Imagine the space in your shop as your most valuable employee. Literally every square metre is important and has its own job to do. In this article, we serve up 4 hacks on how to create an engaging environment that drives sales in your retail shop!

It’s a warm and sunny day. A customer enters your shop having one particular product in mind. “I want those black Ray Bans I saw in your window, they’d match my white linen shirt”. 10 minutes later, he or she leaves with not one but two pairs of glasses – and a hat! (A Borsalino Panama hat, in case you wondered).

How did it happen?
By displaying of your awesome products in a smart way – here are four tips for how to create a shop interior that makes people buy (more of) your products!

Why this matters

Visual merchandising is about convincing the customer who entered your shop with one purchase in mind to leave the shop with two, or even three! With the right tweaks to your retail space they’ll pick up a few new favourites that feel relevant, make them happy and get them coming back for more. Successful shop design can be the difference between profit or loss.

Strategic shop design can make up the difference between loss or profit.

1. Don’t show off – immediately

Where am I? That’s what your customer will inevitably ask, having taken the first steps into your shop. Once your customers have crossed the threshold, they’re in a kind of transition stage, where they tend to miss products, messages or offers. Don’t place products that require focused attention close to the entrance.

Walk in and out of your shop again. Put yourself in the mind of a prospective customer. Will they immediately get the concept you’re trying to convey? If not, how can you make it more obvious?

Bonus tip: Both sound and smell directly impact the decision-making process of your customer. Don’t miss our “Why science says you should play music in your shop” article. Also, think about what kind of oil diffusers can you place in your shop to enhance the atmosphere.

2. Keep it (to the) right

Don’t only play it right but play to the right. Several studies have shown that customers immediately look to the right after they have entered a shop. Use this wall to place your high-margin products, including seasonal items, and anything you want to sell instead of marking down. So logically, don’t place your counter to the right.

Most impulse-buys take place at the counter.

3. Create your own shopping path

We know that you don’t own a shop the size of a football pitch (or a five-floor H&M store), but put some extra thought into how you organise your merchandise. The aim should be for your customer to automatically see as much of it as possible. Create an invisible path that your customer follows – and maximize exposure for your products. 

Bonus tip: Put attractive items visibly at the very bottom of the shop. Remember that your feet follow your eyes!

Zettler Yun-Hee Choi at the jewellery shop Chois knows how to use the valuable space behind and underneath the counter.

4. Maximise your counter space

Your counter should have enough space for the customer to place both their bag and purchase. The days of clunky cash registers and money boxes are over, a modern and sleek payment solution like iZettle card machines frees up space on this valuable piece of land.

Don’t underestimate the potential of the counter! Carefully select what items you want to display here – this is where the most impulse-buys take place. 

Remember that the wall behind the counter is an excellent spot to place interesting displays or powerful information you’d like to share with customers. I bet you’ve also found yourself unconsciously staring at this wall while the cashier finishes up the transaction (at the very least to avoid gazing into the eyes of the cashier for too long.)

Bonus tip: Don’t forget the space under the counter. When you ask your customer: “Did you find everything you were looking for today?”, keep typically “forgotten” items under the counter so you can quickly pull them out and offer them. It’s a sign of excellent customer knowledge and service!

Nikolina Dahl is art director at iZettle in Stockholm. She has an eye for interior design and is specialised in consumer behaviour.