Part of managing or owning a successful retail shop is getting customers to come through the door. After all, without your customers’ business, you don’t stand to make any profit. In the rise of online shopping and the “internet savvy” consumer, many businesses have turned their marketing efforts towards the internet.
See also: Find your Brand’s Tone of Voice
While it is important to focus on top internet marketing strategies to intrigue the interest of your target audience, most consumers still prefer to visit a physical location to make a purchase. With that being said, it will be important for you to learn to integrate online and in-store marketing strategies so that they work to your advantage. Below are a few suggestions on how to do this:
Appearance is Everything
You might have a little buzz about your retail shop going through various social media channels; however, if your customers visit your location, what will they see? Will they be impressed by how the place looks, and how well it is designed? Or will your customers be thrown off by the unprofessional appearance and what appears to be a lack of concern on your behalf? Part of getting your customers through the door is making sure that you focus on the physical appearance of your retail shop.
First take a walk around your retail space from the outside. When you’re looking at the outside of the building, are you pleased or turned off by what you see? If the building is in less than perfect condition, or has a great deal of debris around it, customers are not going to want to come in. Take note of anything that needs improvement such as trash being picked up, the exterior being repainted, or even more lighting needing to be added for customer security.
Grab Their Attention
Now take a stroll past your retail shop. Does anything grab your attention (other than the fact that it’s your store) that makes you want to go in and shop? Are there any window displays with your products for passersby to see? Do you have a clear sign that lets customers know you’re in business? Remember, what’s on the outside is what will ultimately draw your customers through the doors. If you haven’t taken the time to invest in displays and signs on the exterior of your store, then you’re going to find it difficult to get others to enter.
It is not only imperative that the exterior of your retail shop looks appealing, but that the inside looks just as attractive and eye catching. When it comes to branding indoors, the skies are really the limit. And while you don’t want to overdo it with the signage and bright bold colors, you do want to let customers know what deals you have to offer and which products might benefit them. For instance, having a point of purchase display, such as a customized pallet display, for new products is a great way to get customers buying more items while they wait in the checkout line. For-sale signs and clearly advertised discounts is another way to interest customers into making a purchase that will save them money.
Creating the Overall Customer Experience
The appearance of the retail shop is certainly what drives customers through the front door, however, what keeps them coming back for more is the overall customer experience. From the very moment that they walk through the door, they need to be wowed. When customers are provided with a positive shopping experience, they are more than willing to spread the word, and even return themselves. To provide the overall customer experience, you’ll want to make sure you and your staff is:
Knowledgeable in the products you have to offer
If a customer has a question or concern, you and/or your staff need to be completely knowledgeable to provide a positive experience. Customers don’t want to hear, “I don’t know”, “let me get back to you on that”, “wait while I look that up for you”. Though they understand you don’t know it all, it looks bad when you don’t have any answers for them. -
Friendly, patient and courteous to new and repeat customers
Rude employees can really deter new and repeated business. It will be imperative for you and your staff to have top notch training as it pertains to providing quality customer service at all times of day. Each staff member should be able to be friendly, patient, and courteous to all who enter the store to prevent disagreements and negative feedback.
Provide timely yet professional service to each customer
Time is something everyone is short on these days, and therefore, customers don’t want to have to wait long periods of time to be taken care of. Whether it’s waiting to try something on in the dressing room, or waiting in excessively long lines, when a customer doesn’t feel that you value their time, they are more than likely going to take their business elsewhere.
Again, you can have a wonderful online presence with followers on various social media platforms and successful videos on YouTube. However, if you are not doing what it takes to brand and market your retail shop in stores, keeping and gaining new customers will be harder than you think. Though it is important to market and advertise your shop online, it is equally as important to make sure that your in store marketing efforts are in order. Providing a quality shopping experience from the time the customer pulls up until the time they check out is the best and most effective way to gaining positive feedback as it pertains to your business.