Miette, a SF based candy store, is always filled with customers.

3 Reasons Your Customers Aren’t Returning

You may be your own boss, but let’s face it… your customers are the ones who really keep your job afloat. As a result? You need them returning to your store again and again and again. And if they aren’t, well, then we have some issues to consider.

Below, review how these five reasons may be impacting your chance of seeing customers return to your store.

1. Your attitude. 

We all have bad days… we get that. For that matter, we have good days, too. But what a customer wants is an expected customer service scenario no matter WHAT DAY it may be for you. Whether you run your store solo or have a team supporting you, make consistent, top-notch customer service your priority. Put all things aside, including your own emotions, when customers are in your store. This means drop your cleaning, organizing, stocking, merchandising, filing or whatever else it is you may be doing. We know your t0-do-list is long, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to let your customers feel like it may be their fault or let your bad mood shine during their store visit.

2. Your inventory. 

It’s not an uncommon story to hear an independent retailer say they opened a store because they loved “shoes” or “home decor” or “candy”. A strong majority of indie store owners become merchants for this exact reasons… because they enjoyed a certain product or category of business so much, they wanted to make a store out of it. The problem with this scenario for some folks (we’re not pointing fingers) is that this does not always translate well to buying inventory for your store customers… not you. In other words, don’t just buy products you want to bring home with you, but rather buy your inventory based on your current customers, local demographics and overall store strategy. Naturally, you should consider past season sales if applicable and seasonal trends, as well. And listen to what your customers are telling you. If they are asking for things you don’t have, consider getting them if you identify more than just a handful of customers may be interested. It’s also okay to change things. What you sold last year does not have to be the same vendor you buy from this year. Things change, people change and certainly your store inventory should change as a result.

3. Your merchandising. 

Merchandising can be a powerful retail tool. It can either help your business or hurt it. So the real question here is, “which category does your store currently fall into?” Keeping up with merchandising is something that needs to be done consistently. The argument to do a little  everyday even applies here, as many customers shop local stores and are more engaged by those that keep things changing and interesting. The catch is while customers may think things are changing, often the inventory is not. This goes back to the power of merchandising. Use your displays and total store space to engage your customers and get them intrigued with your inventory through merchandising on a consistent basis. Additionally, don’t neglect keeping your store clean and dust free. Customers have opinions about everything… why distract them with something like a dirty shelve that  keeps them from noticing your items instead?

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