Retail Advice

Running a retail business is not easy and with time, it sees its share of ups and downs. If you are enjoying the up phase of the business or you are in the down phase, here are some tips that will help you to smoothly run your store and bring in more customers.

  1. Upgrade Outdated Hardware, Software, And Processes

Whether you are an online retailer or own a physical shop but also runs your website, it is crucial that you upgrade outdated hardware and software. Customers are more likely to come back when they enjoy shopping with you and the user experience is all that matters when shopping online. This case is especially true during the holiday season. That time of the year people like to buy things either for themselves or their friends and family. When a large number of people start using your website at the same time, it puts it the test. If the web page is not responding or taking too long to load, it will instantly put your customers off. Your website should be smooth and fast responding and that comes with updated software. The absence of the right technology can cost sales and frustrate shoppers. So now the question is, are you willing to take that risk?

The first step you need to take is to see what technologies are involved in your business and if any of those needs an update. If you discover that the tools you have been using are outdated, take measures to install the latest version. This could mean purchasing and downloading the most recent software update & new equipment. But new technology doesn’t necessarily mean that it will offer convenience. Bringing it around and streamlining the operations will turn the latest technology into convenience. So you need to know how to use the equipment to your advantage.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is older programs are easier to hack into. Maintain security with regular software updates. 

  1. Personal Approach Always Works

The competition in the market is getting fierce as merchants are fighting hard to grab consumers’ attention and money. Retailers who are future-oriented and thinking ahead of the time are upping their game by offering Omni-channel shopping, competitive pricing, and speedier order fulfillment.  As a retailer or business owner, you should consider implementing same things in your store but another important thing that you must keep in mind is to add a personal touch by connecting with your customers in relevant ways. Get to know them and what they want from you. This way they will trust you more and trust takes you a long way in the business.

Here are a few techniques you can apply to make your customers feel important:

  • You must have sold merchandise to a lot of customers already. So securing another sale from previous buyers is easier since they already know about you. So indulge email nurturing campaigns, raise their attention and they will definitely like to come back to you.
  • Forget the one-size-fits-all approach and focus on customer based on their demographics, location and purchase history. This will allow you to send a more focused message and increase sales.
  • Loyalty program is great to bring old customers back but a personalized one will benefit you in so many other ways. Modify it according to customers’ wants and they will certainly feel special and would like to shop with you again.
  • Handwritten notes with a small gift can make the customers feel happy. It gives them the feeling that you care about them and sending personalized notes instead of boring emails. This is an old school way but works every time.
  1. Give Employees A Pep Talk

Your employees are the first people that your customers contact. They are ones who lead the sales and bring it to a satisfactory close. But if they are uninterested, tired or moody, who would like to communicate with such individuals? So it is imperative that they are motivated every now and then. Encourage them and give incentives to make them do better.

But giving them a pep talk doesn’t mean that you should do all the talking. Take their feedback, give thoughts to their suggestions and bring in change that would delight you and your employees at the same time. Value their input because two-way communication results in creating effective strategies.

  1. Strategies Promotions By The Date

A lot of businesses fail in their effort of increasing sales is because they lack strategical planning. Without proper planning and organization, the events fail, resulting in a lot of capital loss. You can stop this from happening to you by getting yourself a promotional calendar. Plan what event needs to happen during what time of the year to attract maximum customers.

Flip through the calendar, mark important dates and festivals on which you can keep your shopping events. This way you can plan ahead and run the promotions smoothly at the right time.

  1. Optimize Other Sales Channel

Shoppers today are looking for convenience, so it is your duty as a retailer to offer them the comfort to shop from anywhere they want and whatever medium they like. For many business owners, this could mean setting up an eCommerce website that is also responsive so that the customers can access it via their phones or tablets. If you haven’t done this yet, you better hurry up. If starting an eCommerce website is not an easy option for you right now, associate with other such website and sell your products there.

If you have brick and mortar, eCommerce and mobile covered, it doesn’t mean that your work is done here. Have an active online presence through various social media channels. Many businessmen, especially those who are in the fashion industry are following this method to attract more and more people to buy their products. Through Facebook and Instagram, they are also attracting a new generation and making them aware of new products.

  1. Modernize Your Merchandise

Does your store or website have the same old merchandise? This could be one reason why customers are not really interested in buying anything again. Shoppers keep looking for fresh stuff, something they would not find anywhere else. If someone else is offering that, why would they come to you?

It is time to change and bring in fresh products to keep the customers hooked. Brick and mortar retailers should also change their window displays and how they show off their products. Bring in some uniqueness, do something different that would catch the eye of the passer-by. This way they will take interest in you and step into the store.

Remember, the retail game will get competitive with every year. One has to think smart to stay ahead and attract the maximum number of customers. Make your products and store look fresh to entice people.

  1. Offer Compelling In-Store Experience

Buying commodities should be a streamlined process. No wonder people are opting online buying more but discovering great products and socializing with others at a physical store won’t be going away. Customers are still making their way to the stores not just because they need to buy something but because they want an experience that they won’t get in an online store.

So what does this means to someone who is running a brick and mortar store? They need to ensure that people who are coming to them should have compelling and unique experiences. Now, the experience may vary depending on your business but some retailers are finding success with the following methods:

  • Offering amazing customer service: It is hard to find a warm, welcoming and intelligent retail employee. So it is important to give your employees a little pep talk and motivate them to bring their best selves to work and go above and beyond for a customer. This way you will effectively level up store experience for people who are coming in. Also, strive to be an attractive place of work by treating and paying your employees well. Happy employees will keep customers happy and will create a fantastic store environment.
  • Organize events: Wondering what’s the best way to bring in more customers? Organize events and competitions, as this brings in a sense of community. Make your events festival oriented to bring in a feeling of joy among people. On other days, organize a competition that will bring in a competitive feeling among the shoppers and they will like to stay more to win a grand prize.
  • Double on personalisation: Personalisation is the key retail trend that is picking up pace faster than before. With personalization, we don’t mean to put someone’s name in the email subject or letting customers put their initials on the product. What we mean is to enable shoppers to build products and customize them to the very last detail. Won’t that be a cool thing to be famous for?
  • Selling products that aren’t available everywhere: This one thing always attracts customers like a bee on honey. People are always on the lookout for a unique product that they won’t find with anyone else. Use this thing to your advantage and differentiate yourself by stocking unique as well as high-quality items.

Summing It Up

Use the above-mentioned tips to your advantage and in no time you will see the change it will bring into your business. Ask your employees for their suggestions and ideas. Use those as well as they know a customer better.

The Author

Abhijeet Guha

Abhijeet Guha

Abhijeet is an active blogger with vast experience in developing content for Telecom, IT Security, VoIP and several other industries. He researches on various topics related to the telecom sector and pens down his research in the form of articles & blogs. You can reach him at abhijeet@ajura.com.
Abhijeet Guha