After you establish your retail business to a certain extent, the urge to grow in terms of profit and services is natural. However, it is not necessary that you get results as per the efforts you put in. Perhaps, you are not making the efforts in the correct way.
One needs to check what all your competitors are doing. You don’t need to do everything they do, but a smart selection can make the efforts worthy. Besides that, you essentially require managing and keeping a check on the current customers, along with acquiring the new ones. Therefore, your store must have the vibes which not only keep hold of your customers but also bring the new ones.
According to research conducted by salesforce.com, eighty percent of buyers say that the customer experience and the products that a retail business sells are equally important. Therefore, it is important how you make the customer experience pleasing for everyone who comes to your store.
Before you work on customer experience, you need customers. For that, you need to have the support of all the possible channels by which you can reach a mass, letting them know about your business’s existence, and attract them. Let’s discuss what all we can do to accelerate your business.
1. More Locations- More Accessibility- More Sales
Consider that a retail business provides good customer experience and brilliant products at an inexpensive price. However, what if the outlet is accessible only to a limited number of people? Even if the store becomes renowned, it will only be able to attract local customers. For that reason, it would be better to come up with new outlets.
It could be tough to decide the location for your new outlet. Considering that, people have come up with the concept of Pop-up Stores. These are the stores that pops-up at any location and do temporary retail business. There are many businesses such as thestorefront.com, which can help you to find the best location of your pop-up store.
It helps you to conduct research about various areas of your city or different cities to come up with the perfect location for your next store. As you won’t need to set a permanent store, the investment will be low enough, making sure you face no loss during this experimentation.
Take the support of online marketing techniques
One must know the competition. Retail businesses nowadays not only competing with other retail businesses present in their area but also the online ones. However, a store doesn’t get popular overnight. It’s not just the products but also the marketing that matters.
As the other businesses are selling through online platforms, there are having better reach. Nowadays, creating an e-commerce website is not a tough task. There are a lot of agencies available which can help you to create a website for your store.
Here, you can choose the products you wish to sell online. This is just the first step. For marketing a retail store online, you need to build an online presence.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization is a technique that almost all e-commerce websites use. It will increase the number of visitors you have on the website. Therefore, a greater number of people will interact with your business virtually. This certainly improves sales.
Social Media Marketing
Those little icons in everyone’s mobile devices are more powerful than any other offline marketing platform. We are talking about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other such social media applications.
Using these applications, you can connect with people with ease and in greater numbers. Once they get connected, they will regularly get an update about your retail store. This will keep hammering a thought of your business in their mind and encourage them to buy products.
2. Introduce new products
Initially, we have mentioned that it is necessary to manage the current buyers and bring new ones. Think, why would they leave their favorite choice of retail business and come to you?
There is a chance, they would have got bored with the products their retailer was keeping. This must make you worry instead of getting happy about it. This can happen to you too!
So, what can one do about it?
Now, they are your current customers, and you need to keep a hold on them. Initially, they will move around, and your mainstream products will keep them busy for a few visits. After that, they would start expecting something new.
For that reason, gradually but regularly, a retailer needs to introduce new items. The new items tend to lure loyal customers easily. They are easily sold, and hence, it even affects the sales positively.
3. Collaborating with other businesses
You can either do it by taking an established business’s support for publicity of your retail business. The collaborated company will obtain the same benefit. It can be done by organizing events or selling combo items highlighting the other business. Who doesn’t like crossover episodes?
Another way is to acquire a business. This seems like a big deal, and it is actually a task that requires a lot of planning. This is not recommended for a small-scale business that just started showing their presence.
If you go through the research connected by imaa-institute.org, you will find out that more than 790,000 mergers and acquisitions took place since 2000. Not all could indeed be related to retail business. Still, the number proves that it could be a great technique to boost your business with just a single deal.
4. Run promotions smartly
How often have you seen promotions signs outside any shop? These signboards show something such as “buy one and get one,” “buy three and get two” and lure you into the stores.
Many retail stores run a promotion to clear the stock. It works, but if you are going to run promotions on sweaters when the spring is about to arrive, it won’t show great sales.
Therefore, you need to start the promotion at the right time. Keeping track of sales throughout the season, you can predict the number of products that will be left after the end of the season. Why don’t you run the promotions for them before everyone else? This will surely let you clear the stock and make a good profit. Anyways, this is far better than keeping them in the inventory till the next season arrives.
There can be many such cases. Therefore, you need to make sure the promotion is run on right timing in such a way that customer also gets benefitted, and you also earn the expected profit.
5. Short term discounts
Running discounts is the traditional way in which almost all the retailers use thinking that this would attract customers as “our selling price is lesser than others.”
However, if your discounted price remains the same all the time and it is not expected to increase, they may postpone buying the articles later. Hence, the overall effect of the discount will become negligible. On the other hand, as you have kept the price discounted, profit-earning would also be less.
Therefore, it is better to run discounts only for a specified period. For instance, if you run a discount, only for two days, customers will buy the products as per the timing you fixed. No one will delay the plan of purchasing from your store.
6. Have a loyalty program for your buyers
Setting up a loyalty program is similar to a discount but for the next purchase. In this, a person can get a discount or points which he can use next time, which ultimately reduces the total price. In addition to the reduction of price, a store can also add several benefits for a customer. Benefits such as exclusive sales, free goodies, priority on new arrivals, etc.
This is one way of honoring your customers, which is the basic need for achieving a brilliant customer experience. He would feel more privileged than the rest of the people who don’t buy things from you.
But for running a well-defined loyalty program, you need a retail management software that not only supports you in management but even in the expansion of your business. In Ari, you can run a highly customizable loyalty program. You can choose to provide points or discounts, set the conversion rate of each point, set different customer levels as per the purchase amount, and a lot more. You can have a look at those features using the free trial.
7. Good customer experience will bring more customers
Every point added above adds to the customer experience. How you showcase your store, what all benefits you provide to your buyers, the ease in accessing your store, and everything else contributes to customer experience.
In simple terms, the aim should be the satisfaction and contentment of the customer. Let’s say you provide products at a 50% discount, but one of your employees was impolite to your buyer, will he come to your shop next time? The answer is no. There are a lot of stores ready to welcome a new customer.
Therefore, it matters a lot how your employees treat your customers. For keeping a check on customer satisfaction, many stores have implemented a feedback mechanism. Whenever any outlet experiences decrement in sales, you can find out if it’s because customers are leaving unsatisfied.
So, how it helps in promotion? You have a customer who felt bliss by shopping at your store. He is going to share his experience with others, and at least three out of five people will try your store.
There is another way how customer experience can be improved. As you are a retail owner, you would have surely noticed that there is an increment in sales during the festive season. People tend to shop more in a delightful mood. Well, you can’t celebrate Christmas and New Year every day. However, you can create festivals of your own.
A decorated and quirky looking store themed in their way on some random weekend can truly attract sales. Such things remove boredom from the life of people. Hence, you not only sell products to them, but you also give them happiness.
And a happy customer is the best way of marketing.