Making Your Store One Customers Will Flock To
Posted: Jun 19, 2015
Do you own your own store? Congrats! Being a business owner is exciting, challenging, rewarding and the embodiment of the American Dream. It can also be stressful and requires a lot of hard work, as you surely know. Success is not guaranteed for anyone, and even though the economy is improving, store owners have to compete with the enormous popularity of online shopping. Not only has ecommerce made shopping easier, it’s made consumers expect things like price matching, which can be difficult for smaller retail outlets to accommodate. So how do you maximize your chances of success? Research before you open (market research, location research, etc). This is crucial. You need to know your market inside and out, chose the right location for your shop, and know your competitors inside and out too. Learn from what they are doing right and from their mistakes as well. This kind of research can provide enormous insight into what you need to do to succeed, and help you avoid the pitfalls they hit. Once you open, listen to your customers-provide surveys, learn from what sells well and what doesn’t and learn. This is the best way to make your customers happy-and attract new ones. Read on to learn more about how to make your store successful.
Your displays do your talking for you. Make sure they are as attractive as possible, easy to access, and provide all the information a shopper will need to make a purchase. Endcaps should contain only those items relevant to the aisle they are on, to encourage additional purchases. Make pricing info clear and if rebates are involved, make that clear as well. Customers don’t like feeling misled and if they can’t find the price quickly and easily, they’ll leave the product behind. Cleanliness matters too. Make sure your employees keep displays and endcaps neat, clean and fully stocked. Some customers can be very inconsiderate and trash them, so you need to be vigilant about this.
Promotions can be powerful marketing tools, but only if they are done right. Done wrong and they will drive business away in droves. For example, if you offer coupons for a percentage of any regular priced item, don’t then go and mark almost everything in the store as on sale. This type of game is played by many stores, but customers are smart and see right through it. You may think they’ll buy their items anyway, but you will be surprised at how many will do the complete opposite-and also complain about you on social media. Make sure your promotions are honest and provide solid value to the customer.
If you’ve been on the internet in the last 5 years or so, you know how important good customer service is-and what happens when a business fails to provide it. The old saying is true-make one customer happy and he’ll tell 10 others. Make one customer angry, and he’ll tell 100 others. Sites like Yelp and Facebook make it easier than ever to sing your praises-or tear you down-to an audience of millions. That’s why you should always be responsible to customer complaints and issues. Be friendly, professional and do everything you can to resolve legitimate issues. That said, you also need to remember that the customer is not always right. Don’t tolerate customers who abuse your employees, you return and exchange policies, or other customers. The minute you let such a customer get their way, you will have opened the floodgates for other abusive customers to do the same. Stand firm!
About the Author: Michael D. O’Neil is a contributing author and marketing expert, with a specialty in retail, SEO and search engine marketing. He often recommends clients check out Pangea as they have the best selection of retail marketing software, competitive prices and in-depth experience. He trusts their tradition of outstanding service, quality, value and customer care.
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