Create Comfortable Environments for Higher Dwell Time and Sales

Increase Retail Dwell Time

Some stores draw shoppers in, making them want to linger and enjoy a leisurely shopping experience. Retail dwell time impacts the volume of sales and customer loyalty. Planning the perfect comfortable environment includes focusing on everything from lighting to scent to layout. Repeating what other successful merchants do can improve return on investment (ROI) and increase word-of-mouth from satisfied customers. 

Customers who linger are typically more engaged. Various factors come into play. A frequent buyer may know what they need, come into the store, grab it and go, reducing dwell time averages. Another may feel overwhelmed and leave, indicating adjustments are required. Someone who feels confused may linger but not buy anything. Although averages and calculations paint a picture, retailers need observation and customer feedback to fully understand all factors. 

The overall design can create higher dwell times and sales. A location selling youthful products must have a fun, hip vibe. One selling something more serious, such as office supplies, should be bright but professional. Certain factors impact whether or not a retail environment is appealing to people. 

1. Perfect Traffic Flow

Stores increasingly turn to in-store planning and promotions to attract and retain customers. Around 97% of brands say they can’t accurately measure revenue from social media ads. Return on investment from in-house marketing measures is easier and more precise. However, to get a full-picture analysis, retailers must ensure the environment is appealing to their base. 

Signage at the store’s entrance and on sales racks can draw shoppers in. Focusing on traffic flow once they are inside keeps them moving forward. Consider how people shop, from the front of retail space to the back. Place registers where they’ll have to navigate the shop to reach them and thus see more merchandise.

Look for bottlenecks when the store is busy. Rearrange displays and racks to allow for multiple people to move through the area easily. Shoppers might grow frustrated and leave if they have to deal with a traffic jam.

2. Set the Thermostat

Retail dwell time might drop if the store is too hot or cold. Restaurants often have an issue with the front of the house being too chilly for diners to keep the kitchen area bearable for cooks. Consider separate heating/cooling systems if needed. 

Set the thermostat to a range that appeals to most people. Gain feedback from customers about the temperature. Ask if they are comfortable and make adjustments after collecting data to see what they prefer.

Employees need to be comfortable to put their best foot forward. Gather feedback from them about what they favour. Factor in worker comfort alongside shoppers’ needs to come up with a number for the thermostat. 

3. Consider Noise Levels

People won’t linger in a setting where sounds echo. Stomping feet, loud talking or children crying can create a negative experience for some. Stand in different areas of the space and see if sounds reverberate. 

Add sound-reduction panels to the walls to capture noise. Consider the ceiling tiles and how they impact the space. High ceilings can be reduced with drop-in panels. Choose ergonomic flooring with padding underneath to reduce noise and create more comfort for employees. 

Ensure people can hold a comfortable conversation without having to whisper or shout to understand the other person. 

4. Adjust Lighting

Lighting can also impact retail dwell time. A store that is too bright might seem a bit jarring, whereas a lack of lights might make the space seem dark and unwelcoming. 

Every store is different in terms of lighting needs. Adding lights may be more complex than removing a few or switching to softer lightbulbs.

Whether a standard or LED bulb is used can also impact the harshness. Add a few well-placed floor lamps to highlight areas and create a welcoming atmosphere. 

5. Go Green

Look for a building with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. LEED is the most popular green building rating system worldwide. Buildings with a high rank have more points for sustainable approaches. 

Display the fact the building is LEED certified prominently to draw environmentally conscious people into the store. Buildings focused on being greener often have natural features that make them more attractive to customers. They may utilise natural light and automated controls to keep the environment at optimum levels. 

6. Play Music

Music can set the tone of the store and make people stay longer. Steer clear of anything too jarring that might dissuade some buyers from entering the store. Find a playlist that matches the personality of the brand.

The right playlist can increase in-store sales. Store designers must factor in the time of day, audience demographics and brand voice. Brands with music matching their personalities tap into memory recall and create a sense of nostalgia. Customers feel more in tune and may linger longer. 

Consider the volume of music, however. It should never be louder than a normal conversation. Sales associates talking to customers shouldn’t have to shout over a song.

7. Train Personnel

How welcoming a store is and whether customers feel comfortable enough to stay a while often depends on the workers. Train staff to greet newcomers enthusiastically. They also must know when to leave someone alone and let them browse. 

Offer insight into personality types. The introverted consumer wants to say hello and then shop alone unless they seek assistance. An extroverted customer may have an entire conversation before looking at any merchandise. The better workers can read people, the more at home they’ll feel.

8. Trust Instincts

Store managers know their customers better than anyone. They interact with them daily and can measure how they respond to a new display, layout or other factors. Studies help retailers understand the generalities of what consumers want. However, research often lacks the minute details needed to create a stellar shopping experience.

Learn to make adjustments on the fly and pivot approaches when needed. Talk to people about what they like and don’t like about the store. Small-business owners can create a welcoming, highly engaging environment with audience data to back it up. 

Increase Retail Dwell Time

Creating a winding path and forcing customers past upsells and add-on items might be tempting. However, annoying people may result in them leaving and never returning. Consider the traffic flow so those with a specific item in mind can navigate to it and the register without obstructions.

The aesthetics of the store can make or break it. Change elements as needed to create a positive customer experience.