When it comes to succeeding in 21st-century retail, there are more options than any store owner could possibly implement, many of which require huge sums of money. But many times success relies on creating relationships, not spending money to buy them. Try these 8 ways to boost your success in the new era of retailing.
1. Clean Your Store
Have you ever asked to use a public bathroom only to discover that it hasn’t been cleaned since the Stone Age? It’s an immediate turnoff and makes you wonder what else the employees neglect. A clean (or unclean) store is the very first impression a customer has the moment they step inside. If the dressing rooms are overflowing with clothing or the cash register is buried under an inch of dust, it makes customers feel uneasy and prompts them to leave sooner. Keep your store neat, tidy, and clean. You’ll have happy, money-spending customers.
2. Show Your Personality
What is unique about your store? How about its personality? Are you a store that specializes in sports goods? If so, then decorating in sports souvenirs, signed footballs and baseballs, and old-timey stadium signs will reflect your store’s personality. Get creative. Your store has a personality. Make it your goal to find it and make it shine.
3. Stock Your Shelves
I once received advice from the owner of a vendor-type store. Several dozen booths displayed vendors’ products. He said, “The people who don’t keep their booths stocked never make any money. The ones who have it stocked to the brim? They’re making a killing!” If a store is left with nothing but bare shelves, a customer is going to keep on walking, feeling uninterested and dissatisfied. Give your customers plenty of options to keep them coming back for more. Remember, while variety in stock is necessary, you shouldn’t make inventory investments just to fill space. Track which items sell best, and which ones are slow moving. Adjust your stock accordingly to gain the best return on your investment.
Paladin’s Market Driven Inventory Management™ Solution
Keeping your shelves stocked is an important task, and often requires many hours of work. What if you could manage your inventory with your point of sale system? Inventory management systems in most point of sale programs are simply a computerized version of managing stock by hand. Paladin Point of Sale is different. We use a massive amount of data to calculate suggested reorder quantities that will keep just enough stock on-hand for every item to meet any reasonable demand and give you the maximum ROI. Our calculations have been refined and tested over the past 35+ years to create the best system for automated, market-driven inventory management in the industry. Interested? Let us know by giving us a call at 800-725-2346.
4. Hire the Right People
Interviewing your prospective employees well will help you find people who fit well with your store. Your employees are the face of your company, and if they are unhelpful or rude, it can ruin a customer’s experience with your store in mere seconds. A positive personality is a must in any workplace. A pessimistic, downcast worker won’t provide great customer service. Ask creative questions like these for a better understanding of personalities and to make a more informed decision about who’s joining your team.
- What motivates you at work?
- What do you think your daily challenges will be while working here?
- What are you truly passionate about?
- What did you dislike about your last job?
- How do you deal with stress?
5. Practice Great Customer Service
This goes back to hiring the right people. If an employee is angry about having to work, he doesn’t have to say a word—it’s written all over his face. Choosing positive, happy employees results in better customer service. When your employees practice great customer service, they benefit your store by:
- Developing personal relationships with your customers
- Creating customer loyalty
- Promoting word-of-mouth publicity
- Drawing in new customers
Customer service is one of the most important aspects of a store.
6. Prevent Theft
Theft needs to be monitored and prevented. With modern adaptations like electronic coupons, mobile gift cards, and online purchases, thievery is adapting. Paladin Point of Sale suggests various ways to discourage new methods of theft in your store.
- Video surveillance. With the Watcher Total Protection video surveillance system, you may search video based on a detail of the sale. No longer must you stream forward and backward, hoping to catch a specific event.
- Employee permissions. With Paladin you have the ability to limit employees’ access to certain data within point of sale.
- Antivirus protection. Paladin’s managed antivirus does all the work for you. Protect your system from harmful viruses with a Paladin technician to set up and monitor your antivirus for you.
7. Know Your Competition
Getting to know your competition is a popular suggestion, but knowing is only the first step. Visit your competitor’s store. Analyze their product assortment. Take note of their customer service, window displays, and store packaging. What did they do that worked for them? What aren’t they doing that could work for your store? When you know your competition, you know how to strategize. By keeping an eye on other stores, you gain valuable insight. This knowledge starts with spotting effective window and counter displays, replicating customer service ideas, and noting which impressions stay with customers.
8. Involve Your Community
So many missed opportunities fly right on by when it comes to community outreach. How do you involve your community? Plan an event like an open house with snacks and freebies. Have a Night on the Town with other stores in your area. Offer a workshop on how to build something—a great opportunity for hardware stores. When you involve your community, you’re setting the tone that you care about the customer and want to get to know them and their needs.
Succeed in the 21st Century
When you reach out to your customers and develop relationships with them, success will come naturally. Subscribe to the blog for more tips on succeeding in today’s paradigm shift in retailing and how to succeed in retail.
Post written by: Shayla Eaton