Brick & Mortar Retail isn't dead. Here's 8 ideas to bring it back to life.

You can build your store front business with these 8 easy ideas!

If you own a retail store front there may be a growing feeling of desperation as the winter months keep foot traffic low and your sales volume hits rock bottom. But there are remedies to inspire foot traffic, increase sales and draw new customers through your doors.

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1. bring the magic back with inspiring displays

As the weather warms up, foot traffic warms up too! The thrill of discovery is so important to building a loyal audience in your brick & mortar. Rotating and updating your window displays and store displays helps keeps your clients intrigued and even if your inventory isn't fresh, new displays keep it looking brand new. Clients that are drawn in by beautiful window displays and then engaged with delightful visual merchandising  inside, are likely to buy in the moment. We love the way Great House in Summit, NJ updates their store visuals. we look forward to the treasure hunt every time we visit!

 
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2. Seasonal sales

If you are hosting a seasonal sale- is it a show stopper and enticing from the street? Sales are not the traffic driver they once were. Everyone is bombarded with promotional emails from big box stores   screaming about their most recent & never ending sale. Try using LARGE and unusual graphics that make a statement.  They should be designed to draw attention  as customers drive by in their cars and stop them as they walk by your store front.  House & Closet in Point Pleasant, NJ nails it with these stand out sale signs!

 
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3. Customer service sells

Get to know the people that walk through your doors. This may seem like a basic concept, but we work with a lot of specialty boutiques that really miss the boat on this one. Train yourself and your store team to really get to know your customers. Ask lots of questions: Where do they live? What brought them inside? Really engage with your potential client. If you are just standing behind your counter, or only offer to show them what they ask for, it's simple - YOU AREN'T IN THE RIGHT BUSINESS!

Remember that good customer service is something that you will need to spend time training your employees on.  According to Bob Phibbs, The Retail Doctor:

Without good training, good customer service is left up to each employee’s interpretation.

Take the effort to train your employees on your expectations and be sure they understand your vision of selling and  excellence in customer service.

 

4. Partner with a complimentary community business 

Get to know your business community and find a partner to bring new clients in your business. If you are a chiropractor, ask a fitness professional to host a workshop. Do you sell women's fashions? Ask a neighborhood salon to give quick makeup tips during an evening sip and shop event. Fitness studio - bring in a massage therapist for complimentary or discounted services. By utilizing these partnerships and client lists for events, it becomes mutually beneficial  and allows both businesses exposure to a new client base.

 

5. Give people a reason to come out of hibernation with fun events

Don't wait for your clients to come out of hibernation to shop. Entice them with lots of exciting events. Plan your marketing calendar today and fill it with seasonal events with lots of variety. Your store can host speakers, business groups, charitable events, trunk shows, pop up shops and more. Make the events fun and interesting and spread the word through EventBrite and Facebook. See how the Laundromat Bar in Morristown, NJ successfully hosts a Vegan Popup Shop . These unlikely partners may seem like two unrelated business concepts & customers. The reality is it's a great way to introduce a whole new client base to their business! 

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6. No one needs what you sell - but they shop with you because you make them feel great!

People buy because of how you make them feel. You are a professional in your business and understanding the psychology behind a customer's purchasing decisions is helpful in building your sales volume. The interaction with your clients helps to establish trust, value and loyalty. Do you have an elevator pitch ready to share with your potential customers? Hear some of the best elevator pitches from THE SKIMM  on Facebook.

 

7. Use Loyalty & Rewards Programs to encourage referrals & repeat business.

There is no better advertising then word of mouth and referrals. Once you have a customer in your store give them lots of reasons to come back. Use  these ideas on Pinterest for loyalty & reward cards and design your own. These are a cost effective opportunity for marketing your business.

 
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8. Thank you notes & other ways to make your customers feel special

How you finish with a customer is as important as how you started. The finishing touch assures that they remain happy and loyal. Is your follow up with your customer an email or hand written thank you note? Do you send them birthday or anniversary cards? Showing your clients how much you appreciate them can be done with loyalty reward cards or referral cards. The most valuable tool in getting a client referral or a repeat customer is in the closing of your interaction. Be sure to provide a memorable experience from the moment a customer walks through the door to the moment they leave. 

Retail is a never ending sport that you really need to be passionate about in order to succeed. Swivel Works prides itself on helping retailers accomplish more with project management and solutions. We are retail specialists and understand ALL the effort that goes into running your specialty boutique. We are excited to spotlight business owners just like you in our feature blogs. Have a minute to tell us more about you? We would love to hear and share your story!

Andrea Turner