At Scorpion Planogram we are aware of the suffering of most retailers in the light of the current pandemic. However, we are also optimistic about the resiliency of this sector when this storm passes. We will continue giving you food for thought on how planning will be of great assistance when customers return. In the meantime, we wish that you, your staff and your families remain safe and well.
These days, the web is so choked with digital ads, it has become difficult for brands to stand out and reach buyers. Not only that, it is more and more expensive to acquire customers on the web, a handful of retail market analysts said. So, experts are suggesting an interesting strategy for brands who want to build their client base: create innovative, engaging physical retail spaces.
Below, we’ll outline one route business owners might take to design a great store layout – one that stokes customers’ enthusiasm for a brand and its products.
First, a bit of context. For roughly a decade, brick-and-mortar stores have been closing en masse, a trend some analysts have labeled the “retail apocalypse.” While it is beyond the scope of this blog post to untangle all of the factors that contribute to this trend, the primary driver was the arrival of the internet and the subsequent proliferation of online retail. Last year alone, an estimated 9,100 shops in the US closed, which is a 55-percent increase over 2018, according to one estimate.
While experts are suggesting a smartly-designed store may win over customers, it won’t undo the trend of closures. There is simply no going back to a time when brick-and-mortar shops were unchallenged by online retailers. In fact, one author notes that a second factor of the “retail apocalypse” was the surplus of stores that were built before the web arrived. Indeed, only well-performing, innovative shops will survive. And it’s in those physical retail spaces that brands will have the opportunity to make meaningful, real-world connections with buyers.
How to Appeal to Shoppers
Customer acquisition is an art, not a science. Speaking at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show, an annual industry event in New York City, experts said creating opportunities for shoppers to interact with a brand is the magic of brick-and-mortar stores. Furthermore, connecting with customers can nurture a bigger, more loyal base. That’s the secret. In a previous blog post, we explored how a well-designed layout can engage buyers. Here are a couple of the basics:
- Strategically display must-have products to draw shoppers to key areas of a store
- Maximize floor space and eliminate wasted, unused areas
Of course, no two shops are alike. Each has its own unique space – some are boxy, others are broken up with many walls – with its own products and its own clientele. Connecting buyers to a brand is a matter of designing a layout that’s optimized for those factors. It is a lot of trial and error, and heavy lifting. But a software tool can help. For the purposes of this blog post, we’ll focus on clothing stores and apparel merchandising software.
What is Apparel Merchandising Software?
Today, most types of businesses have a tool to streamline different processes. In the clothing industry, retailers have apparel merchandising software. There are a handful of softwares to choose from, and they have a variety of features. But they all do basically the same thing: make a business more efficient. Here are some of their functions:
- Powering point-of-sale systems and check out kiosks
- Managing raw materials, such as buttons or fabric
- Tracking stockroom inventory
- Coordinating online orders and sales
On top of that, there are merchandising softwares that give users the tools to rapidly ideate a store’s layout – eliminating a lot of heavy lifting. Called planograms, they’re powerful tools that outline, design and visualize a shopping space; its shelves and displays; and products. Best of all, there are planograms that generate data about buyer foot traffic and sales, giving users the essential insights they need to optimize a store for customer engagement.
Get Scorpion, Get Innovative
Give yourself and your business the tools to succeed in an ever-changing market. Get Scorpion Planogram, and start rapidly building and testing virtual models of your store. Scorpion lets users create 3D visualizations of a layout, allowing designers to see their space from every angle. Be in touch today, and we’ll set up a live demo.
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