If you’ve read the headlines about the dying high street, we’re perhaps a little surprised you’re reading this article. However, while the high street is inundated with negative media attention at the moment, some experts believe it still has a chance of coming out the other side.
There’s no doubt that when pitted against online companies, the world of retail is a tricky beast to conquer. However, if you can follow the universal rules, you stand a chance – as we’ll showcase in today’s article.
1Rule #1 – You need to be at the top of your hiring game
As the old saying goes, first impressions count. Let’s not forget that people have physically arrived at your store rather than buying the product in question online. There could be a whole host of reasons behind this, but one of the most common is the ability to ask questions to people who know the subject matter.
Your staff fall into this category. They are the source of knowledge and the reason that many people visit in the first place. As such, you must have a great team to advise potential customers on their purchases. They need to be friendly, approachable – and the type of people to ensure that your store benefits from word-of-mouth marketing.
2Rule #2 – You need to refresh your storefronts and themes
When was the last time you walked into a store and thought, “wow, this looks amazing”? If you’re anything like us, it doesn’t happen that often. In fact, many stores look the same as they did 10, 20, or 30 years ago.
The problem is that people are becoming increasingly accustomed to seeing amazing visuals online. They’re also becoming more and more used to buying products from the comfort of their own homes. As such, you must ensure that your store is an immersive experience that transports them away from the outside world.
What works one month perhaps won’t work the next. Understand your demographics and create a plan to ensure your store looks amazing all year round.
3Rule #3 – Understand all of your costs
This next point isn’t necessarily customer-facing, but you need to understand your costs as profits are as tight as ever in retail. Unfortunately, your costs don’t just include rent; you’ll also have to consider business rates, public indemnity insurance and, of course, utilities.
There are several ways to reduce these costs, but it’s important that you put together a plan that means any surprise bills do not catch you out.
4Rule #4 – Focus on the customer experience
Finally, rule number four is all about the customer experience. In the modern world, people want to be able to buy a product and then have it delivered to their door within 24 hours. If you can’t offer this, you need to ensure that the in-store experience is so good that they’re willing to wait.
This might mean having a great team, as we’ve already discussed. It might also mean having a great returns policy or even offering loyalty cards that give people discounts on future purchases. It may even involve workshops or other immersive experiences that the internet will never be able to compete with.
Whatever you do, ensure that the customer is at the heart of everything. Only then will you be able to compete with the online world.
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