HomeNEWSHow in-store aesthetics drive business

How in-store aesthetics drive business

Deciding whether to go with white or cream on your store’s walls may feel like a trivial matter, but actually, it’s anything but. Interior design is a serious business powered by analytical choices, says Spaceworks’ Lizzi Whaley.

Whaley, who is the chief executive and creative director at interior design firm Spaceworks, says Spaceworks bases its design decisions on their return on investment for the retailer. It carries out research on international trends and delights in applying the best of what it finds to New Zealand businesses. The Spaceworks designers base their decisions on what they know will encourage shoppers to come in, browse longer and spend more in-store.

“A lot of us can make a space look pretty, but how do we make it so the customer has a great shopping experience and the retailer sells lots of goods?” Whaley says. One of Spaceworks’ recent fit-outs was for Spark. Creating a physical environment to sell intangible products was a challenge, but Spaceworks rose to the occasion. Whaley’s explained how each element contributes to an environment which encourages sales.


Too much lighting is just as bad as not enough lighting. Ensure you have highs and lows in your lighting, and highlight products that are most valuable to your business. Effective lighting can be used to trigger an emotional response that encourages customers to buy.


Signage is a great way to ensure customers can find what they need. It can also push people down into the less-shopped areas of the store – ensuring all products are seen and are available for purchase


Many retailers have their sign on the front door and do not continue to tell their brand story in-store. Use branding to explain who your company is and what you do in-store.


Be bold – just make sure it doesn’t take over. The product is the hero. Use colour that make sure the product pops off the shelves or the hangers. A contrast is important to allow the product to stand out. However, white is not always best, colour can add ambience and character to a space.


Make sure the display units are reflective of the value of the product you are selling. Cheap display units for high priced items doesn’t encourage customers to buy. Also as with colour scheme, ensure the shelving units contrast against your product, colourwise, so the product pops.


This is a great opportunity to have last-minute impulse sales on smaller, cheap items, but make sure that the space is not cluttered. Think carefully about your preferred size of counter, as smaller counters remove the ability for staff to hide behind them, and allow more space for retailing.


This is your retail store working when the shop is closed. This is a really good opportunity to tell a story and make an impression for people who may never venture inside. Be brave here – windows don’t just need to be about product. Make it big and loud so people talk about it.

Spaceworks’ recent fit-out: Spark 

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