1. Find the Source of Your Motivation
To be successful, a retailer must find their why. This why represents the reason the store exists, its mission and its vision. This is the first key element of the success of your retail store.
The why guides everything you do (products, marketing, the employees you hire, company culture) and all your decisions. It informs the choice of what you sell and how you sell it.
The why is the reason the store exists in the first place, the ultimate reason why you do everything you do. The why gives clarity, a goal and a priority axis. Successful stores use their why to develop communication campaigns that reach their target audience.
Ask yourself why you opened a store in the first place. Is there a hole in the market that you want to fill? A specific category of customers that you find is underserved? A desire to do good in the world, to help people? A desire for fulfillment? Or to push the limits, to innovate? All reasons are good and give a feeling of enlightenment, of having a purpose.
This why is sometimes lost in the busy life of the retail world and as the business grows. Successful retailers don’t lose sight of their original purpose. The why is the pillar that allows you to build a thriving store.
2. Care About Your Customers (and Demonstrate it)
One of the keys to success in retail is adopting a customer-centric approach. It is essential to know who your customers are, to understand their needs, their preferences and what they don’t like. Collect their feedback and factor it into your decisions to improve your store and show your customers that you care.
To show that you care about your customers, you must also provide exceptional customer service and build strong relationships with the customers. In the customer-centric approach, the retailer personalizes the shopping experience in every way possible. For example, on its website, it uses the data (purchase history, pages visited) that it has collected to suggest certain products to customers.
It is also necessary to take into consideration the obstacles that customers encounter during the sales process. They can be numerous:
- Prices are too high.
- Poor product quality.
- Lack of knowledge of the products.
- The unavailability of the desired product.
- Complicated or too long payment process.
- Delivery costs and times.
- Lack of trust in the store or product.
- Negative comments from other customers on the web.
- Complicated or unclear return or refund policy.
- Confusion or paralysis leaving the customer unable to make a decision.
- Lack of comfort or ease in shopping (example: waiting lines that are too long, difficulty to find products, problems navigating the website).
Retailers who are aware of all these obstacles can minimize them as much as possible. Minimal obstacles are key to the success of a store.
For example, if the prices are too high and no one is buying, the retailer has no choice but to lower the prices. If the purchasing process is too long or complicated, the retailer finds a way to shorten and simplify it.
Some barriers cannot be controlled, but the retailer must ensure that those that can be removed are eliminated and thus encourage customers to make purchases.
Build Customer Loyalty
Retaining customers is much cheaper than acquiring new ones. It is therefore essential for a retailer to build lasting relationships with customers so they come back to buy again and again.
Loyalty programs have multiple benefits and are a proven way to build customer loyalty, but it’s not the only way. Good customer service and friendly employees keep customers coming back.
Sales is both an art and a science: it is therefore necessary to see sales as a process. Each customer is at a different stage of this process. Some are ready to buy and just need a spark that is begging to be ignited for them to take action. Others are thinking about buying, but aren’t ready yet. You must take into account the customer’s state of mind and the stage they are at to adopt the right strategy to convince them to make a purchase in your store.
3. Have an Effective Marketing Strategy
To be successful, you inevitably need to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes both online and offline tactics. You need to promote your store to first increase its notoriety, then to encourage people to buy. Targeted marketing campaigns are helpful in attracting and retaining customers. Marketing is key to the success of a store.
To attract new customers and retain current customers, particularly in the most competitive environments, you must first offer a special or unique element. This element can be the price of your products, your products themselves which fill a specific need that no other company fills, your customer service or the atmosphere in your store.
When you have found that unique proposition, the next step is to communicate it to people. This can be done through advertisements, posts on social networks or your website. You also need to analyze what your competitors are doing to be in a position to stand out. That way you will attract new customers.
Promotion is essential to selling, but it is not the only ingredient in the recipe for success. Discounts and sales are also important and help encourage customers to purchase products. Do not be afraid to sell products in bundles or offer “2 for 1” deals.
Good salespeople also help increase sales. A friendly salesperson who knows the products and the store well convinces customers more easily to buy the products.
Digital marketing allows you to reach a wider audience, increase store traffic and increase sales, in addition to being fast and affordable. With an SEO (search engine optimization) strategy, publications on social networks, advertisements on the web or even a vibrant website, you can reach new heights.
Social media is a good way to interact with customers and find out what they need, what affects them, their preferences, what they don’t like, etc.
4. Put Together a Fantastic Team
The team plays a determining role in the success (or failure) of the company. One of the keys to the success of a store is therefore to hire your employees very selectively. You have to choose the right people (which does not mean hiring only people with diplomas and 20 years of experience). Of course, these elements can contribute to the success of your store, but it is primarily about hiring individuals with the following qualities:
- Willingness to learn.
- Interpersonal skills.
These people must also work well as a team and have enthusiasm to spare! This way, you ensure that you hire people who will know how to sell your products to customers and provide customer service that will make customers want to come back and buy from your store.
Once you are confident that you have hired the right people, it is essential to train them well. They must be the personification of your store’s mission and values, if they weren’t already when they were hired, and have all the knowledge necessary to do their job well.
