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2021 Shop Interior Design Reminders: Ideas Every Shop Owner Should Read Before Starting

2021 Shop Interior Design Reminders: Ideas Every Shop Owner Should Read Before Starting

//This blog is updated in 2021//

The need for great shop interior design ideas for 2021 has never been greater – especially as the growth of online marketplaces has deeply impacted the profitability of traditional brick and mortar shops, particularly for those offering light consumer goods (like clothing) and electronics. Now, physical retail stores need to worry not only about the competition down the block or around the corner, but also the omnipresent, ever changing digital economy. The advantage that physical stores have over e-stores, is their tangibilty of products and presence of an visual atmosphere. One way that shop owners can differentiate themselves from their rivals online and on the street is by ensuring a pleasant and personable experience each time a prospective customer walks through the door. While many businesses interpret this to mean customer service and hospitality from staff (which no one can deny is incredibly important), many fail to realize the importance of shop interior design ideas on the customer experience. How the interior of a shop presents itself is a major factor of appeal to customers as well as a self definition of each stores unique brand.

Shop interior design ideas interior
Image courtesy of archiparti shop designer Amando Ho.

The store environment is the ultimate showcase and the only physical point of contact between brand and customer. From telling your brand’s story and creating immersive experiences, to creating head-turning window displays and signage, when it comes to retail, the devil is in the details – and we want you to avoid making the same mistakes that many retailers do and get your brand to reach its maximum potential. This article will show you some of the ways you can improve your store’s layout and design to attract customers, retain business, and succeed through innovative shop interior design ideas and retail store design ideas!

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What Are the Most Important Things to Keep in Mind for Shop Design?

1. Location

2. Target Audience

3. Unique Selling Product (USP)

4. Social Setting

5. Personal Experience

6. Method of Payment

7. Lifestyle Targeting

8. Five Senses

Shop interior design ideas featured small
Image courtesy of archiparti store designer Andy O.

Extensive market research is the most important predictor of success in any business – and as a small or medium business owner, it can be the difference between “life and death” given your limited margins for error and ability to sustain losses. Here are some of the most important things that will inform your store layout and help your formulate great shop interior design ideas.

Location

One of the largest determinants of your store’s future success is, of course, location. Choosing the right location for your business is a topic (and indeed field) unto itself, requiring meticulous business analysis and thoughtfulness. The specific dimensions of your space (floor area, ceiling height, entrances and exits) will also affect the kind of shop interior design ideas you can adopt.

Target Audience

One of the first steps in any business activity is identifying the targeted market demographic or audience – who are you trying to sell your products to? Once you identify this group (or groups), you can begin to tailor your customer experience to the expected preferences of that demographic – giving you a better chance to attract and keep their patronage. A retail store layout aimed at teens and young adults, for instance, will look very different than one that seeks to attract retirees.

Unique Selling Product (USP)

Although most retail shops offer a large variety of goods (hundreds, sometimes thousands of different products), it is more commonly found in many businesses, whether by choice or consumer demand, to have a single good or bundle of goods which dominates sales. This USP should influence your store layout, with interior design guiding customers to the available inventory. Prioritising the easy access and visual to USPs, but still keeping in mind other products.

Social Setting

Shop interior design ideas featured setting
Image courtesy of archiparti shop designer Simon Tam.

In addition to your target market or audience, you must also be aware of the social sensibilities and customs of the particular neighborhood or geographic region in which you plan to place your store. Selling pork products and alcoholic beverages, for instance, in an area largely inhabited by those of Muslim or Jewish faith may negatively impact your business’s “goodwill” within the community. Is is beneficial for you to know your community and understand their needs and wants. In terms of retail displays, fixtures, and visual merchandising, this might mean placing potentially offensive items towards the back of the store or in a more secluded area.

Personal Experience

If you’re opening your first store, or your first store in an area you are not so familiar with, it may be useful to consult local retail business owners, managers, and other qualified individuals in order to learn the idiosyncrasies of running a shop in your chosen neighborhood. It is always a good idea to have a full and clear understanding of the area around your new shop. Try to temper your shop interior design ideas to the experiences of others nearby.

