The retail business is highly competitive, but the hardest part of running a successful store is not overcoming the challenge of beating other competitors, but overcoming the challenge of pleasing potential customers.
Of course, good prices can achieve that, as can a range of things people have always wanted, or perhaps things they never even knew they wanted or needed. The key to really capturing their attention, however, is to deliver a service and style that they never expected. Here’s some advice for those retail store owners looking to really hook potential customers for good.
Make a good first impression.
This goes without saying, of course, but the means to achieving that end might be lost on your store. Making a good first impression is about more than good sales and deals; it’s about an amazing front presence. The window of your storefront should be inspiring, intriguing and well-designed. It’s the only marketing you can offer from the outside, so don’t do a half-hearted job of it.
If you need help getting the aesthetic just right, you could consider a creative retail design agency. There’s no harm in getting help with making your ideas a reality, or thinking of ideas in the first place, if you have none. Remember, the aesthetic of your store is the first impression you make on consumers. Before they’ve even begun to browse through the clothes, toys, food or whatever else you have on offer, they’re going to notice the modern lighting fixtures, the art on the walls, or perhaps even the bell which rang as they walked in, if you’re a small, local, quirky retail store.
If you’re trying something new, think about the cost.
I’ve already discussed the possibility of redesigning the interior of your retail store, but you have to create an overall plan before you do so, and you must plan a budget around every last detail of every last fixture needed. Construction work is done best when you chose high quality contractors for fair prices, so just think about that before you rush into anything. The top price doesn’t always mean the best quality for your particular business. Think about what you’re looking for when it comes to making an impression or a statement to your customers.
Don’t hire grumpy employees.
Retail stores are high-stress environments, so if your employees are cold and unpleasant to customers, you’ve either hired the wrong person, or you’re neglecting your staff. Either way, the problem needs to be resolved, because customer service is what makes the biggest impact on visitors to your store.
Perhaps customers don’t always want to be pestered when they’re walking around a store, simply browsing and making internal decisions. However, customers definitely want kind, attentive service when they ask for help or finally get to the front desk to pay for something. If you want your retail store to not only make sales, but to make repeat sales, then you’d do well to remember this.
Think “people”, not “sales”.
This is the most important step of all. Customers don’t care about the corporate mentality behind your store. They care about the goods or services they’re browsing and what these things can do to change their life. You have to appeal to the customer, as a person, in terms of looking good in a new pair of jeans, having fun playing video games with the kids or melting the heart of their mother with a brand new necklace.