For retail brands looking to build a successful physical storefront, the focus is now on providing an exceptional customer experience for everyone who walks through the door. This can be a challenge in an operating environment where online competition, stock control, declining high streets and other factors are present. But an increasing number of independent stores are leading the way in a high street revival. We take a look at the take-away lessons for physical retailers today:
Think about your offer
Government research shows that consumers want to be able to buy things quickly, easily and conveniently, which is helping to promote a revived high street. Consider your offer carefully, and make sure it is presented in a way that is in line with the brand, and which will facilitate your customer’s experience. For example, a luxury brand will want to provide high-end advice, service and ‘extra touches’ to make the customer feel welcome. A convenience store will recognise that speed is key, and provide quick and easy store layouts and checkout processes.
Look for support
Top retailers are constantly learning and evolving their approaches. There is a huge amount of support available for retailers looking to succeed in today’s ever-changing business environment. The government is investing heavily in the revival of the high-street and there are various initiatives and providers available to deliver valuable training, business support and advice. Your local Chamber of Commerce is typically a good place to start.
Consider your stock control
The most profitable store will rapidly suffer if stock control proves to be an issue. Whatever your niche keeping a suitable stock level is key. The last thing you want are customers who want your product and not being able to facilitate their requirements. Let’s say for example you are a cotton fabric supplier, if you run out of high demand lines your customers may choose to go elsewhere. Businesses offer a fast turnaround when it comes to that all important delivery. Always ensure your take into consideration delivery times and then you will always be one step ahead of any issues you may encounter.
Focus on the experience
From the moment your customer walks through the door they should feel as though they are having a pleasurable experience which will encourage them to return. Consider what the internet cannot offer and provide it beautifully; a visually attractive shop front, friendly staff with a ready smile, and an overall experience which leaves the customer with something positive. Also have a selection of televisions around the store to show products and to show discounts to entice customers to spend more time and money. To be able to have the televisions working you will need to look at links like steveunettaerials.co.uk/services/tv-aerials-repair-and-installation-cheltenham/ who provide TV Aerial Installation Cheltenham service.
Perfect the small things
If you have changing rooms, then make sure they are fresh, clean and have adequate curtains. If you have walkways, make sure they are dust-free and sparkling. Check that all of your prices are on show, and invest in bright, clean, low energy lighting that brings your stock to life. It is often the small details that make all the difference for the overall customer experience.
It is worth hiring the services of a mystery shopping agency to do an objective audit of your store experience and provide usable data for decision making. This report will help you to identify areas of strength and weakness in which to focus your efforts. Look for an accredited agency with a good reputation and membership of a recognised marketing research body.
What other retail strategies do you pursue to keep your customers coming back for more?