Through the first part of this series, we have talked about how to plan for opening your retail store?. And, We have showcased some of the experts’ insights that could guide you on your journey.
This is the second part of the article “how to open a retail store?!”, where we will continue exploring the vital steps you should go through to proceed with opening your retail business. For part 1 you could go review the article here.
5- Create an experience that is personalized
You should think about how to add value to the business where your competitors cannot. You could achieve this using personalization. As an example, this could be done by allowing your customers to try the products; for example, offering food samples or the opportunity to try out clothes at a clothes shop, which gives an advantage for brick-and-mortar over online retailers, as the first gets to offer a deeper level of personalization.
As online shopping is getting to be more convenient, physical stores need to think of reasons so that customers would go visit them, that’s why personalization and quality in-store experiences are crucial to keeping attracting customers.
That’s why the biggest question an entrepreneur needs to answer is whether they can provide their customers with unique & new experiences, no matter what they are selling, since through such experience they are creating a value that cannot be replicated elsewhere.
The customer should always be your focus when selecting a physical store for your customer to visit, as you should always seek a place that helps complement such unique experience that fits both your model and your customers. In-store decision-making should be strongly related to the experience that you create for your customers.
6- Cultivate vendor relationships
When you think about opening a retail location you should put a lot of emphasis on developing strong relationships with your vendors to prevent potential issues, as it’s important to continually please your customers despite any challenges you could face.
If you’re able to quickly develop relationships with vendors, it will set your business up for success. This can prove difficult if you’re using overseas vendors.
So, if you are able to quickly develop successful relationships with your vendors, it will highly increase your business chances of success. However, this could be more challenging as you are using overseas vendors.
The global supply chain is changing and imposing uncertainties which could make it more challenging to provide the goods and services that are needed. So, you will need support if you are to fully or partially source your products from outside your country, besides, you will need to partner with experts in sourcing, logistics, customs and more.
7- Seek marketing opportunities
Marketing is an integral part of your successful retail store. So, for example, if you have an online retail business but you are willing to expand and have a physical store as well, you might consider experimenting first with pop-shops; the ones that are available for a short duration in temporary locations. For example; your clothing store may open for a 1-day event downtown.
Pop-up shops give your business a chance to have a physical form to see if it can attract new customers, and it’s a good opportunity if your online business can be transformed into a brick-and-mortar store.
Even if you don’t have an online store, it’s still a good idea to experiment with pop-up shops, as for example opening a pop-up shop every now and then so that you expand your customer base to new locations, even if you have your existing brick-and-mortar store.
So for example, if you decide to open a pop-up store 20 to 30 minutes away from your store it could pique the interest of new customers and motivate them to visit your original store or even buy online. So, as you can see a pop-up shop can create a buzz around your store for a few days or even weeks. Other useful marketing tools could be social media or in-store discounts. Sales could also be a good way to bring customers into your store.
As an example; offering 30% discount during a holiday weekend may increase traffic into your store. You can also get creative with further marketing opportunities, too. You could for example sell your products at 10% off from Dec. 20 to 24 so that attempt to attract last-minute shoppers. Otherwise, you could sell from Dec. 26 to early January for shoppers willing to buy in advance of the upcoming holiday season.
Regardless of what tactic you use, try to be creative. Find ways to reach your customers using different methods and creative marketing ways. Running a retail business requires persistence and to reach the success you need quality marketing campaigns.
8- Plan your grand opening
If you are opening a retail store, try to have a big ceremony for the opening. While it does not mean you have to spend too much on it, you would want to make it a remarkable event.
Reaching out to local media outlets and share with them the opening date of your store. Media coverage is an ideal way to spread the word about your business, and make sure you prepare a good pitch with the journalists as to why your store is a great addition to the local community.
Also, you could announce your business launch on social media and other marketing channels weeks in advance, as it’s better than just waiting a few days before your business opens doors.
Also be mindful about your opening timing, as for example opening a store on a Tuesday midday does not make much of an impact as opposed to the opening on Saturday morning which could be a perfect opportunity before a busy retail day. Your grand opening is a great opportunity to kick-start your business and leave a memorable effect on exciting your customers.
To open a retail store, you should first choose your target audience, decide what you are selling and whom you are selling to. Start searching for the proper location and finish the legal & financial requirements. Consider different marketing channels and tactics that work best for your business. Finally, plan your grand opening and your retail business shall be good to go.
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