Can Your Small Store Get Noticed on a Busy High Street

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. With all the businesses out it can be tough to be noticed particularly if you have a small store. A key to your success will be getting it noticed and what helps is to situate your operations on a highly trafficked street. The following contributed post is entitled, Can Your Small Store Get Noticed on a Busy High Street.

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Small independent shops are a crucial element of our economy and culture. Small stores give consumers options away from global brands. They often offer unique items of high quality, ideal for those of us that don’t want to be exactly the same as everyone else. They are able to provide excellent customer service, something which unfortunately often gets overlooked by larger brands focused on driving sales. These small businesses build relationships with their customers and give people a reason to shop in person, instead of sitting at home and ordering their purchases online. Small stores have many advantages over large chains, and many people love shopping in them.

But, despite knowing all of this, and knowing that your community is keen to support local business, if you own a small store of your own, something that you may worry about is getting noticed. You might have considered moving into out of town locations, where competition is lower, and property is cheaper. But, doing this is a risk, there’s less passing footfall, and your store has to try harder to give customers a reason to travel. On the high street, people are already there. You just need to give them a reason to come inside. If you can get noticed.

Build a Reputation

One of the best ways to get people into your store, instead of through the doors of bigger businesses nearby is by building a great reputation. Use your interactions in store, but also your engagement online, to get to know your customers. Become known as a business that goes the extra mile for their customers, and even do some charity work to boost your reputation in the wider community. Make it so people want to come to the high street for your shop.

Stand Out from the Crowd

Just like everything else, store styles and layouts have trends and fashions. Things become popular and trendy, so every store jumps on the bandwagon. They all look the same. If you want your store to get noticed, be the one that doesn’t follow trends. Be the one that has a strong look, and rocks it. Look at awnings installation, and other colorful ideas to make a statement. Don’t be afraid to try new things and to take risks with your designs. You can always make further changes and tone things down if you need to.

Put Effort into Your Window Displays

Some shops, say Apple, don’t need to worry about what is in their windows. They might not even have window displays. Customers see their logo, and they know enough to decide whether they want to go inside or not. You don’t have this luxury. Your window displays speak for your business. Display your best products and key brand messages, but don’t overcrowd and overwhelm. Keep things simple and show off what is important.

Get Outdoors

There’s nothing to stop you pulling people in from outside. Send staff out to speak to people and give away free samples, set up a stall in your carpark or on the street, print adverts and flyers to let people know where you are. Don’t wait for people to come to you, go out and get them.

How To Make Your Online Store a Success

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. Setting up an online store is much different than setting up a traditional bricks and mortar store. For an online store, you must become savvy in terms of technology in addition to marketing. The following contributed post is thus entitled, How To Make Your Online Store a Success.

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If you love retail and decided to create an online store instead of investing in a brick-and-mortar shop, you are up against a huge competition. It is important that you are able to make the most out of your reach, engagement, and productivity, and automate processes that would take you too long to complete. There are several things to pay attention to before you launch your store, such as market positioning, competition, and customer behavior. Find out more below.

Market Research

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It is important that you pay attention to your market research and get to know your target market. This doesn’t only apply to your potential clients, but also your competition. It is crucial that you find out about the best methods to penetrate the market and find the gap you can fill. Look for profitable underserved markets and position yourself in a smart way in the marketplace. There are so many free market research tools you can utilize, such as Google Surveys or downloadable industry reports.

Name

Your business name has to be memorable and catchy, also give out the right message about what you stand for. It might be a good idea to create a mission, vision, and values statement before you would create a logo and brand name, so you can fully align it with your target market’s. After you have created your market research file, you will be able to identify your ideal client, and choose your brand name based on their characteristics. Be careful when choosing a brand name, as it can lower the value of your brand.

Brand Image

Once you have your brand name, you can start working on your brand image, too. You should be consistent when it comes to your social media accounts, your logo, and your website, but most importantly – develop your unique brand voice. Listen to your audience and their feedback, find out what they are looking for when searching for similar products and how they choose who to buy from.

Website

Of course, if you want to launch an online store, you will need to pay attention to your web development and design. You have to make it user friendly and engaging. You need to communicate the benefits of your products, not only the features. This is where many startup online store owners make a mistake. You need to gain people’s trust as well before you can convince them to give your products a try.

Shopping Cart Software

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While the design and functionality of your website is important, you will need to ensure that your infrastructure is easy to use and tailored to your customers’ needs. If you don’t know where to start, you will need to talk to seo agencies that optimize Shopify stores so you can get enough traffic and conversion. You want your visitors to quickly find what they are looking for, add them to their basket, but you might even design a system that recommends similar or complementary products so you can maximize your sales opportunities.

Social Media

You might have already heard about Pinterest success for online stores, but you will have to make the most out of your social media reach and use different platforms. It might be challenging to keep on top of all your posts and monitor the performance of all your accounts, especially if you are busy running your own business. You might want to automate your social media so you can make the most out of your reach and get a snapshot of your statistics, to find out what type of content your audience engages with.

Review Sites

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If you want your website visitors to trust you, it is important that you get listed and featured in online directories and on review sites. People want to know that you are keeping your promises and they can get a good service. They are more likely to listen to other people’s recommendations and reviews than your own marketing messages, so it is crucial that you implement these features in your social media and your website, too. After all, your shop’s reputation is one of the most valuable assets in your business.

