How a Retail Store’s Layout Affects Shopping Behavior

When customers walk into retail stores, they are unaware of how the layout affects their shopping behavior. Although they don’t know it, the design of the store will play a big part in how they decide to shop. Retail display companies understand this and diligently research and develop new strategies for retail store layouts. 

Getting the most out of your store display is crucial to making your store profitable. That is why many retailers spend a lot of time and effort to design spaces to maximize customers’ spending. With a few simple changes, you can motivate customers to shop more in your store. Here is a look at how a retail store’s layout affects shopping behavior. 

The Physical Layout

Perhaps the most fundamental aspect of the experience to take into account is the physical layout of the store. How the space is organized determines what customers see, when they see it, and how they move through to store. Some stores immediately turn customers off by trying to fit too much into the space, making it difficult to walk or approach items of interest. While it may be tempting to fit as much merchandise as possible into your store, focus on keeping it spaced out enough to make it easy to move through the store. 

Another consideration is how customers can navigate through your store. There needs to be multiple walkways in each direction and allowing access to all items. Space items in the store so that there are clear paths through the store with more than enough space for people to walk side-by-side or to pass each other. As you design the store, you must combine your ideas with the fire code regulations for clear exits and other considerations. The easier that you can make it to walk through the store, the more likely customers will be to shop there. 


The atmosphere of a store is defined by several elements including the density of displays, colors, mood music, and lighting. The atmosphere should fit the type of product that you are selling. For example, a kitchen store should be warm and inviting with warm colors and medium-to-soft lighting. Alternatively, a grunge clothing store can be darkly colored and darkly lit. Focus on creating an atmosphere that immerses customers in the type of environment that matches the store’s themes. This will bring them into a similar mindset and make it more inviting to shop in. 

Product Displays

Retail store fixture manufacturers focus heavily on creating fixtures that combine functionality with style. Each fixture is designed to display prominent products while fitting in with store themes. This should also influence the type of fixtures that you choose since they make a big difference in how the store looks. 

The easiest way to ensure that the displays that you use work is to think about them from the view of the customer. Does the display catch your attention? Does the display feature the right product? Does the display give you options that make sense together? These are all questions that you should ask yourself to understand how customers see your displays. 

Get Help Designing Layouts

You don’t have to design your store’s layouts on your own. You can partner with a company that makes them. Contact MW-SF to see how our store layout designs and printing services can help your store layout to positively impact customer shopping behavior.