Business is all about one thing: customers. This is especially true in the world of retail, where news both good and bad can travel quickly through your network of potential customers. You not only need to keep current customers satisfied, but inspire new ones to keep coming back after that all-important first visit.
Retail is incredibly competitive, and businesses of all sizes need to be aware of the current trends in order to succeed. I recommend trying out new ideas in your business every few months to make sure that you are always moving forward. You should gather customer feedback, act on it, and give those fresh ideas time to take root before moving on to another project. I would say that one of the worst things you can do in this business is stand still: There is always a new trend to benefit from, and if you are not using it, your competitors probably are!
Let’s look at some of the most important ways to stay popular in the retail world:
1. Know Your Products Well – Really Well
Over at Bizopy, blogger Dane Carlson has some great advice for how to Attract Customers and Keep Them Coming Back. One of his best ideas? Know your product! It’s not enough to know simply where all the products are in the store: Understand the brands, the latest trends, and how they all fit together in terms of your customers’ buying options. When customers need advice, they will know that they can turn to the experts in your store.
2. Be Glad to See Your Customers
No matter how knowledgeable you are about your products, it takes a sense of friendliness and genuine interest to drive that knowledge home. When customers know that you are willing to find out about them and discuss their needs, they will be more likely to listen to your advice, which will often give you opportunities to cross-sell and upsell that benefit both you and them. A short attitude is remembered, but so is a good one!
3. Make Media Work For You
The Retail Doctor has some terrific ideas over in 7 Ways to Get Foot Traffic to Your Retail Store. Of course, you should do everything you can to leverage big events like holidays and known shopping extravaganzas like Black Friday. However, you can also make your own media events by making your business newsworthy. Donate to charity, reach out to local radio stations during your big promos, and make your business part of the community.
4. Invest in Customer Education
Sales and promotional events aren’t the only ways to get attention for your business. If you know your customers well enough, you will understand what kind of knowledge and information they are after. Even the simplest product can be enhanced by knowing more about it and how to get the most from it. Hosting a workshop or a seminar is especially valuable when you are in an industry that requires some skill, such as home improvement.