By Cooper Klein
There is no denying that the brick-and-mortar retail industry has been going through a rough patch in the last decade, what with the over-popularization of online shopping and digital marketplaces. While the Ecommerce giants certainly have secured their success for the years to come, that doesn’t mean that offline retailers can’t build a prosperous future by modifying their strategies to stay on top of the ever-fluctuating consumer trends.
From redefining the aesthetic appeal and the layout of your store, to establishing a compelling brand people will want to be a part of, all the way to online marketing and advertising, there is plenty you can do to pave the road to a successful future. Here are the four strategies you need to take to heart.
The importance of an appealing storefront
First impressions matter most, and if your retail store can’t inspire and incentivize passersby to venture inside and check out what’s on sale, then you’re wasting your time, resources, and potential. This is the face you are putting in front of your business, so it would be a wise and cost-effective idea to make it attractive. After all, how else is your store going to stand out from all the rest on the street?
There are numerous ways you can design a storefront, and there are many ways this design can deter potential customers from coming in, so take note:
- Don’t clutter the displays, keep the look simple with select pieces.
- Arrange the display into an appealing image, make it a scene even.
- The overall design should be in line with your brand identity, don’t opt for futuristic digital displays if you’re selling handmade jewelry or all-natural soap.
- If you have plenty on offer, though, invest in a rotating digital display that will showcase prominent products.
- Make it vibrant and interesting. Refrain from uniform designs that include single-color arrangements, but don’t make it look disorganized either – balance will be key.
Build a brand that tells a unique story
In the modern business world, branding is the one thing that can make or break your retail store. Among the seemingly never-ending line of stores competing for the love and affection of the consumers, you need to stand out as the clear choice. This is why comprehensive branding design has become so popular with retail businesses of all sizes, especially the smaller players that need to secure a foothold in the competitive marketplace. Without a brand, what else is there to set you apart?
Not much, really, as there is always another store where people can find similar or identical products. The key to long-term success in this field is to inspire and incentivize, to tell a unique story to the customer and portray the values that they find relevant and meaningful. To achieve this, you will need to build a compelling visual identity and a unique tone of voice for your brand. What’s more, your employees will need to speak the language of your brand fluently.
Focus on comprehensive employee training
Your employees are the backbone of your business. They can make people like you, or they can attract a tidal wave of negative reviews – the training you give them will make this decision. Your team members need to learn exactly how to address and handle your customers, keeping in mind your brand’s values and speaking in its tone of voice.
This will build brand cohesion and consistency. Without harassing the customer or making them feel uneasy, your employees need to be available to lend a helping hand at all times. They should know exactly how to handle difficult customers and resolve issues promptly, without incidents, preferably in person.
Build online recognition and brand awareness
We live in a digital world, and staying offline can only hurt your business in the long run, or worse, shut it down for good. A surefire way to drive a retail business straight into the ground is to refuse to change with the time, so now’s the right moment to boost your innovation strategy.
You can start by directing cash flow towards digital marketing, making sure your offline store has an online identity that will appeal to the digital audience. This is you gateway to a global audience, a chance to elevate your brand awareness to unprecedented heights. Don’t waste it.
The era of traditional retail is far from over, and in fact, there is a distinct possibility that the industry will experience a true renaissance in the years to come. If you want to pave the road to long-term success in the field, you should make these strategies the pillars of your growth plan.
Cooper Klein is an entrepreneur with a degree in Marketing. He’s interested in real estate and home decor. In order to spend more time with his family, Cooper decided to take a break, and he’s currently working from home as a blogger for SmoothDecorator and several other sites. You can find him on Twitter.