Visual design is powerful. We experience the world through our senses. It guides us away from pain and discomfort and towards pleasure and joy. We avoid things that cause harm to our bodies and souls. It doesn’t matter if it is a situation, people or place, we are constantly making adjustments to find satisfaction vs discomfort. Our senses work unconsciously as we quickly spit food that is not palatable, instantly move hands from a hot range, are alarmed with the smell of smoke, jump at the clash of thunder and divert our eyes to avoid danger.
The recent pandemic has set in motion a massive shift in how we perceive our environment. Consumer behavior has changed, and our senses are on high alert. Our minds are keenly aware of avoiding an invisible virus. Here is a list of three helpful hints to help consumers feel “safe” in your store:
- Disinfect: The CDC has some suggested guidelines for keeping your store safe. I encourage you to take every measure possible. Customers need to “see” that you are taking every precaution to keep customers and employees free of exposure.
- Review traffic patterns: Have a family party and walk through your store. See where it is too tight and or where people bump up against each other. Push fixtures together or if necessary, take fixtures out to open the floor plan. By creating healthy site lines, it encourages people to enter and not feel claustrophobic while shopping.
- Declutter and organize: There is not a science that says the virus lives in clutter, but our brains perceive that it does. People will not feel as safe in stores that are disorganized. Group similar products together so that customers can easily gravitate towards items of interest. Create categories of products like candles, jewelry, and toys in one area so consumers can more quickly find what they want. Use dividers and baskets to create clear boundaries of product. Remove excess inventory, unnecessary duplicates, and replenish as needed.
Customers are on high alert, but they are looking for trusted suppliers. Show them you care by implementing new processes to reengage and reconnect.