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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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