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If you’re planning on opening a new retail store, you may be feeling overwhelmed. Here are seven tips on how to start a retail business and successfully navigate the early days of trading.
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1. Know the Retail Market
Understanding your marketplace, your potential customers’ expectations, trends in your sector, and wider economic shifts are all important when starting a retail business. This can help you to decide whether to sell or not, what to sell, where to sell, and for how much.
2. Give Thought to Your Store’s Layout
The first impression is the last one. An effective and well-designed store layout helps in keeping customers in a retail store for longer.
The first thing a customer notices on stepping into the store is the “decompression zone,” or the “threshold area.” This is five to twenty feet of space, depending on the size of the store. It’s a crucial space because your customers make a transition from the outside world to your retail world in this zone.
At this point, customers make a pre-notion regarding the cost and quality of your products. Moreover, since customers are in the transition mode, there’s no point in keeping products at this juncture. This is because customers are likely to miss products, signboards, and even shopping carts placed at the threshold area.
The customer next moves to the right. According to several studies, people subconsciously turn right upon entering a store. Therefore, in this section, place a product that will help in creating a lasting first impression.
This is because it’s essential that customers stay longer in your retail store, as this will encourage more sales. Therefore, create “speed bumps” that force the customer to slow down. Speed bumps can be anything from signboards to a display of an ongoing sale.
Also, make it easy for the customer to buy your products. Explore the differences between a payment gateway vs. virtual terminal to learn more.
3. Understand Retail and the Law
Retailing comes with a unique set of legal responsibilities when dealing with customers. For example, the rules around pricing information can vary depending on where you sell goods to customers.
4. Apply Smart Promotions
Everything you do says something about your retail business. This includes the name you choose and the brand you design. It also encompasses the location of your premises, the look and feel of your merchandising, and the way you interact with customers.
As a start-up retailer, you may struggle to find money to promote your business through traditional methods, so think smart with your promotions.
5. Start Networking
Establishing your reputation with your peer group and local influencers is vital for a start-up business. Introduce yourself and your business ethos by attending (or creating) local networking events. Get involved with business support organizations.
6. Generate Positive Online Reviews
Online reviews are the second most used source for discovering new retail stores and are becoming more popular. Pay attention to all of the online platforms available for customers to leave reviews. And claim your business pages, especially on Google.
After setting up those pages, make sure you’re monitoring the reviews customers leave there. Have a strategy for responding. This shows you’re engaged and listening to your customers’ feedback, both positive and negative.
7. Promote Friends and Family Recommendations
Since we know that consumers are most likely to turn to other people for retail recommendations, you can encourage your friends and family to spread the word to their network and on social media. Thirty-eight percent of consumers said people they know are their go-to source for retail ideas, and twenty-nine percent of customers look to social media for recommendations.
Follow These Tips to Have a Successful Retail Operation
If you want your customers to keep coming back to your store, you need to give them a good reason. In fact, you need to give them more than just one, including having a store that’s easy for them to navigate and an assortment of products that will cater to their needs. Do that, and you can expect a more profitable retail store.