Tips on using retail store layout software to sell more and improve customer experience

Different retail store layouts can either make or break your retail business, whether you believe it or not. And if you're running a small, family-owned shop, without any backing or funding, previous statement becomes even more true. In this post, we are going to look at how different approaches can make you sell significantly more in your store and how you can use retail store layout software to ensure you're doing it the proper way.

Retail store layout software can help to sell more
Figure 1. Example of a store layout

| The most common approach in store layout planning and related problems |

When a retailer is opening a shop, item layout plan is something that needs to be done. You need to decide on how are you going to use space within your store and where are you going to put shelves. You also need to make a decision on what products will be placed on which shelves. While there is usually a lot more detail involved, like positioning the in-store advertisements and pricing information, the whole process comes down to a simple rule. Make the shop pretty, good-looking and use the retail space in the most efficient way possible.

So where does this bring you? You do eventually get an awesome looking outlet, it looks great on the pictures and even to the customers that come in. However, does following this approach really guarantee your business to leverage its full potential? Is having a great looking store really enough to sell your products? Unfortunately, for most retailers, the answer is a big NO-NO!

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Having something beautifully looking only guarantees looks, nothing more, nothing less. And that goes for your shop as well. However, most retailers forget this when they are designing their space. And they also forget that their core business is to sell the most they can, not having the best-looking place in town.

| If it's not the looks, then what is it? |

That's the question you are probably asking yourself by now. The greatest formula to retail success is to offer the customers what they want and when they want it. Once you've identified that, then suggest them to buy something else that they also need but even they didn't know. And then add a bit of a special offer into the mix. And on top of that, do it all without annoying them. Yeah, right - you might think! Hold your breath though. It may be easier than you think.

All you need to do to achieve this is to organize your retail store layout in a way which would naturally trigger the above funnel in your customers' behavior. And how can you do that? Well, by monitoring your customers' behavior. If you organize your items based on your customers' preferences as opposed to your own, chances for retail success are far greater. After all, you are selling to your customers and not to yourself.

| Combine the power of artificial intelligence and retail store layout software |

We at Shoptimality have developed a whole set of artificial intelligence capabilities for small retailers and, one of them is specifically targeted to help small business owners to organize layouts based on what customers like. To cut the story short, let's look at how exactly you can use Shoptimality AI as a retail store layout software which helps you to organize the items in a way which triggers your customers to buy more than just what they initially came for.

Namely, our Any2 Suggestions AI feature analyzes your customers' behavior from sales patterns and discovers what are the subsequent items they are most likely to buy next, assuming they buy any other item. Following that, it generates suggestions of item pairs which are most likely to be sold together, ordered by AI confidence. So how exactly can a retailer use this information to optimize the store layout?

Shoptimality any2 table view
Figure 2. Shoptimality Any2 Suggestions

Let's try to explain this with a real-world example. Let's say, hypothetically speaking, you were running a grocery store. And, somewhere in between all Any2 Suggestions generated, our AI model would recognize that, based on your customers' behavior, Strawberries go very well with a Whipped Cream Spray. Based on this information, you would put the Whipped Cream Spray just next to the Strawberries in your store. And even more importantly, you would run a promotion for, let's say, 10% off both Strawberries and Whipped Cream Spray purchased together. Given that Shoptimality provides an end-to-end retail solution including a hardware agnostic point of sale app, such promotions can be enabled with a click of a button.

Before we go any further, let's take a second to analyze what we just did on a hypothetical customer. So a guy wanting Strawberries walks into your grocery store. He puts them into a basket and at that very moment he sees an in-store poster advertising 10% off both Strawberries and Whipped Cream Spray. Just as the "not a bad deal" thought crosses his mind, he sees a Whipped Cream Spray just next to Strawberries. And, as you might guess, Whipped Cream is now very likely to go into the basket as well.

So with a proper combination of retail store layout and a targeted promotional offer, you were able to sell Whipped Cream which the customer didn't even intend to buy while generating more revenue for your store. And, from a customer perspective, it was a pretty good experience and it felt good since he got a good deal on something he wanted, but wouldn't even know he wanted if you didn't do the layout and offer trick. It's a win-win situation for both of you.

And, to continue, after strawberries that same customer goes for the next item he came for. And sees an offer for 15% off for both the item he wants and the item our AI detected is most likely to be bought together with what he wants. Guess what happens? Yes, you just sold an extra item for which the customer didn't even come for.

As you can see, retail store layouts really matter and Shoptimality can help your retail store with this, regardless of what you sell. However, bear in mind that simply having the best looking layout in town does not help. It's giving your customers what-and-when-they-want sort of layouts that can make a real difference for your business.

To find out about how other AI features in Shoptimality can help your retail store, please visit our documentation index page. Otherwise, please sign up to start using Shoptimality to grow your retail business.

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