Picture the scene: You’ve launched your brick and mortar shop. It’s been a long process to find the right spot for your store and secure all the products. You’ve obtained a small commercial loan to get yourself started. You’ve even contracted a freelance logo designer to establish your brand. You feel like you’ve done everything possible. But people still don’t buy from your shop. What are you missing?
#1. They don’t know about it
While you’ve been planning your business for several months — sometimes even years — your customers are still new to the idea of your shop. Most may not even be aware that a new shop opened in their local community. The truth is that you can’t wait until people find out about you. It could take ages, by which point, your finances will be in the red. Instead, make sure you’re launching a promotional campaign to inform everyone about your store. Something as simple as placing leaflets in local shops (with the authorisation of the owner) can help spread the word. You can also arrange for door-to-door leaflets in your neighbourhood.
#2. They can’t find you
Your customers could struggle to find your store. Ultimately, a lot of road work projects have transformed city centres and local neighbourhoods during the pandemic. You need to put your business on the map to help people find you. The good news: Google My Business is a free service that ensures you can make your business visible on Google Maps. You can also use the many available functions to display relevant information about your store, including opening hours, contact details, and photos.
#3. They can’t find what they need
Design the perfect layout for your store requires psychological know-how, experimentations, and creative thinking. If you are keen to maintain some form of social distance via your layout, you need to pay close attention to your floor plan creation. A unidirectional shop floor plan can reduce infection risks. Unfortunately, it can make it difficult for customers to find what they need. So, it can be helpful to make best selling products visible at your points of sale. You can find smart POS display accessories such as signage, visible sign holders, and telescopic banners to maximise visibility in a limiting floor plan.
#4. Your store assistants are a turn-off
Shop assistants can help customers and encourage purchases. However, more and more shoppers prefer to browse alone without additional assistance. They find assistants intrusive. It’s not uncommon for shoppers to walk out of a shop because they find the presence of an assistant too stressful. A US- and European-based beauty store, Sephora, has introduced a colour-coding strategy to help customers. Shoppers can find baskets of different colours at the entrance. One colour means they are happy to be helped by an assistant, the other means they prefer to be left alone.
#5. It’s not as good as you thought
For some reason, people don’t like your products. Perhaps, they don’t fit within the local community. More often than not, market research can pinpoint the needs and wants of your local audience. If you are not sure about your products, go back to market research to identify potential issues.
It’s not easy to be the new shop on the block. New retailers often need to go through a learning curve to build their presence within the community. From visibility to lack of behavioural insights, you need to put yourself into your customers’ shoes to leverage your presence.