The retail industry is one of the most competitive industries out there. Building up your brand can be tough and success is hard-won, but if you do succeed, it’s so rewarding to see your business thrive and to see people in the street wearing clothes from your shop or carrying bags with your shop’s name on them. Here are 5 top tips for all aspiring retailers.
1. Research, Research, Research…
Before you ever set up your retail business, you need to put a lot of time and effort into researching your market and your competitors. Who will your shop target? Whether you’re selling shoes or vintage clothing or wedding dresses, you need to know what demographic you’re targeting and what they’re willing to spend. Which shops will you be competing against? Visit your competitors’ shops to see how they run their business, what products they sell and their price range. How will your shop differ from theirs? What will your unique selling point be? You need to know these things if you want your business to succeed.
2. Create a Buzz Online
Social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, offer retailers the opportunity to build up their brand online for free. By using these sites wisely – posting pictures of your products, promotions and other updates – you can get on people’s radar and guide more traffic to your site at no cost to you! You can even create a buzz about your business using these sites before your shop opens so you can be sure of custom on your opening day – you could even create an opening event with free finger food or fancy drinks (think ‘elderflower pressé’ rather than champagne!) to get people in the door on day one.
3. Sell Online
As well as using the internet to advertise your shop, set up a website where people can buy your clothes online. This is a great way of making more sales, adding to the income you make in the shop.
You want to choose a location with high levels of daily footfall, so more people will happen across your shop and wander in. If you’re in an out-of-the-way location, your business will struggle as people rarely go in search of a particular shop, preferring instead to browse, and if yours isn’t in the same area as other shops, you’ll get very few people in the door.
As a retailer, you should be wary of shoplifters depleting your stock. Most shops have CCTV cameras nowadays and good quality, secure roller doors on your shop façade are essential in order to protect your shop and your stock during the night.
Although competitive, the retail industry can be a very satisfying one as your stock changes with the seasons, keeping things fresh and interesting, as well as the social aspect of chatting with your shop’s customers.