store or redesign your current one, check out these ideas we gathered from experts.

Here are our top 15 retail store design ideas from the pros:

1. Grab Shoppers’ Attention with Digital Signage.

Signs have always been the best way to announce sales, deals, and other enticing promotions right in your store. Unfortunately, it can be expensive and time-consuming to design and print signs every time you have a new promotion. Mira is a plug-and-play digital signage software that makes it easy to announce sales, advertise events, or showcase new products on any TV screen for as little as $25/month per screen. Click here for a free demo.

2. Go Green With Your Walls or Window Displays.

Incorporate “green” or “living walls” into the retail spaces at window displays, point of sale locations, and/or fixed merchandising areas. These unique feature areas provide a connection to nature and require no or low maintenance, depending on the product. Garden on The Wall is a great system that provides all natural preserved plants that require no water, misting, light or soil. Studies have shown that retail customers consider businesses that incorporate nature to be worthy of prices up to 25% higher.

3. Have Background Music Your Customers Will Love.

When it comes to retail store design, it’s also important to consider music, volume, and how it will sound around the store and affect customers. Research has proven that background music has a direct effect on shopping behavior, so it is something business owners should always keep in mind. Bluetooth speakers are the ideal solution to creating a pleasant shopping environment for retail stores and small businesses.

4. Add QR Codes on Shelf Tags

Putting a QR code on a product or on a shelf tag can connect customers to deep links into apps, launch chats, play videos, or even seamlessly transition an in-store shopper to an online e-commerce platform. By employing the humble URL, a QR code can even launch internet-of-things experiences like controlling connected machines and video monitors. And in an enterprise physical-to-mobile CMS, QR codes can deliver premium user experiences like personalization to a partner mobile wallet, previews of multiple websites from a single QR code, and even the ability to include NFC tags and Bluetooth beacons into the digital marketing mix.

This technology is made possible using sleek POS systems over traditional cash registers.

5. Have Customers Walk a Well-Thought Path.

Having a well-thought out path can make a more pleasant visit to your store because the traffic is controlled and will immediately give off a zen-like ambiance to your shop. This approach also ensures that your products get maximum exposure. Make sure to reward your customers with attention grabbing displays as they follow the path you set for them.

Get more tips on how to maximize your space with our guides on retail store layout and visual merchandising.

6. Paint an Accent Wall

Painting one side of your store to serve as an accent wall not only draws the eyes and attracts customers, it also makes your store look larger. Making an accent wall doesn’t always have to be painted, try putting bright colored or printed fabric or even wallpaper to achieve the same effect of a receding space. Match it with the rest of the store using neutral colors for furniture and floor.

7. Adjust Your Lighting.

Replacing your store’s light bulbs will immediately make a ton of difference to your store. For old retail shops, an upgrade of the lighting design can improve its overall look without having to cost so much. Consider re-purposing or recycling items to create interesting accents and highlights that will draw attention to your shop. In the photo above, the designer used old bike rims as a chandelier base.

For more information, read our retail lighting guide.

8. Minimize Clutter by Choosing the Right Display

Don’t let bulky displays take up too much space in your shop. You can get creative with the right choice of products and unconventional containers to keep it interesting without too much clutter. Instead of displaying jewelry under the counter, for example, you can try hanging it up on a tiered hanging display. This also works well for optimizing vertical space.

9. Add Mirrors to Make a Store Feel Larger

When used correctly, mirrors can turn a somewhat limited space and make it look open and bigger. Consider setting up a large mirror by the window with proper angle to reflect the outdoor environment. You can also use mirrors to cover up shelf space and customers can use it to try on accessories.

10. Incorporate Abstract Art

A women’s clothing boutique in China incorporated an 820 foot long pink pipe winding artistically throughout the store like abstract art. The same art installation doubles as storage and presentation, making the store interesting and eye catching for customers. The maze-like room created by the design opens up the space to a lot of potential because of its unique layout.

11. Add Faux Panels

Adding texture to your in-store design concept gives your shop a vibrant look in comparison to a flat wall surface. Faux panels will definitely cost you considerably less than actual bricks and stone materials. It is also available in different styles, designs, and colors that will easily suit your brand.

12. Reinforce Your Brand With a Theme.

Timberlind Glasgow Scotland
Source: Green Room

This Timberland flagship store was redesigned by London-based design firm Green Room. The concept works around a theme that crosses between rugged lifestyle and comfort as well as emphasizing the latest marketplace evolution, while reinforcing the authenticity and heritage of the Timberland brand. The store is covered with wood panels and beams, giving off the rustic charm and setting the overall ambiance of the shop.

13. Use Glass Displays to Make the Space Look Larger

For stores going for a minimalist design, the use of glass as dividers and shelves can emphasize the overall look. It adds to the clean, clutter free ambiance that makes the space look larger than it really is. Accentuate the store with strategically placed lighting to give more focus on your featured products.

14. Create A Window-Like Effect

It’s great if your business space already has windows, but if you’re not so lucky, fake it. To create the illusion of windows, hang drapes around tall mirrors or suspend hollow geometric shape frames in various heights around your store. This approach opens up your store and makes it look bigger. The window effect also lends an artistic look to your retail space.

15. Use Your Product Displays as Color Accents.

Use color in smart ways to enhance your retail space. Color coordinate your product displays, and line them up against a clean, white wall to make them pop. In this example, the designer used the colors of the store’s products as an accent to fully white painted walls. Because the displays are limited to the sides, the space also seems more open and bigger than it actually is. Keep your lighting in sync with your color theme to let your customer’s attention be fixed on your products.

Over To You

Your store’s design will tell customers how much value you put into your business, and in turn, will let them know if it’s worth visiting. Take time to find the inspiration you need before designing your retail store, and it will certainly pay off.