4 Skills Needed to Create Results in Brick-and-Mortar Stores
Building repertoire with your customers plays a vital role in stabilising the physical retail landscape. As a brick-and-mortar store, you can’t always compete with the convenience and selection of online stores, so to drive sales and boost business, giving people a compelling reason to walk through your doors is a must.
That’s why today we’re exploring some of the invaluable skills needed to help retail professionals. From embracing technology within a physical store to focusing on customer service, we have it covered.
From smart mirrors which display virtual make-up on customers to baskets which automatically fill themselves, technology can be utilised to lure customers back into the store. Utilising artificial intelligence in your physical retail space could revolutionise stock management, transform the customer experience and optimise demand forecasting. By extending human expertise, digital technology and physical retail will work hand-in-hand to make the store experience more inviting.
If you’re looking for a way to spruce up your customer service, retailtainment provides consumers with entertainment as part of the shopping experience. Despite being around for decades, retailers are now taking it to the next level. Although often initially expensive, it is sure to drive foot traffic and, when coupled with in-store demos, can really skyrocket sales. From in-store sampling to hosting workshops, you are sure to get more people walking through your doors.
Focus on customer service
Even if you have the prettiest interior and run the most enticing offers, if your staff members provide poor customer service, you’ll find increasing foot traffic and driving sales very difficult. You only have one chance to make a first impression and obtain a regular customer from it.
Invest in training for your employees to ensure they know how to give five-star service. Hiring an experienced expert to spend a day training your staff may initially be expensive, but is sure to pay off in the long term.
If you’re lacking time for training, remind your employees to always thank customers for shopping with you. Though it may sound like a small thing, this could make all of the difference – manners go a long way, cost nothing and will leave a positive lasting impression. After all, your staff are the face of your business, so investing time and money in them will be worthwhile.
On the other hand, making your employees aware that not all customers are nice is a good way to prepare them for the unexpected. At some point, your employees will be on the frontline of occasional customer abuse. If your employees still treat the customer with politeness and respect, the customer will remain a customer and is more likely to return for repeat business. It’s all about knowing how to deal with every situation your customers may pose.
Reimagine your space
Shopping and lifestyle are ever-merging, so what better way to stay on trend than by utilising your storefront?
From hosting a coffee stand outside your store during peak hours to creating a flower pop-up shop around Valentine’s or Mother’s Day, giving your customers an additional reason to enter your store will drive sales and give your business a personable touch.
The moment your customers step into the store, they will decide whether they want to stay or not based on their surroundings. Your store design is a huge factor in driving foot traffic and increasing sales, so whatever your budget, try to bring out your store’s full potential by making some small changes.
Invest in some stylish shelving displays to make your product really stand out from the crowd. Not only will they save you a lot valuable of floor space for the customer to explore around your shop, but it will also help you on your way to organising more eye-catching displays.
For higher end budgets, add QR codes on shelf tags to seamlessly transition your in-store customer into an e-commerce platform, personalising their shopping experience and achieving add-on sales in the process. Investing in your interior will make your store all the more inviting by standing out from high-street competitors.
Be social media savvy
Keeping your social media accounts active and updated with interesting information is one way to draw in attention from your customers. Where possible, showcase the cool things your business is doing in the community to gain customer engagement.
Charity and community events always make an eye-catching post, which will add personality to your business. Instagram and Facebook are great platforms for sharing information instantly with your audience, which could be the perfect way to get the news of your business out there to the public.
If you have any in-store promotions or an event coming up, keeping your customers posted via email is a great way to drive foot traffic and increase sales. Further still, introducing exclusive offers which can only be redeemed in-store is an efficient way to get customers interested in your promotions. To maximise your opportunity, target your posts based on your customer’s demographic information, location and purchase history, so your offers are as accessible as possible.
An increased brand awareness will get more people talking about your business, encourage higher conversion rates and improved brand loyalty. So, allocating some time to optimise your social media channels could really pay off in the long-term for your business.
If one thing is for sure, the brick-and-mortar shopping experience of the future needs to be digitally enabled to encourage foot traffic and stabilise the physical retail landscape. We hope you are inspired to master these skills which will get you on your way to success in the challenging brick-and-mortar retail market.
Contributed by Tom Brialey who has run successful companies in Europe and the US that are focused on delivering exceptional value to clients – while Action Storage offers a diverse range of storage products, along with the technical expertise to help clients’ businesses operate more efficiently. In Tom’s words, that’s a rewarding place to be.