What are the implications of perception on retail store layout and ambiance? Fully explain why you think this is important to consider
Shopping in a retail store is being widely practiced everywhere for ages. But due to recent technology booms, the popularity of online shopping has been growing at a fast pace, and attracting more and more shoppers to shop online. This is not because the Internet has conquered the market. It is due to the fact that modern-day shoppers are going for alternative and more convenient ways of shopping. People are finding all kinds of excuses for avoiding the retail store, including time saving, the trouble to travel, parking-problem, and the hassle of queuing up to pay for the items. This is why the layout and ambiance of a good retail store are important aspects to attract consumers back to the old shopping style. Base on a recent survey which was conducted to find out how shoppers feel about the joy of shopping at retail store, surprisingly, there are lots of negative feed-back and complaints by shoppers on the present-day retail stores. The survey was extended to cover the opinions and comments of suppliers and promoters of the various products, and it was found that they also have a lot of complaints, including the shortage of space in the store, for them to display and to occupy strategic locations for their products. Other factors like lighting, music, housekeeping, windows and signage are also important to boost the perception of the customers, and to attract them towards the store. Retailers should actually treat and present the store as a ‘good story’ with a beginning, middle or body, and an ending. The entrance of the store represent the introduction of the story and must be impressive enough to create expectations, contains promises, entices, hints and teases for the customers. While the inside portion of the store is the middle section of the story where it should start slowly and uncluttered, in order to allow consumers to orient themselves well. This is where the store should lead customers on a journey of discovery using good and proper layout, lighting, visuals and other atmospherics. Lastly, the checkout area is the store’s climatic-ending and it should provide a pleasant and happy outing with a long-lasting and memorable feeling. A store layout actually represent two things, firstly the store image, which is the overall perception the customer has of the store’s environment, and secondly, space productivity, which represents how effectively the retailers utilize the space. As of today, all successful retailers are the ones making the most profitable use of every square foot of space in the store. (Paul 2006) Store layouts generally show the size and location of each department, any permanent structures, fixture locations and customer traffic patterns. Retail space seems to be one of the major factors that will influence the customer flow. This is why the spaces between aisles must be wide enough, in order to avoid shopping carts bumping into corners and shelves of the store. Other than that, for an effective layout it must always make sure that two walking bodies and shopping carts are able to pass through each other without having close contact with each other. If this problem occurs, customers that visit the store might get frustrated doing their shopping there, thus the loyalty towards the store will be affected, and customers might not consider re-purchasing from this retail store again. Competition has led to the growth of brands differentiation among products where it tends to cause retailer to squeeze their product display shelves and continuously adding more varieties and brands of product to attract customers. (Rajan 2007) Huge varieties of products are good but it may also confuse the customers, if they are not properly arranged and displayed. Researches recommend that displaying goods at eye-level are the best shelves to sell from. This is why another important...
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