The industry keeps talking about online sales, and Amazon, but studies show that 40-70% of consumers make their purchase decision at a physical retail location. Thats a big majority. Knowing this it is important that once we get them in the door, we don't let them leave without what they came for. 

Consider small changes to store layout that make big impact! 

Without a big brand coming in and making you look like another box store, or the shop down the road, there are a few things that I have found effective to give big impact on a minimum budget. 

Clean and Declutter 

If your store is hard to walk through, merchandise is not within reach and last months sports catalog is still on the counter, it goes noticed. Leave "white" space so the customers eye can be drawn to what you want them to see. 

Your store has several layers

The consumer coming to your shop has several times to evaluate your store. 

Outside Store – (standing outside store)
Front of Store – (first impression as you walk through the door)
Merchandise – (perusing merchandise)
Changing Rooms (if applicable)
Point of Sale– (at the retail counter)
Misc. (Rest Rooms, etc.) Leaving the Store

Pretend you are your client and go to each of these zones. Look. Really look. What do you see? What is the message your sending? What are you hoping to convey with your store windows? What about your retail counter? Service station? Or the display behind your store counter?  

Can you see?

Pay attention to your bulbs. One of the first things I notice is lights that are out, or bulbs that make merchandise look "off color".  Spotlighting and track lighting can be used to highlight certain elements. You can also communicate "you" with fun colored lights, or unique fixtures. 

Throw away! 

Lets be honest that display the tire company or sunglass company gave you 7 years ago may have sentimental value, but store design and technology have changed a ton since then. Unless useable needed space- let it go! These take up room, and often enclose merchandise that should be out to see or touch. 

Shake up your displays

Think non-traditional!  Things like oak rum barrels or clothes hanging on display around an old bicycle that you’ve painted bright yellow, or really anything your imagination can think of! 

Highlight and Display

Perhaps choose a theme for a month, and create a display that blocks traffic a bit.  Say you want to focus on bike packing. Take a bike, outfitted with the gear and create a display that not only forces people to look, but also creates a talking piece for sales staff. Changing it up monthly, will forces people back in to see whats new. 

Do you hear that?

Sounds can have a clear impact on your customers’ decision-making process, and studies have shown that the perfect combination of product and sensory stimulus can encourage customers to buy more. Bring in some speakers, download Spotify and pump some positive tunes to provoke a spending mood. 

Southern Comfort 

I have found one of the most positive retail experiences leaves the customer with a feeling of comfort. It starts with a welcome as they enter. Not over powering, but kind, considerate and within the first 30 seconds. Then make yourself available, not stalking, but working near the browsing client, or moving about; available. 

Retail is evolving, and your shop can too. Embrace change and continue to look at your store zones. Little small improvements can create drastic changes. 

Heather Ann Mason has over 20 years IBD experience, including expansion, management, and entrepreneurship. Over the past years she has visited  and worked with over 1000 bike shops.  She is considered by many an "insider" into what works at retail level and programs that make or break. She uses her passion and knowledge to travel the nation working with IBD's to make changes within the shop that produce big impact. 

Heather is considered an IBD "maven" and works with shops to evaluate key areas that will lead to profitable improvements. Work with Heather to evaluate and make effective changes to store layout, staff training and policy, inventory control, buying habits, stock rotation, marketing and customer satisfaction. 

Interested in having Heather visit your shop for a consultation?
Contact her at [email protected]