The retail space is highly competitive, prompting some entrepreneurs to drop retail in favor of online marketing. For those who remain, the pride of owning one’s own store is enough to keep yourself motivated to make it better.
In a recent case study, a furniture company in Philadelphia was able to completely revamp itself and cater to a high-end luxury crowd by identifying the major touch-points that drove a customer’s business. You don’t need an expensive market research firm to analyze your own numbers and make some changes to impact your bottom line.
A theme for your store will help customers feel like the space is unique. Fry’s electronics likes to model their stores after different literary stories, like Alice in Wonderland. You can try something simple like color coordination based on the season. The kind of store that you run will ultimately impact the type of decorating that you do, but even simple holiday decorations can help customers get in the mood while showing off your store’s personality.
Windows are not just for the view, use these spaces to display your most exciting products. Your window should have only the most enticing merchandise visible. Skip price tags in favor of listing benefits, and utilize posters and backdrops to create a self-contained space where the focus is on the product.
A note on using your store’s real estate though, if your display interferes with a customer browsing the racks, ditch it in favor of something more compact.
Point of Sale
An attractive cash wrap does more than just sell impulse items. With the register at the front of the store, you can greet incoming customers with coupons and offers to look at while they shop. Register counters invite customers to wander through aisles viewing merchandise before a purchase. Art work at the register can also help give your sales area some life.
Aisles should be spaced far enough apart to allow two customers to pass one another without too much issue. Every retail store is going to want to pack their shelves with merchandise, but arrangement is everything. If you own a franchise, try to model the interior of your store on other franchises in your area so that customers can be familiar with your layout the moment the walk in the door. Research suggests that customers move to the right of a store when they first enter, so place something new and exciting to the right as customers walk through the door.
One of the most important aspects of a sale is customer service. Great customer service can entice customers to buy products that might simplify their task, while educating them on how everything works. It’s important to invest in training for your employees. Try incentivizing performance by offering a trip to a tradeshow for your top workers.
Check your store’s website for a few things your customers might be looking for. If you’re a retail store, you should be able to find hours of operation, a phone number to reach someone at your store, and a brief concept of what customers might find in your shop. None of these steps are particularly difficult or pricey to implement, but they do take market research and planning.
Look at your own numbers to find out what sells and use those figures as a basis for trying new concepts. Make one change each month, then review your sales figures to see what your customers responded to.