Monday, February 4, 2008

Are you worthy of having a storefront?

I started writing about this subject on my other blog that quotes a research study that points out that there are certain aspects of in person retail that cannot be replaced by on line retail.

I want to make sure you are aware of some of these uniquenesses that cannot be replaced by the internet, so that your in person store is living up to it's potential.

Start with the 5 senses:

  1. Sight. Does your store look good? Is it pleasing to the eye? Does it reflect the atmosphere of you and your products and services? What should you change to improve the visual aspects of your store?
  2. Smell. Science has shown that women have a keener sense of smell than men. Make sure you have a woman with a keen sense of smell walk through your store and give you honest feedback. You can also create a scent for your store. Warm and inviting candles, muffins, coffee, chocolate, or other scents can be used to create a positive aroma. But don't just try and cover up a bad scent. Eliminate the bad oder, and then replace it with a positive scent.
  3. Taste. Yes, you do not need to be a food or beverage establishment to offer this to your customers. I know of a shredding business that always has fresh cookies for their walk in customers; a hair salon and spa that has your choice of naturally flavored water, tea, or coffees.
  4. Touch. This is a big one. I recall a few years ago helping a furniture store with their floor plan. They had all the baby cribs bunched together like a row of cars. I personally re arraigned that section of the store into a maze-like display which forced customers to look at and touch each crib. They sold their first crib within two hours. If you sell clothing, make sure you have dressing rooms that are comfortable. This is one big advantage that you have over on line retail. Yesterday I bought twice as much as I planned due to the ability to browse in a store and imagine possibilities as I wandered.
  5. Sound. Yesterday, I also visited the mall. some of those stores I would not visit because of the loud annoying music. Sound does not have to be loud to have an impact. Subtle can have a stronger impact by creating an atmosphere that our subconscious picks up on and can enhance our mood and actually increase sales by 10 to 50%, depending on what you are selling.
There is one more important reason for having a storefront that people visit and that is the human experience that comes from the service you and your staff give. Either replace or retrain anyone that does not live up to the standards that you want your customers to experience.

Remembering these tips and following these guidelines will not just help you stay in business, they will become the reason you are in business, unless you want to be replaced by an on line retailer!

No comments:

Post a Comment