Interior design is good for more than just making a room look pretty. Research has shown that details as seemingly arbitrary as the lighting or colour scheme of a space can influence us in powerful ways that we often don’t even notice.
A study conducted by the American Society of Interior Designers found that “physical workplace design is one of the top three factors, which affect performance and job satisfaction.” And according to the Retail Gazette, “Creating (a) space where a customer can be completely immersed in the brand really brings it to life and is what allows a customer to fall in love with a brand.”
Therefore it’s a good idea to have a strong understanding of how the decor of your shop could be affecting your customers and your staff, otherwise your retail business could be missing out on some key strategic advantages and the earnings that go along with it. So here are three ways that interior design can affect your store’s profits:
“Well-lit, clear branding is extremely important and will help you make that great first impression” on your customers, and recent studies suggest that “Daylight in your office improves sleep, physical activity and quality of life”. Therefore it can be very beneficial for a retail outlet to make use of as much natural light as possible.
You might consider refitting your shop with larger windows if you feel that there is not enough natural light to go around. And if an extensive remodel doesn’t exactly fit your budget, then you can try decorating using mirrors and other reflective surfaces to maximise the effect of any existing natural light.
2. Use of space
Your use of space in your shop is important as well, as a “large retail space is a positive selling point and should be implemented wherever possible”. Clutter can not only make your shop feel smaller, but it can also “affect your ability to concentrate, focus and process information.” Research has shown that “physical clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress.” Needless to say, stressed out customers are unhappy customers. Stress can also have a negative affect the productivity of your workforce, so if your shop is disorganised, messy, or full of kitschy-clutter, you might be making your job harder than it has to be.
Mirrors can provide the added benefit of making a room look bigger. To a similar end, the colour white does a lot to make a ceiling look higher. And if you don’t like the sound of white for your shop ceiling, you could achieve a similar effect by choosing a colour that’s lighter than the one on your walls.
When it comes to running multiple retail locations, it’s become important in recent years to ensure that your stores aren’t all exactly the same. Localising store design can go a long way towards gaining loyal followers and increasing your local market share, while localising stock can help drive sales.
3 . Colour
Even your chosen colour scheme can affect the people in your store in very specific ways. For instance, you should be wary if you’ve painted the walls of your store red, because even though the colour can increase your heart rate and improve your reactions, there isn’t much call for that kind of energy in a retail environment, so it might lead to your staff feeling restless and being unable to concentrate on their work.
Since the colour blue “promotes communication, trust, and efficiency between colleagues” and is “proven to reduce stress by lowering blood pressure and heart rate,” you might consider incorporating that into your colour scheme somehow. But be careful of using too much white, because “A person shopping in a monochromatic store may become distracted from the task at-hand when their mind begins to wander because of the lack of stimulation.”