In order to design the customer flow in your store for maximum benefit, it is essential that you understand what your key anchor points are and how to utilize these to maximize your “products viewed distance” and sales.
In order of significance there are several key anchors to consider including:
- Doors (entry and exit) As this is usually not very flexible it is not likely that you will have a significant number of options available for placement of this anchor point. This means that however you design your flow, this should be your starting point. If at all possible it could prove of value to have separate entrance and exit doors. Ideally the longer distance (measured in products viewed) you can get your customer to move, the better your sales will be.
- Cashiers Unfortunately this is another anchor point with limited flexibility. Usually you would want this placed at the end of the customer journey, and for security reason likely close to your exit doors. There are some environments where these concerns are not an issue, in which case you should make sure you locate this again for the sake of the journey, product placement and anchor positioning.
- Service counters When you have a business that use service counters to deal with specific needs, these can be utilized like any other primary anchor point. Place it at the back somewhere, as customers will be going to it intentionally. Also remember that this will often prove a natural pause point, so make use of the space around this carefully as far as product placement is concerned.
- Primary anchor products Anything that is a high volume consumable item is something that should be considered a possible primary anchor product, and therefore should be placed to get the most value out of the position. If you have more than one, be sure to place them on opposite sides of your store. Also consider which items would typically be used together. You want to separate those unless your products are mostly want products.
- Secondary anchor products Although secondary anchors are less valuable for managing customer flow journeys, they are still products that people need, even if less frequent. Once you have locked down all your primary anchor points, you can start placing these items in locations which direct flow based on products that complement. Essentially use these as “mini” anchor points to get as much of your complementing products noticed, as well as to direct the flow between primary anchor points, extending the journey even further.
One very important thing to remember is that to truly understand the flow of your store, you may have to make a specific study of this subject, for your specific store. Each store is different, meaning that your flow will likely prove to have some unique qualities that only you can identify and manage. Be sure to pay attention, and then adapt according to your own discoveries.
I wish you all the best in your ventures and invite you to share your stories and comments here.