As a small business owner with a retail store, it can be easy to hit and slump and feel frustrated when sales are down or when you're just not getting enough foot traffic. At times like this, you need to take a look at your business and focus on one fix at a time.
Below you will find 10 responses that answer the question, "What's the #1 thing I can do better in my brick and mortar store?"
#1 - Give People a Reason to Go to Your Store
The #1 thing retailers can do to better market their brick and mortar stores is to give people a reason to go to their store. Hold exclusive events and use online coupons to use in-store only to promote your store.
#2 - Focus on How You Sell What You Sell
"Assume that no one really needs what you sell, because they probably don't. In a little over 25 years, we've gone from an economy based on scarcity of goods and services to one that offers unimaginable abundance. There's very little you can sell that can't be gotten elsewhere. Focus instead on how you sell what you sell. Completely differentiate your customer experience and make sure it's remarkable. Products come and go but there will always be a market for truly remarkable experiences." (Doug Stephens, Founder of Retail Prophet and Author of "The Retail Revival")
#3 Sweat the Small Stuff
"Sweat the Small Stuff - design your customer experiences to bring your brand to life in the finest of details and deliver on them with excellence to express your brand in very customer interaction." (Denise Lee Yohn, Brand-Building Expert, Speaker and Author of "What Great Brands Do")
#4 Never Stop Researching
"Never stop researching. Research your sales - or lack of them - to previous days and even years. Research your inventory sell-through and vendor sell-through. Research your competition and research their customers. Research your customers and the customers you want to gain. Research your employees before hiring, research selling techniques and customer service to help your employees succeed. The list goes on and on...very simply, always research what you can do to improve your sales, your marketing, your merchandising, your employees and even yourself. Never stop researching. (Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, Founder and Publisher, Retail Method)
#5 Motivate Customers to Take Action
"Be sure customers feel that they are limited by time and inventory, so they are motivated to take action. As long as your brand has a clear message, because of the time frame that they are there, this urgency only enhances the experience and stresses to the customers that they need to get it now or they won't have an opportunity to get it again, at least not in the same kind of way." (Melissa Gonzalez, Founder, The Lion'esque Group, Author of "The Pop-Up Paradign")
#6 Be Locally Relevant
"Local relevance - retailers need to get grounded in and familiar with the communities they operate within. This gives rise to marketing and outreach ideas that organically make sense for the people in these communities." (James Bickers, Sr. Editor, Retail Customer Experience)
#7 Embrace Shoppertainment
You need to run one MAJOR and two to three MINOR events in your store each month. A major event is one that builds traffic and packs your store with customers. Don't confuse a major event with something that takes a long time to plan. A class or fashion show can be a major undertaking, but it's not a major event unless it attracts potential customers who not only participate, but buy something while they are there. A minor event might be a Saturday full of demonstrations and mini-classes. Minor events draw customers to your store but should not take a lot of time to plan or implement. (Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender, Founders and Speakers, Kizer & Bender)
#8 Don't Just Play the "Small Business" Card
"Don't count on just stating that you are a "small business." Give them a reason to shop My favorite reason: "Offer unique, well-crafted items that are limited." (Mercedes Gonzalez, Founder, Global Purchasing Companies)
#9 Connect Online with Offline
"With the entirety of human knowledge available at their fingertips, today's shopper is way savvier than ever before. To cater to these empowered shoppers and to facilitate unplanned purchases, it's critical that retail environments provide access to rich product information, and especially provide social proof for in-store purchases, such as making online reviews available in the store.
While more than half of shoppers now use digital tools to pre-shop, the over-whelming majority still want to complete the transaction in the store. When retailers think about their digital marketing, they shouldn't just think in terms of capturing online sale. Providing a great store locater, giving access to real-time in store inventory and having a well executed local plan are amongst the highest value digital activities for and brick and mortar retailer." (Jason Goldberg, Founder at RetailGeek, GVP Commerce Strategy, Razorfish)
#10 Tell a Visual Story
If you are in a popular destination with great foot traffic, create a great window display that tells one story and tells it well. Your window display must be your invitation to the passerby. A well-designed window display encourages impulse sales and peaks a customer's curiosity. A really great one will tug at their heartstrings.