According to the Harvard Business Review, a customer’s end-to-end journey has to be considered if you want to reap the highest profits. It is only by evaluating their entire experience that you can achieve your goals.
Focusing on the touchpoints along their journey alone was not sufficient to keep customers coming back for more. Read on to learn what it takes to maximize the profits at your small retail business.
Train Your Employees Well
If you want your customers to stick around, a high-value staff is critical. You need employees that want to be there, believe they can be successful and know the value of your products.
All of that starts with the right beginner training. Many small businesses try to skirt around the importance of employee training by having another employee “show them the ropes”. But this is not sufficient for top-quality service.
If you want your new employees to be fully trained, you need to come up with standardized lesson plans and reinforce what they are learning with additional training.
Restock Products Quickly
You can spend thousands of hours perfecting your product offerings and setting up your store. But if you don’t restock your products before they run out, then no one is going to be able to make a purchase.
The last thing you want is to lose a sale because you don’t have the right size or color of something. Pay attention to your inventory and if you have a lot of one thing, consider speaking to the manufacturer about what other products you can order and make the change next time.
Try to create a positive long-term relationship with your vendors and ask them for advice about what is selling and which products aren’t.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
It’s important that you educate your employees on your projects so that they can share the stories behind them with potential customers. The passion that they show for an item could be what causes a customer to buy.
If your employees believe in your products, then they will naturally want to upsell and work hard to solve the obstacles that get in the way of a purchase. To further encourage your employees to do their best, consider rewarding their efforts with fun incentives like a gift card to the movies or a spa.
Get Festive at Your Small Retail Business
No matter what holiday it is, your small business should be celebrating. While you don’t have to completely deck the place out, having your employees wear a shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day or putting up a few hearts on Valentine’s Day will go a long way towards endearing you to your customers.
You should also use the holidays as an opportunity to network with other businesses in your community. Consider putting together a trick-or-treating event for kids or a scavenger hunt for Black Friday.
Purchase High-Quality Products
If your business doesn’t have high-quality products, then you have very little hope of having repeating customers. While you may be able to get people into your store one time, they won’t be likely to return if the shirt they bought easily gets a hole on it or the color fades quickly.
Although you may be more nervous about the initial investment in high-quality products, you can set the markup to offset a few failures. By marking your goods with a ten percent margin, you aren’t allowing a lot of room for things to not sell, but if it is fifty percent, then you can afford to be riskier.
If you stock products you believe in, then your customers will see your enthusiasm and want to make a purchase. Develop relationships with vendors who provide you with the kind of items that you just can’t wait to put out in your store.
If you make these efforts, then you will see more positive customer reviews on your website causing a snowball effect in revenue growth. Whereas, one well-placed negative review where a customer says you have a poor quality product can spell destruction for your business.
Tell Your Brand’s Story
Your story and brand ethos are a huge part of your companies identity. The right identity can help you resonate with your potential customers and let them know that your business is more than just another place to shop.
Branding is a great way to bring in Millenials and other young customers. They have a tendency to shop at businesses that share their values and are more likely to vote with their paycheck for products they believe in.
Use Your Data–NOW!
Many businesses like to set up quarterly plans and goals to work towards, collecting data along the way. But if you notice your business is doing poorly, then you need to try to get to the bottom of the problem as quickly as possible.
Use your data and make sure your company is monitoring its inventory and profits regularly.
You can also collect data from your customers and send them follow-up emails with additional offers and a link to your online store.
Build a Community
You can jump up and down as much as you want to try to make headlines about your small retail business and bring people in the door. But all of this effort may still fail.
The only surefire way to start a business is to build a customer base within your own community that believes in your store. They will be more likely to shop there consistently and work to keep you in business.
If your customers believe you offer a thoughtful and high-quality experience from the first moment they walk in the door, it will keep them coming back for more.
Check out our selection of merchandise for items with great value today.