Method of Payment

Traditional methods of payment have focused around cash and credit/debit utilizing physical cards. In addition to these two cornerstones, gift cards and mobile payments, typically using smartphones, have grown as mediums of transaction over the last decade. Determining the method of payments acceptable at your store will have an immediate impact on the customer experience – ranging from wait times at checkout to even the type of clientele. Using quicker methods can allow you to allocate more space to storage or shelf space, rather than the retail counter or checkout area. Moreover, it can also help boost customer satisfaction.

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Lifestyle Targeting

Depending on the type of goods or services sold at your store, it might more prudent to focus on marketing a “lifestyle” rather than individual products. By cultivating the image of your store servicing a particular lifestyle or trend (for a clothing store, for example, this might mean an urban professional, an outdoorsman, or a fitness enthusiast) you can attract a greater number of targeted customers. Focusing on designs that will quickly and effectively address your brands image through appropriate store decoration and retail fixtures at the entrance and exterior of your store can help emphasis what your shop stands for as a brand. 

Five Senses

Always keep this in mind: your customers have five senses, not just one, which all play into how customers interact and experience the shop. Music and ambient scenting may not be things that naturally come to your mind when you think of retail shop interior design ideas, however, great design isn’t just about what your store looks like, it’s more about how it makes your customers feel – the general atmosphere. 

Some studies have shown that a perfect combination of products and sensory stimulus can encourage shoppers to buy more. The impact of sound and smell on your customers’ decision-making process is direct and clear. For instance, you can bring in some speakers, download music and observe what kind of sounds get shoppers in a spending mood. The same principle can apply to scents when assembling your unique brand atmosphere with creative shop interior design ideas. Such small effortless details can make a significant difference to your customers experience.

What Are the Most Common Retail Shop Interior Design Mistakes?

Shop interior design ideas featured visual
Image courtesy of archiparti store designer Duncan Craig.

As an interior design firm, archiparti has experience with a number of retail business owners who have suffered from poor layouts and design in the initial iterations of their stores – typically related to the placement of merchandise, fixtures, and marketing materials. Here are some of the most common mistakes we have seen.

  • Poor visual merchandising and marketing aids at the store front, in the window display, and at the exterior.
  • Failing to use the area immediately outside the store (where permitted) for additional retail space.
  • A poorly laid out central heating/cooling design.
  • Retail shop interior design ideas which promote superfluous decoration or furniture which takes up floor space but doesn’t contribute to an improved customer experience.
  • Insufficiently wide pathways between shelf space, leading to customers and staff bumping into one another or otherwise inconveniencing them.
  • Failure to use walls for storage, shelf space, or another other useful purpose.
  • Insufficiently sized and cramped changing or dressing rooms, or an insufficient number if changing or dressing rooms.
  • No seating outside of changing areas to allow those accompanying someone inside the dressing room to sit.
  • An efficient inventory system that requires greater floor space to be dedicated to storage.
  • Inadequate checkout area that forces customers to line up and queue into parts of the store with shelf space
  • Absence of prominent discount or deal displays, especially at the front, exterior, checkout, or in a designated area of the store.
  • Having high rack-up front that may block the view of the rest of the shop. Imagine that if your customers don’t really like what they see on that first set of shelves, they might leave immediately.  The fixtures greeting customers as they walk in should never extend above eye level.

What is the Best Retail Shop Design Layout?

Shop interior design ideas layout
Image courtesy of archiparti shop designer Henry Lee.

Most retail store layouts can be roughly divided into 4 categories:

Grid or straight

Loop

Free-flow

Warehouse-style

Each has advantages and disadvantages according to the needs of your business and the space available to in your shop. Keep in mind that your space is unique and what works for other shops may not necessarily work for you.

The floor layout of your store has a number of important effects on the overall customer experience. The arrangement of shelving, signage, and available pathways will direct the flow and movement customers within the store – and, according to the latest research in consumer psychology, can even affect what they buy.

To learn about these different layouts, as well as small shop design ideas, small shop decoration ideas, and small shop design photos, check out our other article on retail shop design here.

Need Help or Some Friendly Advice for Your Redesign and Renovation? Need Some Retail Shop Interior Design Ideas?

If you are looking to redesign or renovate any part of your store or shop, take a look at our FAQs and drop a line to the professionals at archiparti via our contact form – we’re always happy to hear from you!

Be sure to check out our blog for our latest designer tips and tricks, retail store design ideas, current news and media coverage, as well as our most recent renovation article series! 

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