Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. As with any business, customers have expectations. If you’re running a retail business, it’s critical to understand what your customers expect. The following contributed post is entitled, What Do Customers Expect From Your Retail Business?
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Running a retail store is harder than ever because you are competing with so many online companies. But there are still plenty of people that like to shop in a physical store and you can build a very successful business if you know what you are doing. Unfortunately, a lot of business owners don’t know what their customers want from their store and so they focus on the wrong areas. It’s easy to blame your lack of customers on the competition from e-commerce but you have to entertain the idea that it might be because you are not giving your customers what they want. So, what are the main things that customers want from a retail store?
A Well Presented Store
If you want to draw foot traffic to your store, you need to make sure that it’s modern and well presented. A store that hasn’t been decorated for ten years isn’t going to catch the attention of people as they walk past, it will fade into the background and people will see it as a relic of the past. If you want to get customers through the door, you need to invest some money in decorating the store and making it look good. Keeping the store clean and tidy at all times is also very important because a messy store doesn’t make for a very positive shopping experience.
An Efficient Shopping Experience
Efficiency is vital if you want to compete with online retail. Online shopping is quick and easy, which is why people love it, and if your store doesn’t offer an equally stress-free experience, you will struggle to get customers.
Start by looking at your store layout and thinking about how easy it is to navigate. You want your best deals and most popular items near the front so people can easily find what they need. You also need to arrange things in a logical way so similar items are grouped together. Finally, make sure there are plenty of signs so people can find the right section.
You also need to streamline your checkout process to make things run smoothly. If you don’t already accept credit cards in your retail store, you need to update your POS systems to incorporate more payment options. People expect multiple payment options and it is very frustrating for them if you only take cash. Make sure that you have a well designed queue area and you schedule staff effectively so people are not waiting a long time to be served.
People like shopping in retail stores instead of online because they can speak to somebody and get some advice on their purchases. This personal service is the main thing that sets you apart from online competitors, so you need to make sure you get it right. When you are hiring retail staff, make sure that you test to see how knowledgeable they are about the products and provide plenty of training so they can answer any questions that your customers may have.
These are the 3 main things that customers expect when they visit your retail store. If you can’t get these aspects right, you will struggle to compete.