You have to show them everything: how to use the systems, your processes and your sales techniques. They need to have in-depth knowledge of your business, its goals, and the products you offer to make sales after sales.
It’s also important to continue training them regularly so that they stay informed about industry trends and new products.
The key to ensuring that employees provide excellent and consistent customer service is to establish and maintain a positive corporate culture. This will empower employees to provide good service to customers.
The most successful retailers know they can’t do everything alone, and they surround themselves with the people who will best contribute to their success.
5. Invest in a Good Point of Sale System
A good point of sale system does wonders for a store. By choosing the point of sale (POS) software best suited to your store, you will save a lot more time and money, simplify boring or irritating tasks and allow employees to dedicate more attention to customers.
Choosing a point of sale software can sometimes be difficult, but it is important as it is a key element to the success of a store. Click here to find tips for picking the right POS system for you.
Some softwares, such as Alice POS, offer an all-in-one solution, such as order tracking, transactions and inventory tracking. Connect it to a scanner, a cash drawer and a payment terminal, and you have everything you need to process transactions quickly and smoothly. This will also allow you to provide better service to customers!
6. Manage Inventory Efficiently
One of the keys to success is managing inventory efficiently. With experience, you will discover how to avoid surpluses and stock shortages as well as the ideal quantities to always have in stock.
Are you wondering about the best way to manage inventory? Click here to know all the inventory management methods and their benefits.
Inventory management and a point of sale software help with inventory management. These software often have a feature to send an alert when inventory levels are low or fall below a specific threshold. They also collect data and provide useful reports to make informed decisions regarding inventory.
By managing inventory well, you will decrease storage costs, ensure that you always have enough products to meet demand and you will reduce the costs of dead stock.
7. Adopt an Omnichannel Strategy
In today’s world, having a presence across multiple channels is essential. A store cannot succeed without having an easy-to-use e-commerce website.
Consumers like to have a choice in how they shop. Of course, some people like to go to the store in person, for its atmosphere or to touch the product they want to buy. Others prefer to shop online, from the comfort of their home. For these people, it is essential to offer a fast, simple and quality delivery service to make them want to order from your store again in the future.
Many customers like to shop online and pick up the product in store. To satisfy these customers, offer the “Buy online, pick up in store” option.
The goal of being present on multiple channels (web, apps, social media) is to offer the best possible experience and reach as many people as possible. By offering multiple options, you reduce obstacles to purchase and ensure your customers have the shopping experience that suits them best.
8. Do Not Neglect the Layout of the Store
The presentation and layout are what are seen first by customers. So, they must be impeccable and meticulous down to the smallest detail.
Attractive displays are the first step to success. They help to attract the attention of customers first, then encourage them to buy. They showcase your brand and help create a memorable shopping experience. If customers remember your store, even just by the visuals, they are more likely to return.
Store layout also plays an important role in sales. Circulation in the store must be easy and all products must be accessible. Nothing can be left to chance. For example, placing two products often sold together next to each other can encourage customers to buy more. Some techniques exist to encourage customers to purchase specific products, such as placing popular products at eye level or placing more expensive products prominently.
The last element not to be overlooked in the presentation is the atmosphere. Atmosphere influences purchasing decisions. Well-chosen lighting highlights the products. Music, smells and everything that arouses the senses are part of this atmosphere. Samples and interactive areas spark engagement and interest and sometimes give the little push the customer needs to take action.
9. Measure Your Performance and Analyze the Data
Measuring your performance in terms of sales, inventory or clicks on your website or ads helps you understand what is working and what is not. So you have the knowledge and skills to focus on what works and change what is hindering your success. For example, if you sell little of a product, you can find out quickly and take necessary action. Measuring performance is key to the success of a store.
Feel free to regularly ask your customers and employees for feedback and ideas to improve the store. This will give you perspectives that you probably would never have thought of on your own. You can also gather data on customer preferences and needs to better address them.
Use this data to make informed decisions and optimize operations. A point of sale software is very helpful in this regard, as it generates automatic reports on your sales, inventory and orders and helps predict market and seasonal trends. This allows you to adapt more quickly and boost your sales.
One of the most important keys to success in the world of retail and business is to know how to adapt. Most of the large companies you know have experienced difficult times, but they have emerged stronger by adapting to market trends or new realities of the market and the world.
So stay open to change and keep yourself informed of new trends in your industry and new technologies. Stay tuned for changes in the market.
It is by learning from your failures and by continually wanting to learn and improve that you succeed!
11. Establish a Long-Term Plan
Having clear and achievable goals is a condition without which it is difficult to be successful. You have to know how to balance the short-term success goals and long-term success goals. Have a clear strategic plan to guide you. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to succeed without a plan to minimize unforeseen events and associated losses, to increase profits, to maximize notoriety, and to maintain a positive brand image with the public.
In conclusion, the key to success of a store is not one element. Many elements, such as your team, inventory management and choice of tools help to succeed. There is no real miracle recipe, but by following the advice in this article, you will have more than enough to move towards success.