Combat online shopping with a great fit out

Do you own a brick and mortar store in today’s world of online shopping? If you do, I’m sure that you’re facing a tough time. Online shopping has revolutionised the way business is conducted and many retailers have taken a huge hit.

Combat online shopping with a great fit out

The latest Nielsen consumer report states that clothing, shoes and accessories are now the most purchased items online, accounting towards 46% of all online sales, an increase of 12% on last year’s figures. In addition to this, when Australian shoppers were asked of their retail habits in 2015, 18% said they never purchase items that they see online in-store, while 66% said they sometimes do and 16% often do.

While this may be alarming to hear, there are ways you can combat online sales and increase these figures so they work in your favour. How do you do that, you might ask? Well, through a great shop fit out.

As a professional shopfitter, I have completed countless shop fit outs in Brisbane and have helped many clients combat online shopping. I thought that this would be a poignant time to offer you some tips on how you can create a great shop fit out yourself. Hopefully after you read this article, you’ll be in a better position to battle the rising trend of online shopping.

1. Drive customers through a predetermined path

This is probably the most commonly used tactic in getting customers to spend more time within a store. Here, at Xtreme Shopfitting & Joinery, we have seen this strategy employed in all the Brisbane shop fit outs that we have created. We commonly see one-way entry doors and a counter-clockwise path around the entire store to the point of sale. This method forces customers to spend more time in a store before they get to the counter.

When having your fit out designed, you should get creative with your flooring. While the flooring can indicate a pathway all around your store, you can also use it to create different zones to segment products. Also, make sure that all zones that you create are easily accessible.

By guiding customers through an intended route, you can benefit in more than one way. First of all, you will create a smooth traffic flow within your store. Moreover, you can compel customers to walk past as many products as possible before they arrive at the point of sale. This way, you can entice them into making more purchases.

Find out more about creating a predetermined path by reading “A Customer’s Journey to the Shop Counter

2. Optimise the layout of your store

We carry out many Brisbane shop fit outs, so whenever a new client approaches me, it’s generally because they have seen how well we optimised the layout of another store. For me, this is the first thing I consider, as it is the most important. By optimising the layout of a store, you can make the right impression and offer a better customer experience – and let’s face it, this is what ensures a return customer. The arrangement of your store layout must appeal to your customers. You’ll need to consider the details of design, presentation and layout carefully, while also catering to customers’ needs.

The layout of your store includes the overall floor plan, display counters, racks and shelves, signage, washrooms and the position of sale – all items we can custom manufacture for you.

Your store layout should enable customers to find whatever they need with ease, while nudging them towards making unplanned purchases. Also, your store needs to be incredibly convenient – customers should have no trouble finding trollies, baskets or even bathrooms in larger stores. By improving the customer’s experience, you will encourage more sales and build a loyal following.

Don’t worry if this sounds too daunting a task – my team of expert shopfitters in Brisbane can assist you with this. When you work with us, we’ll optimise the design and layout of your store, which will in turn  drive more sales and produce higher profits.

3. Use proven product placement techniques

Product placement is absolutely crucial to the success of any retail store, therefore you must pay special attention to it. Every successful shop fit out is designed to emphasise effective product placement.

You may have noticed that premium items are always placed in plain sight, while essentials are kept further away. This is nothing but smart product placement. Proper product placement can also help increase the time customers spend within a store, thus increasing profits.

At Xtreme, we know all about product placement. I have seen this proven technique be very successful in many of the Brisbane shop fit outs that we’ve completed. The entrance of a retail store is considered very important. Because of this, it is standard for us to create custom displays to allow a store to showcase their best products. These displays help encourage impulse buying – as a customer walks further into the store, essentials and other necessary items will be found.

When designing your Brisbane shop fit out, ensure your include displays that allow your most profitable items to be placed at eye level so that customers can easily see them. If you’re using display counters instead of shelves, make sure that they are accessible. By allowing customers to touch products, you will indirectly influence them into making a purchase. Also, place attractive items near the point of sale. Many studies have demonstrated that maximum profits come from display counters near a queue at the point of sale.

4. Make use of signage

As a shop owner, you must always ensure to communicate with customers as much as possible. While salespersons can help you with this, you should also make use of signage. Here, at Xtreme Shopfitting & Joinery, we always advise our clients to captivate customers by including proper signage. Make sure that your Brisbane shop fit out also includes adequate signage.

Remember – your signage needs to be direct, clear and concise. There is no point in using long winded messages as this will only leave your customers confused. Always ensure that your signage mentions a clear call to action such that customers react to it.

As a handy tip, you can appeal directly to a customer by using personalised messages. Use words such as “you”, “yours”, etc. to make customers feel like you are catering to them personally.

5. Make your store more appealing

With the fierce competition of not only online shopping, but also other Brisbane shops, standing out from the crowd can be difficult. One way to combat this problem is by making your store much more appealing to customers than your competitors. This of course, can only be done through a professional shop fit out.

To make the maximum effect, you need to appeal to all senses of a customer and not just rely on any one technique.

Because of my industry, I completely understand the importance of appeal. As such, I ensure that the Brisbane shop fit outs that we create are as aesthetically pleasing as possible. It is our job as shopfitters to do all we can within the fit out to entice a customer as much as possible, and this doesn’t mean only the shopfittings. By using emotive colours and strategically located speaker systems, you can create a positive environment that adds another layer to the fit out beyond the fit out itself.

Depending on the type of store you operate, make sure to appeal to all the senses of your customers. While you must use colours and sounds, you can also appeal to the olfactory senses with pleasant aromas. Make sure that your customers can touch products physically and offer a few free samples as well. This way, you will impact the emotions, the memory and most importantly, the decision making process in customers.


To battle the rising trend of online shopping, you must invest in a great shop fit out. A proper fit out includes creating predetermined paths in-store to guide customers, optimising the store layout, using product placement techniques and signage. Also, remember to appeal to all senses of a customer to create maximum impact. By investing in these areas, your shop will certainly be in a better position to attract and draw in more customers.

Start combating online shopping today by contacting a team who specialise in Brisbane shop fit outs, Xtreme Shopfitting & Joinery. Contact us by calling us on 07 5564 7525 or email [email protected] We’ve helped many Brisbane shop owners combat online shopping and we’d love to do the same for you!

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Zac Latham

About Zac Latham

Zac Latham is co-owner of Xtreme Shopfitting and Joinery and has been a shopfitter for more than 30 years. He has a vast array of knowledge and experience in manufacturing fitouts that increase customers and revenue.