How to Successfully Own a Store Today!
There’s never an easy time to be a store owner. Though there has been a recent upward turn when it comes to the numbers of people who are visiting Main Street for their shopping.
Hence, these brick and mortar businesses still face an uphill battle when it comes to competing with the big box superstores and online retailers. I’ve worked with many of these stores over the years to help them with their marketing and it has changed dramatically over the past 20+ years.
If you’re one of these shop owners, however, it’s important to remember that there are things you can do to boost your sales.
Sometimes, making a few subtle changes and adding a little bit of extra buzz around your business can be all it takes to see more sales working their way through the register. Below, we take a look at nine things that might help.
Streamline Your Stock
Your aim is to sell as much stock as possible, but this doesn’t mean your successful store should be packed to the rafters with products. If you do, you’ll only achieve the opposite end – you’ll end up selling less stuff! It’s something to do with the perception of exclusivity, and also the abundance of choice.
Studies have shown that the more choice there is, the less the shoppers buy. It would make much more sense to stock one hundred items rather than five hundred, for example, even if all five hundred of those items were top-quality.
Host Events at Your Store
Local communities can become a little bit apathetic to stores that have been there for a while. In the early days, they were all streaming through the doors to get a look at what was happening.
But after a while, they stop coming to look. So one way to boost your sales is to get people interested again in your store is to get them through the door under a different pretense.
By hosting an event in store, you’ll be reminding the people who have forgotten you’re there that you still exist. The type of event you host will depend on the type of business you have (if you sell books, a poetry reading night; if you sell home products, a wine evening, and so on).
Loyalty Programs for Your Store
It’s not enough to get people into your store and buying a product – you need to get them coming back again. It’s much easier – not to mention cheaper – to keep customers on the hook rather than go fishing for new customers.
One way you can do this is to initiate a loyalty program into your business. Handing out something as simple as a discount code for their next purchase will be enough to get them in your store next time they’re looking for items you sell.
After a few visits, your store will be the “place they go” when they need whatever item it is you happen to sell.
Speed Up Payments at Your Store
The problem with customers (well, one of them) is that they’re fickle. They can like a store, but one small issue can make them change their mind completely. If one of your staff has had a bad day and isn’t as attentive as they should be, then your customer might take the slightly less than perfect level of customer service personally, and never return!
And it doesn’t even have to be anything like that to lose a customer. People are not so patient these days, and their impression of your business will be lessened if they’re spending too much time waiting to pay for their items.
Make sure your point of sale system enables you to check out a customer quickly. It might sound like a small thing, but your customer satisfaction levels will improve, and you’ll also be able to work your way through large queues more quickly, too.
Focus on Window Displays at Your Store
Be honest: if you were walking past your store, would you be enticed to go in? It’s no good having the best items inside your shop if no-one has a clue about the caliber of items you’re selling.
The best way to show people is to, well, show people. Window displays really do work, but you’ll have to know the rules in order to get it right. It’s about putting different products together in an attractive way, not just jamming as many items in front of people’s faces as possible.
Celebrate…Anything at Your Store
It doesn’t have to be Christmas to bring the party atmosphere. In any case, you don’t have a monopoly on Christmas – every other shop will also be celebrating the holiday. But the anniversary of your store’s opening?
A customer appreciation day? On those days, you’ll be the only business in town with something to shout about, which will be enough of an enticement to bring people through the door to your store.
Improve the Ambiance To Successfully Own A Store Today
You hopefully already know that you’re not just a holder of goods. You’re not just the middle person between the factory and the consumer. You’re selling a lifestyle, an ideal. So what does your store currently promote?
There are always ways to promote the ambiance in your successful store. Look at changing the lighting to something more intimate, or adding a scented diffuser. The aim should be to make people relaxed and at ease when they’re browsing around your shop.
Recently a client of mine, a successful flooring store, changed their lightening and it made such a difference showing their laminate floors and carpeting. It made it easier to post images of their products on their Facebook page too!
Seasonal Sales at Your Successful Store
You’re not going to have the same stock all the year-round. And in any case, you’re not going to sell everything that you bring in at full-price.
Enter sales! This is a great way to boost interest in your business and get people through the door.
They might step inside to see what sales you’ve got on but stick around to purchase more of your items.
Mix Things Up Helps To Successfully Own A Store Today
There’s a palpable lack of energy in stores that never change. It seems like you could walk through the front door in a few year’s time, and you’d find the same items for sale. So where’s the urgency to buy?
It’s not there. If you mix things up by changing your decor, displays, and products, you’ll be pushing people to buy. They’ll know that the item they’re looking at might not be there next time they visit!
Bonus Tip to Successfully Own a Store Today!
Finally, be sure you are using social media to drive traffic to your store today. Having a Facebook page or Instagram account to show off your inventory or sale items is key.
Also, you can create events on Facebook to create a “buzz” around them. You can have your customers tag their friends, etc. Social media plays a major role today in bringing traffic through your doors to shop at your successful store!
How are you doing with your store today? Is your store a success offline or just online? I’d love to know more in the comments below.