8 Secret Elements to Success in Retail Business

Retail business is in many ways very similar to any other kind of business. You are looking to draw in as many people as possible, keep them there by delivering a top-notch service, and hopefully encourage them to tell their friends and families, in the hope that they will do the same. In many ways, retail has it even easier than some other kinds of business. After all, you are looking at a physical shop, and it is often much easier to get people to walk into your shop than to get them to come to another kind of business. Of course, it is not all rose-tinted – retail also has its own set of unique challenges. In this article, we are going to focus solely on the shopping experience itself. It goes without saying that we want this to be as good as possible for our customers – but how do we actually go about achieving that? Let’s take a look at some of the things we need to do to make the shopping experience more memorable and enjoyable for our customers.

  1. Engage

You might have already heard of the concept of engagement; put simply, it is the process by which the customer services staff interact positively, playfully, with the customers. For retail businesses, engagement begins the moment that the customer steps inside the door. From the word go, you want to be sure that they feel welcomed and as though they are a part of things. You achieve this simply by training your employees to respond positively to the customer the moment they step through the door. Engagement can sound quite cold on the face of it, but it is actually a normal, human process when it is done properly. Engage with your customers, and they will feel happier to be there straight away.

  1. Simplify

There are many different aspects to the shopping trip, and it pays to pay attention to each in turn. One of the things you probably want to achieve with your customer’s experience is to make it as simple as possible. Efforts to simplify are often, ironically, quite complex – avoid this problem by focusing on each of those sections in turn. First, take a look at the process of looking around for the desired goods. To make this easier, you want to ensure that the merchandising and the layout of the store are both as easy to read as possible. This alone can be difficult to get right, but doing so is likely to bode well for your customer’s experience in the future. Next, take a look at the payment and checkout process. This in particular needs to be as straightforward and as speedy as you can possibly make it. A speedier payment process makes your customers considerably happier, so work on this in particular if you want your customers to feel happier and more at home within your store.

  1. Customize & Personalize

There are few things that customers respond to better than being treated as the person they really are by a company like yours. Often, big businesses fail to properly do this, and the result is that customers feel like just one of many – which they are. To avoid this happening in your business, it is helpful to ensure that you are doing everything you can to keep the shopping experience as personalised and customized as possible. One really powerful way of doing this is to employ Internet of Things solutions in order to better understand your customer’s behaviour. You can then use this raw data to provide experiences which are more effectively suited to those individuals who are visiting your store.

  1. Merchandise

We spoke a little about merchandising already; if you are unsure of what it is or how to do it right, then this section should help you to understand that. Merchandising is the name given to the act of choosing where to place products in the store, and how to display them. Amateur retail business owners often make the mistake of thinking that merchandising makes little or no difference to your customer’s decision. But nothing could be further from the truth. If you merchandise properly, you will notice a dramatic increase in sales – these figures will be a direct result of your customers ‘ positive response to proper merchandising. If you are looking to improve your customer’s experience, then you should focus your merchandising on making it easier for the customer to locate and grab whatever products they need. This will help both them and yourself.

  1. Socialise

It is always a good idea to remember that the people visiting your establishment are exactly that – real people, real individuals with their own distinct and unique tastes and opinions. You should never let your business’ scale or success get in the way of being able to treat your customers as fellow people. When they come into your store, make a point of speaking to them, chatting with them about their day. If all of your employees do this naturally and automatically, it will contribute to a much more positive and engaging atmosphere which is likely to work wonders for your business. Your customers will feel more relaxed and at home, and this will mean that they are considerably more likely to both return and to tell others about your business.

  1. Celebrate

Your colleagues, your employees, are absolutely central to ensuring that the customer’s experience is as great as possible. The truth is, you want to do everything you possibly can to make sure that your colleagues are happy in their role, and that they are moving upward and forward at the right pace. With that in mind, make sure you always go out of your way to celebrate any victories that there might be in your team. Doing this is the quickest route to success, and it just might turn out to be absolutely vital. When your employees feel valued for the work they do, it is much more likely that they will engage in a positive manner with your customers.

  1. Atmosphere

The way that customers feel as they walk into your store is really the clincher, that’s what all of this is about. Therefore, if you are able to build up a strong and positive atmosphere within your store, this is likely to have some great knock-on effects. Building atmosphere might sound like a challenge, but mostly it is just a matter of ensuring that your overall experience is as brand-loyal as possible. Get this right, and customers will be happy to be shopping in your store. Atmosphere can be developed by encouraging employees to act in a certain way, by decorating the building to fit in line with that idea, and by building up a working culture which your employees and customers alike will both find infectious.

  1. Compete

Let’s not forget that, no matter how well you do in any of this, you still need to think about any competition you might have. Let’s be honest – every business has competition, and your retail business is no different. There are many factors to competing, but possibly the most important one of all is the price of your goods. This is the one that makes the most difference to your customer’s experience anyway. One of the major things they will always be on the lookout for is competitiveness of price, and this is one of the quickest ways to both gain loyalty, on the one hand, and lose customers on the other. Compete on price, and you are sure to always have customers coming through your door.