Just as it's important to Know Your Business when designing your shop, it's also important to know your customers. Whatever style you want your business to undertake, it's important to keep your customer in mind. If they can see that you've thought of them, their needs and their comforts, they are more likely to spread the word about your careful consideration and your amazing business to their friends and family; never underestimate the power of word of mouth!
Being commercial property agents in London, we've seen our fair share of commercial stores and we've picked up a couple of hints and tips in regards to accommodating your business to each of your different customers.
The Shopper and The Reluctant Shopper
The shopper is your average customer; they travel the length of the main street in search of their favourite shops. Unafraid of change, they'll visit your business's grand opening; the trick is to keep them interested.
The reluctant shopper is a different breed. They would rather sit at home until they are forced to buy something new than spend hours shifting through unorganised clothes rails. Once they're in a shop, they know exactly what they want; the trick is to make them see things they wouldn't normally go for.
Organising your shop into categories and clearly labelling where certain items are will greatly benefit these shoppers. With orderly and clearly sign-posted stock, the reluctant shopper is able to quickly find what they want and leave while the shopper can easily browse the rows and rows of clothes, accessories and items you have on offer.
We've seen plenty of tired, hassled parents in our line of work, dragging their children from store to store in search of everything on their shopping list. Though children may seem like angels, they can be very difficult to shop with. Sometimes it's nice for parents to just relax without worrying that their six year old is about to knock over a stack of boxes.
A nice idea to accommodate having children in your store is to put aside a small area for them to play in. You can separate this area in whichever way best suits your style; by painting the walls differently, you'll be drawing attention to the children's section, identifying it as a 'hassle free zone' for your tired parents. Alternative, you could have a section of colourful flooring laid down or- if you prefer security- you could install a waist high wall. Utilising a children's area with small chairs and tables, colouring tools and toys could be the perfect way to show parents that it's okay, in your store they can breathe.
Shopping can be a long and tiring experience for a lot of people. Whether they've had to subdue bored children, couldn't find what they're looking for, or perhaps their feet just hurt them, it's always a nice idea to have a seating area for the tired shopper.
You don't need to keep these chairs in one area either. Your shop means your style but sometimes having a couple of chairs dotted around your store can be a welcomed surprise to your tired customers. You have a couple of options here; either allow the chairs to merge in to your shop floor, strategically placed between rails and shelves of items, or you could have a specially designed seating area. Like the children's area, you could draw attention to this special spot by the way you style it, the type of chairs you use and the way you position them. Whether you choose to have a single sofa or an entire lounge, we would highly recommend this for your consideration.
When it's time for another round of pocket money, teenagers take to the streets in force. Their pockets are burning and the shops are calling but, like any other shopper, after a while all shops look the same and it's simply the price tags they're interested in. This is where your creative influence comes in.
Designing the inside of your shop in your own style is a fabulous opportunity to make your mark. Light fixtures, for instance, are some of the first things your shoppers will take note of as they step into your store. You could work with levels here; hanging lights are always a stunning feature to any property, so why not integrate them into your store? Working with different levels throughout your store will also be a pleasing change for your shoppers’ critical eye; never underestimate the power of spatial awareness.
If you're planning on buying a commercial property to start your business, contact us on +44 (0) 208 863 8680 and we'll be able to offer you a range of properties to suit your own, and your customers’, needs.