How to lose a customer in 10 ways

We asked fellow Queenslanders what their pet peeves were in relation to commercial design and fitouts. Boy, did they answer!

So, without further ado, here’s:

How to lose a customer in 10 ways


1. No one likes spilt liquid gold *cough* I mean, coffee. 
Uneven, wobbly tables make customers seethe in frustration. Remember, the trend has been ‘balance’ the past few years – SUP, work-life, yoga, nutrition. No one wants the unpredictability of an unbalanced table to spoil their morning coffee sesh! Adjust those table legs, for the love of coffee. 

spilt coffee








2. Won’t somebody think of the poor, high-heeled feet! 
Bars and pubs, listen up! 4 bar tables and a handful of stools just doesn’t cut it. We know, some people prefer to stand, but there are plenty more who like to sit with their drinks. Your patrons will not wear themselves out from standing, and they will not buy more drinks due to perceived exhaustion. At least have more than 2 seats per bar table. 

3. Lock them in with your good food and dazzling smiles, not by physically restricting their movement!
If you have a food business, don’t put tables and chairs unreasonably close together. Once people are sitting back-to-back, they shouldn’t need to do a 10-point shuffle to leave their chair. Making it difficult to leave won’t result in them spending more, and it will certainly increase the chances of them not returning!

4. There’s rustic seating, and there’s industrial seating. Then there’s straight out spend-less seating.
Milk crates with a cushion will definitely leave everyone talking…probably not all good things, though. We understand simplicity and budgets, but you need to consider the end goal. If you want people to sit and linger, then throw less of your budget on being quirky, and more of your budget on seating to suit the bottoms you’re trying to attract.  


5. Narrow thinking: No trolley shall pass. Or pram. Or person, really.
Brushing up against the products does NOT help the customer feel more connected with it. Let your customers have some breathing, and walking, space. Arrange displays, stands and tables with reasonable gaps for customer to easily make their way around your store. 

shop fitout








6. Bring it down a notch*
That row of clothing, right up near the ceiling, is a hard concept to grasp. The average customer is not 6 foot tall! In fact, ABS data shows the average Aussie male to be approximately 175cm tall (5.7 foot), with the average Aussie woman being approximately 161cm (5.2 foot). Chat to your designer or shopfitter about alternative options – you’ll have all the shorties on your side, if nothing else. Besides, we’re not totally convinced that shop assistants like having to use the long garment hook to get clothes down every 5 minutes. 

7. The element of surprise.
Price-tags are not old-school, don’t ditch them. We’re all busy people – we don’t always have time to listen to the sales pitch from the sales assistant. Most people like to make a purchasing decision without undue pressure. Either go for the stick on labels, or ask your shopfitter about shelving labels. 


8. Loud and proud
Decking out your store with an epic sound system, loud enough to rival a night club, is not the way to go. Music makes people happy, obviously, but loud music doesn’t necessarily make people even happier. If you operate a cafe, then people will enjoy being able to chat, not shout over the music. If you’re a retailer or other type of business, consider the needs of your target customers, and work within those confines. 

9. Signage DOES have to say it all
You want less wanderers and more cha-ching! Vague shopfront signage might get more foot traffic coming through your doors, but those shoes won’t all belong to your target customers – remember them? They’re the ones who will buy your products. While we’re on topic, subtly guiding people around your store, with signage, is a big yes! Show them the way, and they will follow. 









10. Bright lights, big city
The ‘moths to a flame’ logic does not apply here, we repeat, does not apply. While you might stand out amongst the crowd of other stores, bright lights will typically cause people to look away (it burns!). Not ideal. Tone it down, and have a think about your vibe. 


If you’re keen on looking at it from the flip side, hit us up. We’ll help you put together a true plan for a customer-attracting fitout that reflects your brand in the best of ways.




* Written by a short person