How Consumer Behavior is Affected by Your Store Layout and Atmospherics

Consumer Behavior in a ShopMost customers don’t take the time to think through how they’re being affected by your store’s layout and design. You, however, should! All the details are important. You want to engage your customers’ senses, make them feel comfortable and at home, and create a clean environment where customers feel free to enjoy the shopping experience. At the same time, you want to note what’s directly at eye level and in the customer’s line of sight as they walk through the store and what first impression you’ve created for your customers.

Being aware of all of these little details helps you create a fantastic in-store experience that will speak to your customers and increase the positive buying behaviors you want.

It Starts on the Sidewalk

From the moment customers walk by your store, you have the potential to start impacting the way they view your products. Take advantage of your window displays to make them slow down. Eye-catching merchandising efforts will showcase what your brand is all about and let your customers know what to expect when they walk inside. Be sure that the window display is consistent with what customers will experience once they’re inside the store to avoid creating a sense of discomfort as they try to reconcile the difference.

Welcoming Customers In

There’s a moment when customers first walk into your store that should always be the best you can offer. In this moment, they’re in transition from the outside environment to everything you’re offering within. In those first few seconds, shoppers are going to make several snap judgements about your store:

  • How clean it is
  • Whether it’s cheap or expensive
  • How high-quality your products are
  • What types of merchandise you’re offering

Customers’ first impression of the store should encourage them to come in and browse, seeing everything that you have to offer. If the first impression is poor, they won’t stay for long—or worse, they’ll turn right back around and walk out again.

Paying Attention to Scent

The sense of smell often goes unnoticed when you’re thinking about your store’s layout and design, but it shouldn’t! The smell of a store can have a heavy impact on your customers. If a store smells dirty or musty, shoppers won’t feel encouraged to browse and may feel that items purchased there won’t be clean. The power of smell can also be used for good: ambient scents can convince customers to browse longer in fragranced areas. Scents can also evoke good memories, encouraging customers to connect those memories with your products.

Guiding Customers’ Sight

You can control the items that customers are most likely to notice when they walk through your store—and that means you can do an excellent job of directing their buying behaviors. Place high-margin items or attractive pieces directly in the eye line. That lets customers get a fast look at the items that are the real stars of the show! Creating negative space around these items will also help them really shine. Keep in mind who your customers are: toys and other items that are interesting to children should ideally be placed at their eye level, not at adults’, while items appealing to women can be a little lower than items designed to appeal to men, who tend to be taller.

Enhance the Sound

Playing music can have a big impact on the mood of your customers. A slow tempo will relax them and encourage them to browse longer, while a fast tempo will move customers along quickly—the perfect solution for restaurants and stores that need a fast turnover. It’s not about the speed alone, though: make sure that your music matches the mood of your store in order to create a cohesive customer experience. The music you play can set the tone for your entire store environment.

By taking all of the senses into consideration and implementing a few basic layout tips, you can construct a store environment that has a strong influence on your customers. Don’t let your choices be random! Instead, take advantage of what you know to encourage customers to make the shopping choices you want.

Article by Josh Astor