Starting an online store is hard work, and there is no guarantee of success. However, you can do your research and get to know the industry, your competition, and the available technology to scale up your operation and make continuous improvements that will improve your traffic, engagement, and sales conversions at the same time.

Old School And New Approaches: Essentials For Running A Store In The Modern World

Some of the key focuses of my blog are: Financial Literacy, Wealth Building, Business and Entrepreneurship. Doing business has changed significantly in today’s digital/information age. Many ‘brick and mortar’ retail stores have folded altogether, while others have had to rethink their business models in order to survive. What are the keys to running store in the modern world? The following contributed post is entitled; Old School And New Approaches: Essentials For Running A Store In The Modern World.

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There are two schools of thought when it comes to setting up a retail store in the modern world. Firstly, you may find that your target audience doesn’t physically go shopping, but prefer to go online. But, conversely, the demand for a physical store in recent years has seen a rise. And if you are selling products of various types, the temptation could be to go via an online marketplace, but you could find that you are neglecting certain parts of your target market. But, are there things we can do to harness the online capabilities with the offline capabilities in a physical setting?

Implementing The Quick Checkout Service
The best way to marry the fast checkout service of an online store with the personal approach to the modern retail store is to have online payment services inside the store. The vast majority of stores have self-service methods to pay now, as well as various ways in which to provide payment, such as through your cell phone. But in addition to this, you need to still implement a personal approach to your customers, and this can be quite tricky to get right because it depends on each individual customer. At the end of the day, the customers come into a physical store because they want ease of access to a product, and they want to see it themselves. So, as soon as they find that the product suits their needs, they want to be able to pay for it without lengthy queues. On the other hand, others still prefer that old school approach. Implementing both covers all bases.

Taking Responsibility For Your Customers
And as the physical setting requires a lot more consideration in relation to health and safety, this means that you have a few more things to consider in comparison to an online store. Whether this is employers liability insurance just in case of accidents in your store, or ensuring there’s enough space for your customers to walk around, this is a deft combination of legal compliance with common sense. Taking responsibility for your customers isn’t just relating to the safety side of things, but also ensuring they have a good experience in your store, and this boils down to how your employees interact with the customers.

Looking After Your Workers
A very easy thing to overlook nowadays is the impact that your workers can have on the customers. Because personal interaction is at an all-time low, with the reliance of the internet to do the vast majority of our work for us, the personal touch is a very difficult thing to achieve. This is why you have to work with your employees to ensure that they are not just representing your store properly, but they have the common courtesy that we demand as customers. But in addition to this, the retail industry is notoriously underpaid and overworked, which this is something else you have to think about when it comes to making your employees work effectively for you, but that they’re also happy in the position.

The best retail store is a component of the old school personal methods, with the modern technological approaches. It’s a tricky balance, but they are both essential in the modern retail store.

5 Secrets For “Cute Store” Success

Two of the focuses of my blog are Business and Entrepreneurship. The following contributed post was written by Becky Meredith. It discusses 5 Secrets For “Cute Store” Success.

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If you’ve been around any upmarket town or tourist destination, you’ll have seen those “cute stores,” the ones that sell carefully selected items related to clothing, home, or paper products. They’re nice to be in, and it’s rare that you don’t walk away without one purchase that lifts your spirits a little bit. If you’ve got an ambition to own your own type of “cute store,” then the first thing to know is that its hard work! But it’s not impossible. Below, we take a look at five ideas for helping you make your store a success.

Source: Pexels.com

Get Inspired

The look of the store is one of the strongest features of this type of business. It is not your typically “rows and rows of shelves” business; the items are scattered around in a more general way, as if they’re not really for sale at all, but rather been left there by a forgetful owner. You should set the tone with your entranceway. This should tell your visitors that they’re not walking into any old and ordinary type of business, but that they’re entering a more luxurious world. Work with a designer to get the look of your store just right, or, if you don’t have the budget, take a look at Pinterest instead.

A Calming Environment

The look is important, but it’s absolutely essential that you have a calming environment. You’re trying to show your customer that this is no ordinary business. When you walk into most shops, the stress levels begin to spike. In your store, they’ll drop; it’ll be more like walking into a spa! But how do you do this? You can engage in a little scent marketing by installing a cold air diffuser from www.aromatechsystems.com. You can set atmospheric mood lighting, the opposite of the “high and bright” lighting of other stores. You can play soft music. Essentially, think about all the things you do to help you relax in your living room, and add them to your store.

We’re All Equal

Your store is going to be the well-dressed, good-looking store on the street. Your customers might not be the same. But remember, in business – and actually, in life – there’s no room for a sense of superiority. Whoever comes through your door must be given the full experience of your shop. This means that you can’t get away with setting your prices too high just because you’ve done things a little differently.

Original Goods

Aside from the look and feel of your store, your main selling point will be your products, which will be different from what you normally find in shops. So take the time to think carefully about the products you’re selling. The shopping experience in your store is to feel “exclusive,” and that won’t happen if you’re stocking the same items as everyone else. When it comes to picking your items, remember that it’s better to have fewer items that are high-quality rather than stacking the shelves high!