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5 Tips to make your Retail Counter really Work

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There are heaps of ways to improve a retail space, but one of the most important areas is the Point of Sale counter zone. Even if the budget doesn't stretch too far to refurbish or renovate, making sure the point of sale works to its utmost is key to business success.

Here's 5 ways to make the retail counter zone a success:

1. Make the journey there an easy and intuitive one:
It's generally known that customers will turn right when walking into a space, so the location of the counter is important. It doesn't mean that the counter needs to be positioned on the right, but creating a path or multiple paths to it whilst keeping this point in mind, will be worthwhile.
There are various path styles to use: loop, grid or free form, for instance. Keep these paths/aisles open but maximise their use by displaying products which entice customers along the way.
Beware of cluttering and overloading them though.
2. Queueing and Ordering at the counter must be simple, clear and seamless. 
The start and end points of lines should be well signed.
Customers need to know the ropes before they reach the counter, especially if ordering is involved: whether to take a number and wait, or to stand aside in a designated zone.
A well-managed and orderly queue removes any confusion about who's next, so clear signage about what to do is essential.
Using single file queues also limits this uncertainty but can depend on the size of the trade.
3. Use materials to construct a retail counter which reinforces your brand image.
The counter speaks to your customers of what the business stands for. Materials like concrete, metal and mesh, for instance, could be used for a harder industrial image,
neutral textured tiles with sleek, light coloured timber and stone for a softer, more natural image and so on.
The counter should be very much part of the "personality" of your business brand.

4. Create a counter which displays "impulse products"whilst a customer is ordering or waiting in line to make a purchase.
Shelving built into the counter face or elevated displays above the counter top, serve to upscale purchases.
A well covered food display of the most mouth watering menu items is a proven way to upsell product.
5. Make what's on the wall behind the counter decorative, even if it does need to be functional.
Items which must be accessible and are part of the business operation like machinery, appliances,  utensils, containers and so on might need to be at your fingertips, but storing them on attractive shelving or stowing them in drawers or cupboards can work perfectly if well planned. Key products can be displayed decoratively. Signage and Lighting are elements which come under the same "decorative" umbrella here too.
Menu boards, the brand's 'tag line"/logo, oversized emotive graphics and so on are to be treated as decorative features and are a definite part of the counter zone.

The success of the counter zone depends on it being flexible enough to change and refresh as the business evolves.
The single message though, is to make it easy to reach, enticing and comfortable for the customer to use.

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