10 Ways Your Retail Store Can Improve and Thrive
In today’s fast-paced, internet-driven digital world, it can be difficult to sometimes not think that the best days for a retail store have come and gone, but it’s simply not true. There are several ways your retail store can improve, adapt and thrive – even in today’s digital economy.
Consumers will continue to shop in brick-and-mortar stores for years to come; however, they are becoming more selective about which stores and brands they purchase from, and their overall experience in those stores.
When today’s retail store shopper chooses to leave their home and visit a storefront, they expect a memorable customer experience – one that they can’t get online.
So, how can you make sure your retail store gives consumers this experience?
In this article, we provide you with 10 ways your retail store can improve the customer experience, and thrive.
1. Get Personal
Today’s consumers want to feel like they are getting a one-of-a-kind product and experience. Going above and beyond to tweak a product or service based on individual preferences goes a long way to make your customers feel valued and appreciated.
For example, athletic brands have started experimenting with on-demand 3D-printed apparel, allowing the consumer to collaborate in designing his or her own athletic swag.
As another example, women’s fashion designers are becoming more involved with body-scanning technology, which allows for customizable sizing. A woman who is a conventional size 8 on the top, but a 10 on the bottom could customize her fit and order a garment just for her size.
Regardless of the type of business you own or operate, it is important to think about how you can offer and deliver personalization to your clientele.
2. Host Live In-Store Promotional Events
In order to gain the foot-traffic necessary to keep your business afloat, retailers need to offer exclusive in-store savings and experiences that customers can’t get shopping online.
This is your chance to get a little creative and host in-store promotional events. When planning promotional events, be sure to keep the specific customer profile in mind. Who are you trying to attract and what do these people enjoy?
For example, offering refreshments, free swag, or other giveaways are all great ways to increase brand awareness and foot traffic.
3. Consider Teaming Up for Cross Promotions
Thinking about your target market demographic, what other goods and services will excite your target customer base and audience?
For example, an upscale boutique that features professional women’s clothing pairs well with a coffeehouse, wine bar, or spa. Hit the neighborhood shops and talk to other small business owners to see if you can drum up ideas.
4. Offer Free Customer WiFi
Customers just expect free available WiFi today. If a first-time shopper can easily connect to available WiFi, and then save it in his or her device for future visits, this will help promote a sense of belonging, encouraging return visits. These people will be more likely to bring friends in and “show them the ropes” of their favorite new store, expanding the store’s customer base.
5. Embrace the Benefits of BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up in Store)
This is one of those “extras” that make customers feel valued. A small favor like this extended as a courtesy encourages a sense of camaraderie and encourages shoppers to want to buy more when they come in to pick up their item.
Large retailers have noticed such an influx of BOPIS purchases. As a result, these retailers have installed in-store pick-up towers to avoid clogging up traditional customer service kiosks and to streamline the process for customers who walk into the store for pick-up purchases.
6. Join Forces with Amazon
We’ve all heard the saying, “When you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”, right? Many retailers blame Amazon for destroying small businesses that cannot compete with the lower prices and fast, free shipping. However, all this has started to change…
Amazon now embraces smaller, third-party sellers. They have even created a new sales channel wherein small businesses can open storefronts.
As of today, there are already over 1 million small storefronts operating within the online retail giant, and that number is rapidly growing. In fact, 60 percent of small businesses that sell in online marketplaces receive more than half of their business from Amazon.
7. Gain Public Attention By Sponsoring
Local events and clubs are always looking for donations. Again, think about your target demographic and sponsor the kinds of events they are likely to attend. You can also join local Facebook groups or other community forums on social media to promote your brand and local shop.
All in all, look for local opportunities that make sense for your clientele to get your name out there.
8. Gain Digital Media Attention By Being Charitable
Donating to a local charity or fundraiser will certainly gain your retail shop free media attention. As with the other strategies, know your customer base and pick charities that are likely to attract your target customer base. If possible, help organize or execute the event while sporting your logo to attract extra coverage.
9. Rent a Booth At Your Local Community Events
State and county fairs, parades, seasonal and music festivals, and special interest expos and trade shows are all great places to generate brand awareness and new business.
Renting a booth at these events and handing out promotional gear like balloons, koozies, reusable totes, or pens with your name on them is a great way to get your business noticed.
10. Step Up Your Social Media Game
Make it worthwhile for customers and prospects to follow your business on Facebook and Twitter. Offer promotional offers and events for social media followers and fans.
For example, if you’re hosting an in-store event, then post that anyone who attends your event who follows your brand and shares your post gets entered into a drawing to win a premium store product.
How to Survive and Thrive in Today’s Digital World
With today’s brick-and-mortar retail becoming such a competitive field, struggling to keep up with digital, it’s important to make the most of every opportunity of promoting your retail business.
In this article, we provided you with 10 sure-fire strategies to help your retail business survive and thrive in today’s digitally driven era. With some proper planning and a little creativity, you will be able to launch some promotions and strategies to help increase brand awareness, foot traffic, and sales—and also boost your bottom line.
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