Good Boutique Design Is Good Business

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Good store design is a must in a women's fashion boutique, especially if you hope to encourage sales. While it may be fun to initially go with your gut while designing your store layout, eventually you will need to enact certain tried and true small retail techniques if you want to keep your customers engaged and your numbers up.

Getting customers to your store is hard enough. Once you pull this off, you want to make sure you can keep them there and keep them spending. Some proven ways to do this include:

Create a floor plan—Inspiration is only good for so long. Eventually you need to tackle real planning tasks, something a floor plan can help you with time and again. Draw a visual model of the interior of your store and laminate it, so you can use it over and over. Include all of your shelves, racks and tables. This way you can go back to the drawing board when you need to revamp your store, or when you want to fix something that isn't working.

You can also enlist the help of interior designers such as Restored By Design. They'll be able to help you find a way to make the most out of your space.

Create displays—Displays are a great way to show off your wares, especially the prime stuff. If your best items are hidden away in a rack or on a shelf, the customer is much less likely to notice them. Displays are also a great way to show off clothing and accessories that work well together. Customers will not always know the most exciting or unique combinations. Displays allow you to show them, and hopefully sell entire outfits instead of single pieces.

Get organized—Exciting combinations and creative design are great ways to get customers in the door, but they can quickly drive them out at the same time. You need to strike a balance between creativity and order. The customer needs to be able to intuitively understand where things are and how to find what she is looking for. Create a natural path through your different offerings that entices the customer from the front door, all the way to the register.

Mix things up—The most successful boutiques change their displays and the organization of their merchandise regularly. This gives the impression of new offerings, even if they are just located differently in the store. It also inspires shoppers to come through the door. Even if last week's display did not excite, this week's might.   

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10 December 2014