In the last blog posting I initiated the discussion about attracting and appealing to your primary customer, the female in the household. Certainly, agricultural businesses do not want to ignore the male consumer but research clearly demonstrates that appealing to the female in the household can have a strong positive impact on sales. The purpose of this blog is to make the retail outlet more comfortable for shopping.
First, consider “who” will be shopping with your female customer. Will she have a female, male, or child in tow? The situation that will benefit your business the most is if she brings a female companion. She will probably shop the longest (in terms of minutes) when shopping with a friend, and possibly spend more. How much of an effort would it be for you to clear some space near the entrance and create a waiting area for reluctant shopping companions? The issue becomes trickier when your female customer is shopping with young children, which would require a retailer to provide babysitting services, but for an older child or adult companion placing comfortable chairs, a television, and magazines near the entrance could be the perfect place for the female shopper to “park” her companion.
Continuing on through the store, how cluttered is your retail outlet? In general, more floor space should be devoted to browsing than merchandising. This allows customers to pass each other without touching each other, especially if carts are used in the outlet, and makes the space look less confusing. If a space is arranged and cluttered in such a way that the customer cannot see a clear path to navigate they may become overwhelmed and decide not to walk forward but rather walk to the door and exit.
A few other things to consider include using color at key places (on back walls or areas where consumers don’t tend to walk to naturally) to draw attention and encourage customers to walk throughout the space. Color should be used strategically to draw customers to particular areas within the space. Along with using color on the walls, use different textures of wallpaper, paneling, and other material to catch the eye. Choose colors that correspond to the theme of your outlet and that works with the merchandise you sell. For a winery tasting room that is trying to convey a sophisticated feel and where a fair number of glass wine bottles align the walls – colors such as terracotta, a warm soothing yellow, or another complementary color should be considered.
How you use these tips and techniques is up to you but keep in mind that these strategies can only improve a retail space and make it more comfortable for your customer, which should be your goal.