Retail businesses consistently face steep competition, both online and locally. Anything that helps to set these businesses apart can help enhance their retail sales. Sam Dushey, a retail expert and CEO of Shoppers World, shares his top marketing tips to help retail companies get a leg up on the competition in today’s digital world.
1. Pay Attention to Customer Service
One of the most important aspects of building a retail business is customer service. It is essential that your retail business holds its employees to the highest standards of customer service. Often when products and prices are similar, the professionalism of your retail sales staff will help to set you apart from others. A dedication to customer service needs to go beyond the superficial changes. Your business has to be ready to take criticism and to make necessary updates to its operations.
For example, if you have found that one of the weaknesses in your customer service policies is a restrictive return policy, you may need to accept some losses to turn this weakness into an asset. As your customers talk about your enhanced return policy, you may find that you attract enough new business to make up for possible losses.
2. Optimize Store Design
Sam Dushey encourages retailers to redesign their stores with new principles in mind. This is an important way to draw a distinction between local retail and online sales. Creating a complete experience for the customer is possible. The shopping experience should involve as many of the five senses as possible.
Retail marketing can involve touching and seeing the merchandise. Scent can be managed by using air fresheners or natural fragrances. Selected songs can be played to enhance the audio aspect.
Creating a complete experience for the customer also includes exciting changes to lighting and store arrangements. Many newer stores are streamlined and minimalist in design. This provides your customers with a calm and relaxed shopping experience. Having too many products jumbled on racks and shelves may give customers the wrong idea about your business.
3. Mobilize Special Events
To drum up sales in slow periods, it is a great idea to create special events. A charity partnership, such as a dropoff site for coats and baby needs, can bring a lot of foot traffic into the store. Many of these people will buy something when they visit your business, or they may consider your business the next time they need something that you sell. Being associated with charitable organizations also gives your company a boost in its public image.
Sponsoring local town festivals and other events is another great way to market your retail business. Sponsorships build name recognition and put your company’s name together with charitable organizations. The small outlay of money that is required to sponsor an event should be offset by the new influx of business you receive.
4. Use Social Media Wisely
Don’t neglect social media when marketing your store. Many customers search social media sites for prospective places to shop before turning to a general search engine. With social media, your company has the opportunity to put its best face forward before customers have set foot in the store. Make sure that your social media accounts are always kept up to date. There is no excuse for stale information. Try to post daily if at all possible. If you can’t keep up, use a scheduling service like Hootsuite.
You will also need to be careful about managing your online reputation. Negative comments and reviews can have a serious impact on your bottom line. Make sure that you have policies in place to express genuine concern for unhappy customers who have posted online.
Optimize Your Retail Sales
Using these tips from Sam Dushey, retail businesses will be able to take advantage of the positive changes to the business landscape. When retail businesses need to up their game, they must look to make changes in both their brick and mortar locations and in their online presence. Combining thoughtful changes with the power of customer service will help these businesses thrive for years to come.