The brick and mortar retail stores that we had all loved and known is increasingly being overlooked by the digital shop lovers. True with shopping giants like Amazon and the others taking over, it is a possibility that the retail stores as we know it will be a thing of the past. Moreover the year 2017 saw big brands like Michael Kors, Gap and Banana close stores. This definitely sent the message across the globe that retail stores are now set to be things of the past. The year 2017 had in fact seen an all-time record closing of shops. Given this scenario it is natural to assume that entrepreneurs should not venture into retail shop business but move online.
But it is wrong to assume so.
What applies to some might not necessarily apply to all. No matter what the reason, retail stores will never go ‘out of fashion.’ There will always be that percent of consumers who would like to go and shop from a store. There are customers who enjoy visiting retail stores rather than browsing through numerous digital shopping pages. Having said this however, it is wrong to assume that all is well in the brick and mortar shop world. E-commerce has definitely made retail store seem like a chore, which earlier it was not. There is definitely competition and the comfort zone of the retail stores has been shaken. If you are an entrepreneur who wants to keep alive the magic of a brick and mortar store then you need to work out on numerous factors to be a success.
It is very alluring to sign a long term store lease. More so, if it seems like great deal. But no matter what, never sign a long term store lease in the beginning. If you have to sign it make sure that you know if the location and space of the store would give you the required opportunity for growth.
A store that do not help to cover up your rent cost would naturally affect your business and bring it down. Before you finalise on a store calculate the ability of the store to bring you extra profit. Things like sales per square foot of retail space, number of sales people inclusive of labour cost, space for inventory etc., needs to be assessed carefully.
2. Focus on Audience:
Any entrepreneur would like to have a store where he/she can get the right audience. But there are more to the audience than just the right place.
For Example, maybe you found a great location for your store, but all the stores near you are the discount type. You are the only high-end type in the whole area. It’s a given that your store will have less or no consumers at all.
It is important that an entrepreneur analyses the overall factors of a location. Analyse if the location would bring to your store the kind and amount of traffic that you are targeting. Focus on the overall picture and not just the location. It is very possible that a mall might have great traffic to a particular food joint but not many to the shops.
3. Long Working Hours:
Be prepared for long working hours if you wish your retail store to succeed. It is important especially in the beginning to learn about every inch of your business. This early study of how your business is doing would give you an insight on how you can build up from it. It is important that an entrepreneur spend a lot of time in the store. If it is not possible then it is advisable that you hire someone to manage the store but do keep a track of the store’s statistics.
4. Give Out What an Online Store Cannot:
Why would anyone want to leave the comfort of their homes and come shopping to your store?
This is an important question that an entrepreneur with a retail store needs to answer. Yes, there are those shopaholics who would come anyway, but to succeed an entrepreneur needs to attract all kinds of people. Mostly the online shoppers. Everyone is doing their marketing well. Everyone has that extra sales promotion. How does your retail store stand out?
Well, include things like great interiors, great aura, great knowledge and the like in your store. Make your store feel like an experience, not just a shop.
5. Customer Service:
Everyone loves to be treated well and with respect. The success of a retail store depends on how the store treats its customers. One might have everything in place but the customer service might be really bad. People would not want to even venture near the store. It is important that a retail store has people in it who make a simple business interaction feel like a friendly exchange.
Focus on pricing that works both ways. Pricing commodities too low would not bring in profits for you. On the other hand pricing commodities really high would not bring in customers.
Research on which price strategy works well for your retail store depending on factors like product, traffic and location. It is also important to balance sales and customer satisfaction for the same.
The statement that Retail Stores are going to be a thing of the past is not correct. Not everyone love to shop online. Then there are those who feel like they have shopped only when they do it physically. No matter how digitalised the world is the charm of visiting a retail store would stay. It is a kind of old world charm that feels comforting. But with the rise of e-commerce, it is important that entrepreneurs tweak the brick-and-mortar store experience according to the needs of the future generations. When in business it always pays to be smart and making the right move. Give your retail store the benefit of smart moves and see the digital shoppers unplug and rush to experience your store.