Retail Store Interior Design: Follow the Customer’s Path

Architecture & Interior, Blog

After choosing the appropriate layout for the retail store it is time to think about filling it wisely. Displays should be aligned and the products placed in a specific way. They follow the usual customer’s path through the space. By applying determined rules from the entry zone to the check-out, you will improve the user experience and the profit. 

1. Declutter the entry space

After they enter your retail store, the customers must adapt to it. This part of the shop covers 5-15 square meters approximately (depending on the size of the retail). On this spot, clients get used to the visual stimulations, the fragrance, and the lights. It does not take long, but it is still important to let them feel the spirit of the whole space. You might think it is a good idea to place the high-priority products here. However, studies have shown it is better to avoid visual clutter.


2. Follow and analyze the way customers walk through the retail object

How many people can enter the store at the same time? What is the way they browse? The answers have massive importance for overall success. You can analyze the info in different ways. In the end, you can realize which parts of the space are the most visited and eventual dead spots. 

Analyzing the sold products can be helpful as well. It shows where they are placed most often. The customer flow can be checked at different parts of the day and compared (the number of morning and evening visits, the most popular products in a specific part of the day, etc.

How do visitors browse?

Studies show that more than 90% of visitors will turn right after leaving the decompression/entry zone. There is the space for the power wall – the wall space many people walk by and where you can put the top priority products. A great way to lead the customer through the store is to create focal points that attract attention. This rule characteristic for Japanese gardens is all about inviting the customers to follow the specific path by using marketing messages. In the end, a mini discovery is waiting (the one-of-a-kind product, big sale, or something similar).


3. Why are speed buffers needed?

Boring shelves will make the customer only take a look at some categories instead of engaging with them. That is why speed buffers are needed – they can stop the speedy customer for a moment to make him take a closer look at priority products. Speed buffers are interesting, eye-catching, and easy to move around. You can use them in different parts of the store. Store owners usually put them at spots with no other fixtures to increase the customer time spent inside.

4. Pay extra attention to personal space

People don’t want their personal space to be ever interrupted, which applies to their shopping time. Studies showed that more than 60% of people believe personal space is one of the top factors for a pleasant shopping experience. Personal space is especially crucial for women. The video analysis showed fewer people enter the narrow aisles than wider ones because they avoid being touched by the unknown person. Your aisles must be spacious enough so people with shopping carts and bags can browse without worrying about being brushed.

5. What is the best place for a check-out area?

The front left part is usually the best place for the counter and check-out area. People mostly turn left when they enter and make a circular path when browsing, so this is naturally the last step of shopping. If the object is big enough, you can place the counter diagonally from the entrance zone. This way the front part of the store is available for placing products while employees can monitor the area. However, the smaller stores can’t do that because of the lack of staff. Make sure enough space is there for the counter and check out so customers can leave their bags while paying. If their hands are free, it increases the possibility of adding one more product to the cart. Put the smaller and cheaper items next to the counter for impulse buying. The act of buying without thinking for too long is the very last step of the shopping experience for many.


In the new text, we will focus on store lighting – you will find out how lights can emphasize things you choose, make the shopping experience remarkable and eventually improve the selling rate.

If you missed our previous blog about different store layouts, you can read it HERE