Do: Train your sales associates as to how you expect customers to be treated, whether in-store, online (email & social media) or on the telephone. As the business owner, proper examples of how customers should be greeted and treated should be a top priority. Run monthly meetings with your team and discuss what can be done to increase the consumer experience effectively. Trust us — it’s worth it! There are also plenty of articles on the Internet regarding customer service best practices. Read them carefully and apply what you think will work best for your business.
Don’t: Have the mentality that because you have a well-designed store, in a fantastic location, with high prices, you are assured retail success. Bad customer service can poison any business, and in the mobile technology world we now live in, with online review sites such as Yelp, Facebook, and Google, your online reputation is significant. The last thing you want as a new store business owner are negative reviews surfacing before you can make a positive impression within your community.
Effective Usage of Merchandise Space
Do: Work directly with your Handy Store Fixtures Store Designer to effectively take advantage of retail merchandise space. Since you are paying rent on the entire area, take appropriate action to make sure you are getting the most out of your store. This includes increasing the heights on your gondola and wall shelving units to allow more products to be displayed, which will impress your customers.
Don’t: Forget to take advantage of natural interior building features such as windows, brick walls, or columns. Products like see-thru wall units allow windows and brick to be seen at their best advantage, while slatwall panels can be cut down to size for retailers looking to merchandise products on columns.
Do: Carefully analyze the amount of foot traffic that will be in the general location of your new store. It’s imperative to conduct a market research analysis of the geographic location and determine if your store will be a good fit for the community. Also, keep in mind the number of competitor stores in the same industry and the proximity of those competing businesses to your store location.
Don’t: Choose a store location because you "love" it, or because you negotiated a fantastic deal on rent. For example, if you are looking to open a pet shop but are choosing a location that’s not in a suburban area with many young families, that may not be the most strategic business idea.
Related: Brick and Mortar Stores vs. Online Stores: How to Increase Foot Traffic
There’s so much to think about and do before starting your own business, but many small business owners don’t know that without a proper store design and layout, your hard work will go to waste. The team at Handy Store Fixtures has over 60 years experience designing and creating successful store layouts for businesses in every industry. When you’re ready to open your retail store, our store designers are here to help.