Independent Pharmacy Layout Tips to Improve the Shopping Experience

First Financial Bank
Feb 1, 2021
Take a minute to think about your most recent experience in a retail store. Did you enter, survey your surroundings, and then turn right? Was your eye drawn to certain items as you wove your way counter-clockwise through the store? If so, you’re not alone.

Since shoppers’ behavior is so predictable, retail store layouts can be mapped out to a science, and there are many proven methods available that will help you optimize your customer shopping experience and maximize revenue. Below we’ve included a list of several retail store layout features that you can implement at your independent pharmacy to make sure you’re providing the best shopping experience possible.

Install a “Power Wall” Directly to the Right of Your Entrance

Studies have shown that most shoppers prefer to move right when they enter a space before moving counter-clockwise as they make their way through a store. To take advantage of this shopping habit, try placing a display with high-margin products or items you’re interested in promoting directly to the right of your pharmacy’s front entrance. Shoppers will have their eyes (and hopefully, wallets) immediately caught by the product offerings you most want them to see.

When considering what to stock your power wall with, think about what products can best meet your shoppers’ current needs. High margin health products, such as compression stockings and vitamins can be good choices. You can also take some ideas from ecommerce – top item categories include beauty, pantry and groceries. This translates into an opportunity for you to capture additional revenue streams – just be sure to start right when you enter the door.

Take advantage of prime real estate.

Stack Your Pharmacy Counter Area with Useful Products

Areas next to the prescription counter tend to receive more foot traffic than other areas in the store, so take advantage of this prime real estate by showcasing over-the-counter items that you think will benefit your shoppers. Proximity to the counter makes it easy for customers to ask questions and for employees to make useful recommendations.

You can check out U.S. News & World Report’s pharmacist-recommended product rankings to get inspiration for a wide range of over-the-counter products to include by your pharmacy counter.

Place “Speed Bumps” Throughout Your Store

A speed bump refers to strategically placed displays in your pharmacy that grab your shoppers’ attention, slowing them down long enough to peruse shelves they might not normally glance at. Think about what would make you stop and look at something in a store, such as displays with high-contrast colors, strategic lighting, and desirable products – and implement them.

Slowing down your shoppers is a surefire way to increase revenue. When one retailer pursued this strategy of encouraging shoppers to linger and browse, they saw same-store sales jump 20-40%. Make sure to create spaces with eye-catching displays that showcase in-demand, seasonal and impulse buys so they don’t get overlooked.

Create a Focal Point for All Your Displays

While it might be tempting to try and highlight all of your product offerings, doing so is a less effective strategy than simply pointing to one specific product. Basic design principles suggest that the best way to capture shoppers’ attention is to position the product you want highlighted the most at eye level and surround it with other strategically-placed items that bring attention to it.

You can create a visually appealing focal point using several easy strategies. Try using risers to create different levels of dimension that draw the eye towards the center product, and shine lights directly on products you want highlighted to create a spotlight effect that grabs shoppers’ attention.

Always Place Your Pharmacy Station at the Back of the Store

The cardinal rule of pharmacy layout design is universal and simple: always place your pharmacy station at the back of the store. The logic of how shoppers move throughout a space (turn right first, walk counter-clockwise through the aisles, loop back towards the exit) means that shoppers coming to your pharmacy for products and services should be guided throughout the rest of your store to view other items before reaching the pharmacy counter.

Your store has a lot to offer shoppers, and if you place your pharmacy station near the entrance and exit, they might not even notice! Take advantage of basic layout design principles and give your shoppers lots of stopping points along their route before they reach their destination at the back of the store.

And Don’t Forget Access and Security

Your pharmacy layout will always have an impact on your customer experience. If your customer base tends older, it may make sense to create slightly wider aisles to better accommodate someone with a cane or rollator. Improving lighting and appropriate placement of security cameras can help prevent inventory loss and help customers feel safer. By following the basic design tips outlined above, you can make sure your shoppers have access to the products and services you offer, and hopefully give them a visit worth repeating.

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