Sarah Hamlin, Regional Director
Wyoming Small Business Development Center Network
Let’s face it, online shopping is here to stay. In addition to seeing an increase in online sales, we are also seeing an increase in offline sales influenced by what customers search for online. What this means is that your customers encounter an online retail experience that is personalized, well organized, visual and designed to lead them naturally and efficiently towards a purchase.
Main street retailers can take a cue from e-commerce sites by incorporating the very best of the online retail experience into their brick and mortar shop by following these tips.
- Identify Your Target Market
It all starts with knowing who your likely customer is and what value your product or service is providing to them. If you are in business and feeling stuck, start by making a list of the qualities that make up your very favorite customers.
- Define and Organize Your Space
When you think back to your favorite customers – are they in-and-out in under five minutes or do they linger and chat with your staff and other customers? You want there to be a consistent style and function to your store that speaks to this. A well-organized store is one that makes your customers feel welcome and comfortable, therefore making the path to purchasing much easier.
- Provide a Sequential Experience and Visual Communication that Supports it
Spend some time thinking through how customers move through your store. If I have a bookstore and I know that fiction gets customers into the door,I might have my fiction and best-sellers right in front. I might also have signage pointing customers to other popular sections, which will drive them deeper into the store.
- Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Good Customer Service!
The retail experience you’ve created for customers hinges on having staff who are able — and available — to answer questions. Encourage your staff to give out recommendations and be an active participant in the customer experience.
By incorporating the best of the online shopping experience into your brick-and-mortar retail space, you’re not only making it easier for customers to purchase your product, you’re building a relationship with them that will result in a loyal customer base and repeat business. For more help on creating a welcoming appearance that drives sales, contact your local Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network advisor today for no-cost, confidential advice and technical assistance at www.WyomingSBDC.org.
About the Wyoming SBDC Network: The Wyoming SBDC Network offers a large amount of business expertise to help Wyoming residents think about, launch, grow, reinvent or exit their business. The Wyoming SBDC Network is hosted by the University of Wyoming with state funds from the Wyoming Business Council. Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.