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Sam Langley-Swain, Strategy Director

With 44% of customers admitting to showrooming, bricks-and-mortar retailers are constantly looking for ways to trigger in-store purchases.

The evolution of retail has meant that more and more shoppers are looking for the best deals, and the most convenient ways to shop. Even those brands that have multichannel retailing at their core still see bricks-and-mortar sales as an important channel.

Luckily for savvy retailers, there are some practical store design tricks that can help to trigger in-store purchases:

1. Tangible Experiences

Retailers already know that customers crave real experiences when looking to make a purchase. By appealing to the senses through interactive retail – such as allowing customers to taste new product releases, brands can trigger in-store purchases. It is these experiences that bring brands and products to life, and creates the foundations for strong relationships with customers.

2. Personalisation

Product personalisation used to be reserved for exclusive, luxury boutiques. While it may be more mainstream and widely available these days, it still evokes those emotions within shoppers. By enabling customers to personalise their purchases in store, as in the Converse Ink Bar we worked on, brands can provide a personal level of service that no other channel can compete.

3. Call Outs

A simple yet always efficient store design trick to trigger purchases is call outs. Point of sale displays, merchandising and signage are all simple and effective ways retailers can draw customer attention to certain products, highlight their benefits, and encourage a sale.

4. Instant Gratification

At present, online shopping can’t provide customers with the same levels of instant gratification that shopping in-store does; this, however, could change with one-hour delivery slots. Until then, though, the design of a store should be centred on instant gratification. This should involve fast-track queues and other easy payment portals, access to additional stock, and an extensive product line.

5. Disruption

If customers are showrooming in store, it is not engaging enough to hold their attention. One store design trick that will help win it back is disruption. This can include making unexpected changes to store layouts to capture attention, introducing demonstration areas, or using digital integration quite literally to disrupt their online browsing.

6. Exclusivity

Naturally, shoppers have a fear of missing out; missing out on a bargain, a product, or a particular trend. Using store design to create and reinforce a feeling of exclusivity will encourage and trigger impulse purchases in store. Signs such as “Last Chance to Buy”, “Last Few” and “Flash Sale” are simple ways to tap into this.

7. Nostalgia

During uncertain economic times, customers seek solace in things that remind them of happier times. Be it a scent, a song, or a product; tapping into customers’ sense of nostalgic through store design is a simple yet effective way to trigger emotional purchases.

8. Accessibility

It sounds obvious, but if shoppers can’t access the products they want (placed out of reach or due to poor stock), they are much more likely to look online for alternatives. By making sure that product stock is up to date, the shop floor is easy to navigate, and that customers can easily reach all the goods, retailers can leverage in-store purchases.

9. Unique Experiences

Bricks-and-mortar retail offers endless possibilities when it comes to window displays, experiential activations, and pop-up campaigns. Each of these offers customers a unique experience they can’t get online, something that triggers purchases and commands customer attention in-store.

10. Clicks-to-Bricks

Back in November, we said that clicks-to-bricks would be a huge retail trend. Fast forward six months, and more retailers than ever before are combining online orders with an in-store collection service. By driving those who do prefer e-commerce into a store, savvy retailers can help trigger additional purchases from impulse buyers.

Store design is about so much more than merely making a retail space look attractive. Retailers who employ smart tactics can transform the customer journey and help to trigger purchases in store. It is important for brands to think beyond the aesthetics, and look at how store design can transform their retail presence.