Achieve your shops’ full potential by @AMCS #IndieRetail

AMCS’s Top 5 tips to improve your store without spending!

With the difficult trading conditions continuing, it’s important to squeeze every last bit of potential from your shop. Whilst there are countless options, many of them – such as refurbishment, point of sale etc. – can carry a high cost. Listed below are my top tips for no cost improvements.

  1. Shop Frontage: Invite your customers in! Don’t clutter up the windows and doors with stickers, posters, notices etc. Clear as much space as possible so your customers can see in and make it inviting! A closed shop door is probably the biggest obstacle a customer can face, so if it’s practical, try leaving the doors open. Don’t fill the entrance with dump bins and displays, this can cause congestion and turn people away. If you have a parking area, ensure it’s always clear – don’t use it as your rubbish area. Pull up any weeds that may have grown. A few times a day remove any litter that may have accumulated.
  2. Counter: There’s nothing worse than arriving at a counter with a handful of products and having nowhere to put it! Make sure there is a clear area for customers to put the product down and space for you to efficiently scan & bag the items. A counter totally filled with small stands makes it hard for customers and for you. It hides you and reduces your visibility therefore affecting security. Whilst impulse sales are important be selective about your counter displays. Instead, try selling rather than just offering add-ons. E.g. suggest batteries for the torch, cleaner for the jewellery, crisps with the sandwich etc.
  3. Stock & Space: With the introduction of affordable EPoS systems, shops are becoming more efficient with range and stock-holding but less so with knock on effect of space allocation. Empty shelves sell nothing and look bad – that’s a fact! If you’ve thinned down your range, consider remerchandising into a smaller space. In a smaller store, this can give the opportunity to reduce the length of gondolas – making the shop feel bigger and allowing better circulation for customers. Alternatively it can allow you to create feature, promotional or seasonal bays.
  4. Talk to your customers: Everyone says hello, how are you, thank you and goodbye – but how often do you engage with your customers? How often do you ask whether they’ve found everything they needed? If you’re thinking of introducing a new range, why not ask for opinions? Ask them why they shop with you. If you’re feeling particularly brave ask them what they didn’t like or what would stop them coming back.
  5. Open your eyes: We often forget that we are actually customers every day. We all go shopping somewhere and have opinions on that experience. But, how observant are you? How often do you take a step back and look at your shop as your customers do? Do they see the lovely backlit display unit or do they see a door open to an untidy stockroom? Maybe they see the lovely new range you’ve brought in but it might actually be the three strips lights flickering they notice.

Returning to point one…Without looking at it, think about your front door. What colour is it? Which way does it open? What stickers / posters / signs are on it? Irrespective of whether you get the answers right, go outside and look at it again with those questions in your head. What you’ll see is what your customers see.Multiple retailers spend millions on all five of these subjects every year to ensure continuity, standards and brand awareness. You’ve just started to do the same thing – but at the low, discounted price of… FREE!

This blog was written by Adrian Mawdsley MIC of Adrian Mawdsley Consulting Services

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About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email champion@retailchampion.co.uk.
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2 Responses to Achieve your shops’ full potential by @AMCS #IndieRetail

  1. Pingback: Achieve your shops’ full potential by @AMCS #IndieRetail | AMCS2010

  2. Pingback: Hoisted by my own petard… | AMCS2010

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