How to Design a Space That Keeps Customers Coming Back

Retail stores and restaurants are competing with each other by providing a higher quality customer experience. In fact, studies show that two out of three businesses compete using customer experience, as it’s quickly become a decider of a business’s success or failure. One way in which stores and restaurants can improve their customer experience is through design.

A restaurant or store’s design has a direct impact on how customers view your brand, how long they spend eating or shopping, and how much they spend. Here are some pro tips on designing a space your customers will love and will want to return to for more. 

“Turn Right” to Increase Your Sales

It’s a well-known fact that 90% of people turn right when they enter a store. Retailers can make good use of this behavior by creating attention-getting retail displays in this area. High-ticket items, seasonal and promotional displays, and other items you wish to promote are great for this area. This is also a great area to use digital signage as a wayfinding tool, or as a promotional or informational display for new and popular products.

And since retail experts have the expression “eye level is buy level,” try to place items and displays at your customer’s eye level for maximum impact. But be smart when choosing your products and displays; remember that whatever you put in this space is likely the first thing your customers will see, so make sure it reflects your brand and that it’s eye-catching. 

If You Want to Sell, Choose Your Colors Wisely

Another great influencer of customer behavior is color, when it comes to both products and store or restaurant design. In fact, up to 90% of a customer’s perception of your brand has to do with the colors you choose. And retail experts say that customers will make judgments about your store within the first 10 seconds, so it’s important to make a good first impression.

Typically, the following colors translate to your customers in the following ways:


Blues often have a calming effect on shoppers, who find stores with blue color themes as more trustworthy (and less crowded too). However, blue isn’t a popular choice for restaurants, as it invokes the thought of blue color dye and unnatural ingredients.


Green hues often translate to fresh food, environmentally “green” products, and an overall healthy vibe. Greens are great for organic, plant-based, and vegan restaurants. They are also perfect for natural spas and retailers who sell organic products.


The color red is a known “power color,” but it’s also proven to stimulate appetites when used in restaurants in small doses. Retailers can use it as accent colors and to call attention to sales and promotions, but too much of it could run customers away. 


Orange tones have energy and vitality and are used to bring up the mood. Some shades of orange are, like the color red, known to stimulate the appetite, and are great additions to restaurant design themes. Brighter oranges are also perfect hues for kid-themed stores.


Yellow equates to fun, which is why it’s often used in children’s clothing and toy stores. It’s also an exhilarating shade and is excellent for attracting attention to retail displays.

Black and white

Black is a great background for other colors, making them pop out in space and grab attention. It’s also a popular color for younger shoppers, as it denotes a sense of minimalism. White has the same minimalistic effect, whether on its own or mixed with black or neutrals.


Brown, tan, and gray work well as complimentary colors for stronger hues, as they act as a visual “rest.” These colors are seen as stable and dependable and are also often equated with natural products.

Use Lighting for the Right Shopping or Dining Mood

Want to control the ambience in your store or restaurant? Set the right lighting. Large restaurant and retail chains use lighting in purposeful ways to create the right mood. And since studies show the effect of lighting on customer behavior, it’s even more important to get it right. Overall, there are three different types of lighting:

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting is the main source of light for a store or restaurant. The goal of ambient lighting is to allow customers and staff to see where they are going as they move around. The type of ambient lighting you choose should be proportioned to your space; for example, choosing too large or too many warehouse lights for a small restaurant could overpower your customers with too much light. 

Task lighting

Task lighting focuses light for customers to perform tasks, like reading a menu or trying on clothes in the changing room. This can be accomplished with strategically placed overhead lights, like low-hanging pendant lights or a small table lamp. Wall sconces are also a great form of task lighting.

Accent lighting

True to its name, accent lighting accents decorative or important areas, such as art work or menu boards. It’s also used to light retail displays, window displays, and other areas where you want to draw your customers’ attention.

Allow Space for Flow and Decompression

Retail experts agree that customers need some space to decompress when they enter your store—and the magic number is between 5 and 15 feet. Keeping this amount of free space at your store restaurant will help customers peacefully transition from a busy sidewalk, parking lot, or mall. Plan your store layout to follow the flow of your customers, which is most often in a counter-clockwise direction. And don’t forget to give customers space to move once they enter your doors, which means placing clothing racks, displays, and shelving far enough away that people can pass by without touching them.

Keep Them Intrigued with Unique Events

With “retailtainment” on the rise, retailers and restaurants alike are looking for ways to engage and entertain their customers. Research by the National Retail Federation has found that the majority of shoppers love attending in-store events, and both retailers and restaurants can benefit from this trend. A great example of this is the Drybar, a chain of blowout salons, who hosted a “Barkbar” event where customers could bring in their dogs and watch the latest movies on salon TVs while getting their hair done. Another example is kitchenware retailer Sur La Table, who started offering in-store cooking classes to customers. Choose events that compliment your brand and get creative!

About Raydiant Digital Signage

Include digital signage in your store or restaurant design plan. Our digital signage system gives you a large library of apps, including thousands of HD and 4K templates, to create gorgeous displays. And our plug-and-play hardware is easy to install, takes seconds to set up, and includes an easy-to-use interface that can be accessed from any internet-connected device.