Real People. Real Stories. Real Business.
Chris Bell

Launching a Shop – What You Need To Know

When launching a physical shop, there are many things you have to consider. Getting the right look and feeling can be the difference between customers entering your shop, browsing and then buying, or just entering your store, browsing and getting out as quickly as possible. Everything affects customers and their purchasing experience, and this is important to remember.  If customers do not like how a shop looks they will seldom buy from it. Customers want to feel relaxed, comfortable and at ease when they are shopping, for everything from food to clothing, so you have to ensure that your atmosphere and ambience is correct if you want customers and visitors to spend money and if you want them to return.

The Shop Layout

How a shop is laid out can be the difference between a customer staying 5 minutes, or staying longer and making a purchase. If your shop layout is confusing and all over the place then visitors and browsers will not entertain it and they will simply leave. No matter what you sell and stock you have to make sure that it is laid out in clear, easy to see and easy to define areas. You have to remember that areas need to be accessible by everyone and when areas are clearly marked and stocked then customers can easily see what they are looking for. Customers do not have the time or urge to sift through piles of stock to find what they are looking for, so to save them hassle and stress you have to keep everything clearly labelled, marked and signposted. Keep convenient items close to the door so that those that are in a rush can quickly pop in, get what they need and then browse with the few minutes spare they have. To create a layout that works you have to think about what your favourite shops have to offer.  How do they work and how do they flow. Shops that have easy and simple to follow layouts are often the most successful.

The Lighting

How your shop feels can make a big difference to customers and their mindsets. If your shop feels cold and dark they will not want to stay, but if it feels warm and welcoming then they will turn from browsers into purchasers. To create a warm and welcoming ambience you have to look at commercial track lighting as this type of lighting can provide the light needed to even the biggest of spaces. If areas are inadequately lit and customers have to struggle to see, then they will simply take their business elsewhere and you will not get a second chance with them. Your lighting needs to be easy to maintain and easy to fix and this is why you should use a specialist or commercial supplier to get the lighting just right within your shop.

The Colour Scheme

Colours can entice customers into your shop or they can make them want to run away. Bright and loud colours are quite off putting, so consider what your shop will be selling and try to create a palette around this. For example if you are opening a baby shop then you would go for neutral and pastel colours. If you are opening a clothes shop you will probably want to go for neutral and natural colours so that the customer can focus on the clothing and accessories on offer.

The Stock

This is probably the single most important thing within your shop, but it is often the most overlooked. What you stock and how you stock it will determine if your shop is successful or not. A well-stocked shop will constantly appeal to customers and entice them in. Stock rotation is just as important as anything else you do. If shelves or displays are bare or thinly stocked then customers will leave. It may sound simple but it is often not done well. Keeping a well-stocked and well supplied shop is a must. Customers require choice and they require variety, if they do not get this then they will simply shop elsewhere in the future. Ensure that you keep up to date with trends to ensure you stay ahead of the curve.

Launching a shop is an exciting venture and if you focus on getting all the key components correct then there is no reason why you should not succeed. Once your shop is up and running you then need to quickly shift your focus away from the launch and onto growth, development and sustainability.