Like every New Year, 2017 has sparked an infatuation with all things new. And there isn’t a more important time for retailers to take note of customer behaviour, particularly if you can take advantage of the predictable “New Year, New Me” health kick. Clothes, food and sports equipment retailers are among those lucky enough to reap the benefits. But it’s not all about getting the latest trends on your radar in the hope of top sales. Let’s strip it down basics; when was the last time your premises had a paint job?
1. You are sending staff members home during a busy period
Having to cut staffing hours is a big signifier that your shop isn’t doing as well as it should. This is particularly true if your once busy period has seen a drop in customers coming through those doors. It’s too easy to blame a lull on the season, time of day or the weather, but be honest with yourself. Do an evaluation as to why your shop is quiet and get your cogs turning to find a solution. Don’t be afraid to visit your competitors’ premises to see how busy or quiet they are in comparison. Take a look at their store layout, how they greet customers and the promotions they offer. It might be the push you need!
2. Your customers no longer mention you in conversation
You are trading in an age which thrives online, so it’s crucial to have a good presence on any platform relevant to your business. Having a quiet shop is not so much a blow if you are generating sales through your website, which is where having a two-pronged approach for both online and offline comes into play. Analyse each portal you have to your customers; including websites, social media. Analyse each portal you have to your customers; including websites, social media channels and customer review sites. Each portal is a reflection of how customers view/interact with you, so if you are no longer receiving engagement then question why. Is your brand showing off enough? If your budget will allow it, give your interiors a bit of pampering. Update your fixtures and fittings by swapping them out with a copper finish, or add some urban hanging lights. Give your customers a reason to talk!
3. Your employees are not driven
An unmotivated team will cause a wrath of problems for your business, so identify qualms early on. Quiet periods will jeopardise staffing hours, but you can reassure employees that a plan is in place and the situation will improve with their cooperation. Keep them in the loop; involve them in customer service training and stock checking to re-focus their motivation. Employees, particularly a younger generation, are more likely to enjoy work if they are involved or feel they are making an impact. Essentially, an unhappy employee is an unhappy customer, so start rebuilding from within. Give employees some freedom (within reason) by assigning tasks such as dressing front windows regularly to promote a wide array of products.
4. You are no longer selling products people want to buy
Take a good look around your shop. Are you actually selling products that people want to buy? How long do you keep outdated products in the stockroom for before you admit they are taking up unnecessary space? Dedicate time to sorting through your stock regularly, and keep a close check on what sells and what is not so popular. Trial discounts and sales, making sure you promote them online as well. If you are holding big discounts but customers are still leaving empty handed, shake it up a bit. Consider the customer experience; do you like wading through size 8 dresses if you’re a size 16? Keep your eyes open to trends by scoring social platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. Revisit your target shopper’s interests from time to time. There is a reason those customers fell in love with your brand, so reward their loyalty by giving them products they seek.
5. Your shop suddenly looks dated
Retail is an industry built on vanity, so it is no surprise your customers expect to see something impressive as they shop. Invest in technology such as iPads for browsing, or some selfie-ready mirrors in the changing room. Even adding some cheap flyers offering an online discount can keep customers returning once they leave the store. If there’s no budget to splurge, go back to basics. Fill your shop with simple price tags and plain coat hangers.
Retail & Shop Insurance with The Insurance Octopus
Every shop is unique and therefore each business demands are different. At The Insurance Octopus we understand this and this is why we tailor our retail shop insurance packages to meet your specific needs. We have a friendly team of insurance experts on hand to make the process of buying insurance for your shop stress and hassle free.