Business Advisor Blog: Retail Best Practice


  1. Omni-channel retailing

The best retailers currently operating, embrace all ways of doing business. In the current climate it is not enough to have great products on your shelves or fabulous customer service, as a large number of people won’t venture into their local High Street – meaning they may not ever enter your store. Get your products and services online. This can be via a website, an Etsy shop, or just a really good social media page. It’s vital you utilize all available channels to capture customers. This will help you retain their loyalty, and help you to gain new customers as well.

  1. Best-Practice shop appearance

Is your shop enticing to customers? Is the lighting good, inside and out? Can people see into the windows? Are displays up-to-date and attractive to the eye? Is there good signage (particularly important when trying to reinforce Covid-19 regulations)? If you’re struggling for inspiration, have a look at the High Street multiples for ideas. They won’t all be perfect, but they do have large budgets for merchandising and you should be able to gain some ideas for your own displays. It’s a good idea to have a theme, and to change displays according to changing demand. Don’t display out of date materials, or special offers that expired three weeks ago.

  1. Prominent Windows

Your window is your own personal invitation to shoppers to come in and browse the delights inside. Start by standing outside and looking at it from the customer’s perspective – Are the windows clean, painted, bright and offer good visibility? Do you have a ‘signature’ that marks your shop out as different? Try experimenting with themes and colour schemes. Be creative and imaginative to help your store stand out. If you are operating online as well, try and achieve a consistent look so that shoppers can easily identify your brand. At the moment it is a good idea to have strong messages relating to social distancing, and other Covid-19 related safety measures. Research shows that customers are more likely to enter a store where there are clear guidelines.

  1. Good Signage

Make sure your shop name is clear, clean and visible. Get outdoor trough lights or spotlights so it can be seen on dark mornings and evenings. If you display signs relating to Covid-19 or ANYTHING else, please, please don’t hand-write them!! Print them off so they look a bit more professional, and spell-check everything! If you want to be creative, there are free sites such as Canva, (www.canva.com) which have a wealth of free-to-use creative tools. Again, you can use brand colours and themes to help deliver a consistent message.

  1. Deliver a good checkout experience

It goes without saying that good customer service is key for any retailer. A strong checkout experience can help to enhance the customer journey. Customers like buying things. If they get great service at the till, they are more likely to return or recommend you to someone else. With the increase in cashless payment methods recently, ask yourself if you need to be tied to a till point? You could take a leaf out of Apple’s book and effectively do away with or minimize the till area, and have a ‘roving’ payment system. This makes the customer experience more fluid.

 

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The Reopening High Streets Safely project has received funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.