“Retail is a customer business. You’re trying to take care of the customer—solve something for the customer. And there’s no way to learn that in the classroom or in the corner office…” – Erik Nordstrom, president, Nordstrom direct.
Typical retail stores are not doing their job anymore. The markets are oversaturated and the competition is harder than ever. Even with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, it is hard to make a name for yourself as a retailer. But still, there are successful retailers who run their business smoothly, with no struggles at all.
If you own a retail business or are planning to start one, you’ve come to the right place. Here is the list of tips that I have especially compiled for you in order to help your retail business reach success.
Lots of entrepreneurs skip this very important step. Identifying your ideal customer is the key factor that will guide you through the rest of your business decisions. Who is it? What are his/her needs? What you plan to offer to meet those needs? Do they live in the neighborhood where you plan to open your store?
Location, Location, Location
Location is a crucial part of any retail establishment. There are three things you have to take care of when the location is in question. First of all, you want to make sure that there are no competitor’s retail shops in the radius. Second, ideally, you want to open your store near other retail stores that sell different types merchandise but have high traffic. And third, if you are not familiar with the laws and contracts, whether you are renting an object or buying one, seek advice of a real estate lawyer.
What Are You Selling
When it comes to the merchandise you will be selling, you might consider to adopt a themed approach. For instance, you can narrow down the choices for one gender or age. This will allow you to build an entire store around it. Get custom made shelves, get walls painted in a unique way, windows, etc. Remember your purpose and who your ideal customers are. Let these two be your main anchors when you decide what your merchandise markup is. Make sure that your store goes well with the area.
Consistent Image and Marketing
Once you have made your decisions about store design, the merchandise you will be selling, and who the ideal customer is, you should try to maintain a consistent image across all marketing channels. You have several options ahead you. But, from the experience of many successful retailers, the combination of outdoor marketing, social media marketing, an official website and few TV ads provide the best results.
Don’t forget that you have free marketing tricks that you can use once you open your doors.
Customer Relationship Management
When you run a retail shop, all the efforts should be focused on keeping the customers happy and satisfied. The service has to be immaculate and you and your workers should always be available and at your best for any customer question. Try to establish a real connection with them. Ask them how they like the shop, how is their service, is there something they would change, how would they do it, etc.
Hiring the Staff
“You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employees’ expectations of management” – Howard Shultz, Starbucks.
Your main goals are to keep customers happy. While you are not present in the store, your employees will be the face of your business, and they will be running it instead of you. This is why you should pay close attention to who you hire. Make sure that they have real interest in what you do. Check what they’re hobbies are and what is it that they could truly offer to you and your business.
I’ve picked out the tips that will help you pick the direction of where your retail business should be going. Following through these tips, you will build strong foundations for your retail store. At the end, always remember that you are there to provide the best service for your customers. Make the most out of every encounter and try to build positive relations and bonds. As Walt Disney said: “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”