When you think about the first thing customers see when they come to your business, chances are good that your storefront or office space is at the top of the list. And for good reason—first impressions matter and your space is often the first chance you have to make a positive impression on potential customers. But you may not realise that your physical space can work against you, instead of for you. That’s where space extensions come in.
Space extensions are a way of using psychology to create an environment that is conducive to making sales. By extending your space and making it appear larger than it is, you can subconsciously influence customers to spend more time in your store and make more purchases. In other words, space extensions can help you make more money!
Let’s take a closer look at how space extensions work and why they’re so important for businesses of all types.
How Space Extensions Work
Carpentry and renovation experts from The Little Project Builder mention that space extensions work by using visual cues to trick the eye into seeing a larger space than is actually there. This can be done in several ways, but some of the most common methods include:
- Using mirrors to create the illusion of depth
- Positioning items so that they draw the eye outward
- Keeping shelves and displays clean and uncluttered
- Using lighter colours and furniture placement to give the illusion of more room
- Hanging things from the ceiling or using floor-to-ceiling shelving
Why Space Extensions Matter
No matter what type of business you own, space matters. And while you may not think that a few inches here or there could make much of a difference, the truth is that even small changes can have a big impact on your bottom line. For example, did you know that retailers who use space extensions can increase their sales by as much as 20%? That’s an increase that any business owner would be happy to see!
There are several reasons why space extension techniques are so effective at boosting sales, but some of the most important include:
A subconscious desire to linger
Have you ever noticed how some businesses have very spacious areas while others feel cramped and cluttered? It turns out that there’s a reason for this – studies have shown that people tend to linger longer in spaces that are more open and expansive. This phenomenon is known as the “encephalization of space,” and it’s something that businesses often take advantage of to encourage customers to stick around (and spend more money).
So why does this happen? One theory is that our brains evolved to associate open spaces with safety and security. In the wild, animals typically avoid enclosed areas because they’re more likely to be ambushed by predators. Our brains may have subconsciously adopted this same strategy, which is why we feel more comfortable in open spaces.
However, this trend is not limited to retail businesses; service-based businesses are also increasingly opting for larger spaces. One reason for this is that businesses want to provide their employees with more room to work. In a service-based business, employees need to be able to move around freely to provide the best possible service to customers just like in restaurants.
Another reason why businesses are choosing larger spaces is that they want to create a more comfortable and inviting environment for their customers like in ear waxing salons. By expanding into a larger space, businesses can create a more spacious and relaxed atmosphere, which can lead to improved customer satisfaction. When customers feel like they have more room to move around, they’re naturally going to spend more time in your store (which means they’re more likely to make a purchase).
Encourages add-on purchases
How many times have you gone into a store for one item and come out with a cart full of items you never knew you needed? This happens more often than you think, and businesses are counting on it.
They design their stores with wide aisles and high ceilings to make the space feel bigger, which tricks our brains into thinking we have more room to move around in. They also place items that we need close to items that we want, so we’re more likely to add them to our carts. They also use benches and small tables throughout the store to encourage us to stop and browse.
All of these tactics are designed to boost sales by making us feel comfortable and encouraging us to spend more time – and money – in the store. When products are easy to reach and there’s plenty of “breathing room,” customers are more likely to throw an unexpected item into their carts.
Boosts impulse purchases
Have you ever found yourself browsing the aisles of a store and impulsively buying something you didn’t even know you wanted? You’re not alone – studies show that the average shopper makes impulsive purchases worth around 30% of their total spending.
So what causes these sudden urges to buy? One factor is the layout of the store itself. If a business has a lot of extra space, shoppers are more likely to meander and browse items they wouldn’t have otherwise considered. For example, they might be shopping in a vegan store and planning to buy whey proteins for their protein needs but the store is conveniently spaced to highlight other products that would complement each other. This gives them time to get impulse purchases and boosts businesses caught up in the excitement of buying something new, leading to impulsive purchases.
In contrast, businesses with smaller, more compact spaces tend to have customers who move through the store quickly and make purchasing decisions based on needs rather than wants. Customers who feel rushed are less likely to make impulse purchases—but when your store appears spacious and inviting, those impulse buys become a lot harder to resist.
Space extensions are a powerful tool that all businesses should be using to increase sales and boost profits. By creating an illusion of more space, businesses can encourage customers to linger longer, make impulse purchases, and buy additional items—all while significantly increasing sales. So if you’re not currently using space extension techniques in your business, now is the time to start!