Retail is an industry that has had a bit of a rocky time of it in recent years. With many companies going under for a number of reasons, the prospects of business owners in this sector look pretty tough.
For well-established retailers, the approach has always been very much one of ‘keep calm and carry on’. This has proven successful in some quarters where a strong reputation of delivering quality products and good service has helped retain loyal customers. For some companies though the approach has been more varied. Some seek to change up their brand image. Others have diversified their portfolio to encompass other rival brands or even retailers of a slightly different niche. Investing in pop-up shops and looking for opportunities for stands in mall spaces rather than fixed units have helped many businesses stay afloat, and many have focused their attention on their online business.
Where businesses have really struggled, divesting has been the only solution to keep them from going under. Letting go of retail units and dropping elements of their business, or even letting go of their valued team.
Making your retail outlet more appealing to customers is a challenge. But here are some tips.
Make the Exterior Appealing
First impressions are everything. Great signage and commercial canopy at the front of the store will help to make an impact. Think about your windows and make sure that they are appealing and have a commercial message. You need to be driving core, profit-generating products, and the window is one of your number one positions to do this from.
Focus on The First Third of Your Store
The floor space in the first third of your store is the most important space you own. This area should account for the lion’s share of your sales. This should contain your best products with the highest margins. Think about what your customers are coming in for, and make sure that you have this in your first third. Use your best fixtures here and make great looking displays. Ensure your shelves are always well-stocked in this part of the store in particular.
Use Point-of-Sale That Stands Out
Point-of-Sale (POS) is vital in retail. It highlights offers and prices to customers and it helps them to navigate your store. Use POS wisely as it can aide your sales dramatically. Think about getting POS that stands out and really grabs the attention of the customers.
Create Retail Theater
Retailers that are surviving against the tide of change in the retail sector often do so by employing retail theater. This means demonstrating products and making a visit to your store into an experience for the customer. You can only achieve this by developing a proactive style of customer service. Interact with your customers wherever you can and really go out of your way to inspire them and dazzle them. This is not about pushy sales. This is about creating a genuine rapport and letting the customer enjoy the experience of shopping with you.