As a retailer in the age of online shopping, you know that a customer’s physical experience in your brick-and-mortar store can set you apart from other brands and make or break your sales. Consumers have many options, online and in-person. As soon as someone opens your door or even looks through your window, they should be enticed to enter and intrigued by the experience you provide.
When done right, a retail installation project can help you achieve this. But these can also be massive undertakings, especially if you’re starting from the ground up with a new store. Before diving into your next project, make sure you’re set up for success with these six tips.
1. Invest in Your Success
Before you break ground on your project—or even start planning—make sure you’re heading forward with the right mindset. All too often, retailers try to keep their installation budgets as low as possible without considering the added costs of starting on a cheap foundation. When you don’t invest in a strong base for your project, you often end up paying more money in the long run.
Focus on getting it right the first time. This may mean spending more resources in the planning stage, but investing in a strong idea with high quality materials and competent partners will ultimately serve you best.
2. Survey Your Store First
Once you get into planning your physical space, the first thing you’ll need to do is get a comprehensive idea of what you’re working with. A store survey sets the stage for your entire project and you’ll use it continuously as you decide what you need and where to place fixtures.
Imagine how much a simple measurement mistake could affect your plans:
You think your ceilings are ten feet high and order fixtures sized accordingly, only to find out your ceilings are only nine feet when your installers get started
You plan your entire design around an interactive display placed at a certain point in your store, only to later realize there’s no way to get electrical to reach that spot
You don’t account properly for traffic flow, customer experience, or ADA requirements
Failing to survey your space can result in many complicated issues that are costly to fix. An experienced retail installation designer will make sure this step gets done before the project gets underway to give you the best chance of finishing on time and under budget.
3. Visualize with a 3D Render
Once your survey is done, you’ll begin making critical design decisions for your store. The designer you work with will visualize these in a 3D render. This will let you see major architectural features and fixtures as well as details like lighting. You’ll also get to verify that the layout of your store measures up as expected and complies with ADA standards.
If you like what you see, an architect can stamp and approve this render for you before passing it along to your contractor and fixture companies. If you take time to make sure the render is right, you can avoid surprises during the building process.
4. Plan Ahead For Experiential Tech
Experiential retail is all-important in the current landscape, and we don’t expect this to change any time soon. As technology becomes more integrated with our daily lives, consumers expect retailers to follow suit and deliver exceptional and innovative ways to bridge their digital and in-person shopping experiences.
When you’re working on a retail installation project, prepare your space and infrastructure to plug and play with experiential tech. Even if you’re not planning on using experiential tech out of the gate, there’s a good chance you’ll want the option to add it later. Laying the groundwork at this stage in the game is a minor upfront cost that could eventually provide a huge boost to your customers’ in-store experience.
5. Use A Great Project Manager
Finding a great project manager is a crucial step to take before getting into the details of your plan. Timing is key, and with so many moving parts, trying to handle it all yourself won’t be efficient or effective. Failing to complete your project on time could cost you months of rent and wages before you ever open your doors.
A project manager can act as an intermediary between you and the vendors, installers, and contractors who help get the job done. Materials need to arrive on time and meet your budget, and with the current pipeline, lead times are longer than ever. In order to make sure things move along, you’ll need someone who can check in on your shipments and schedule your installers accordingly.
6. Get A Vendor Who Can Do It All
Even with the best project manager, it can be difficult to control your outcome when relying on multiple vendors with different priorities and varying levels of experience. If one installer isn’t properly qualified for the job or can’t handle the scope of work, or your networking installation crew doesn’t arrive at the right time, your whole plan could be set back.
The solution is to find one vendor who can take care of your entire project. This eliminates the struggle on your end to coordinate multiple parties or bring in an additional manager. With a single vendor solution, you won’t have to worry about the details—your dedicated team will handle everything from the store survey to 3D render to project planning, and there won’t be any problems with coordinating multiple, disconnected parties.
MINT provides best-in-class retail installation solutions, covering all of your needs from design to execution. You’ll have a dedicated project manager to communicate with and a team of experts to help you realize your vision. Whether you’re starting from scratch, setting up a new location, or improving on an existing setup, MINT can help you create the perfect experience for your customers.
Interested in seeing what MINT can do for your business? Get in touch with us to see how we can start connecting you and your customers.