Three tips for creating an enjoyable retail experience
March 15, 2012
Customers enjoy an interesting retail experience, whether perusing a shopping behemoth or a small mom-and-pop shop. Both offer a unique venue to present your products and services. It's up to you to turn that space into something memorable. Here are some tips for driving success at your retail venture.
1.) Don't overwhelm
This is especially important when it comes to inventory and product offerings. While the beauty of capitalism is that it allows for such a broad array of products to choose from, the paradox of choice is that more options lead to greater indecisiveness. And sometimes that leads to lost business, as many consumers, whether consciously or not, would choose not to choose.
"If the shopper wants variety, they can easily find that online," points out BusinessSigns.org. "Focus your retail store on the basics and essential items that sell the most. Offer two or three product models instead of five or six. And make sure your store is easy to navigate."
2.) Offer exclusive discounts, incentives and loyalty rewards
Loyal customers deserve a sign of appreciation beyond merely saying "thank you." When times are tough, these individuals can be the one of the few things standing in between you and bankruptcy. It sounds extreme, but it's true. But even in good times, it's important to show your thanks to these repeat shoppers.
To drive loyalty, present customers with a discount coupon good for their next in-store purchase. You can also create loyalty or rewards programs that offer continued deals in exchange for consistent business.
3.) Create a memorable experience
While you may not have the resources to create an Apple store, you can still develop seasonal displays, in-store demos and entertaining presentations to engage your customers and make them remember the experience. This is paramount if you're interested in building loyalty.
"Cookware and food specialty shops do this brilliantly with in-store cooking classes and live demos as people shop (not to mention the free food samples)," BusinessSigns adds. "There's something about the smell of freshly-cooked food and the taste of a killer recipe that just can't be replicated online."
The same is true for virtually all other kinds of retail. It's your job to define your niche and find ways that distinguish your products and shopping experiences from both competitors and online alternatives.