Starting a local retail business can be a fruitful endeavor for any aspiring entrepreneur. You get to set the rules, hire your team, and operating everything base on your concept and vision. The best part is that you also help your community by providing jobs to the locals and supporting broader visions.
While maintaining a physical retail store may seem like a profitable step, you also need to take a few steps towards modernization and digitization. The competition in the market is getting tighter every day, so you can’t afford to have outdated service options or equipment to run your store. Read on to know how your retail store can embrace technology and provide a more modern service to your customers.
In case you’re not aware, going green is one of the biggest trends in the market today. Many customers, even in the digital market, are looking for businesses that take part in reducing their environmental impact. Not only can this help you attract more customers and improve your reputation, but you can also cut down on costs. One popular approach is going paperless, wherein companies switch to electronic billings, cloud storage solutions, digital subscriptions, and other online services. Many stores also invest in more sustainable packaging for their products, in which the customers are encouraged to either reuse or recycle the materials.
Improve your in-store visuals
Impressive visuals are imperative for both your physical store and online shop. You can’t possibly encourage people to buy with unappealing products or in-store displays. In creating product displays in your store, make them interactive or let shoppers try them out. It helps that customers see the items in action. Your displays should also have a focal point and are neat to prevent shoppers from getting distracted or overwhelmed. Another great practice is using different visual elements to create multi-dimensional displays. Add some depth, color, and height. As for your best products, be sure they stay in the center or front of the displays.
Get new equipment
Upgrading your equipment can be a huge financial step. This is why it makes sense to first determine what business areas need the upgrade. Let’s say you’re a clothing business that offers customized shirts. You’d probably need to focus more on your production equipment to boost productivity and sales.
For instance, instead of retaining that old manual heat press that is costing you more money on repairs, invest in an automatic heat press machine to avoid production delays. Apart from production, your sales floor should also be equipped with new technology and devices. Some in-store equipment worth updating are your retail signs, point of sale (POS) systems or cash drawers, audio and video systems, and security cameras.
Offer more shopping options
There’s no doubt that physical retail shops can provide a more authentic experience than online stores. However, your business cannot thrive in today’s market if you don’t digitize and modernize. Provide shoppers with more convenience by offering a buy-online and pick-up option. You can also expand your payment options by accepting contactless payments, from mobile payments to digital wallets. If you already have a website, make sure that the products on display are updated.
Invest in improving its functionality and appearance too to encourage shoppers to browse and buy. If a website isn’t a practical option for you, you can take advantage of online shopping platforms where you can offer your products. If you have an extra budget for modernization, you can consider offering an AR-power shopping experience like most retailers do. Surveys show that products with AR content can increase conversion rates up to 94%.
Communicate using social channels
In this digital world, it will be hard to increase store traffic if your business isn’t reachable online. Using social media platforms is an easy way to reach your potential and current customers. Some of the top channels for building customer relationships are Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You can begin by showing the customers what they can expect from your retail store. Invest in amazing photography for your products and share the stories of your store and the team. One important reminder is not to directly sell on the channels. Instead, entertain your target market. Use a natural and honest voice when engaging with customers.
Owning a retail business can be both exciting and tough, and you need to always step up your game to stay on the market. If you’re not even one step advance of your competitors, it’ll be harder to achieve your business goals, and you might be open to financial risks. Create your new strategy plan now using our tips here.