Despite starting out online and with digital shopfronts, many new retailers continue to seek out opportunities to have their own high street store. This is because, while online retail is an exciting and potentially lucrative venture, there are a number of unique advantages that come from opening doors to a brick-and-mortar shop space.
If you are one such retailer who is making the transition from e-commerce to the high street, then you’re likely to be excited for the opportunity to interact with customers face-to-face, as well as create a physical environment around your brand. Before you open those doors, however, there are a few things that every new retail should know.
A Location That Works
Unfortunately, for many businesses, it is not necessarily their brand’s success that brings customers into a shop but location. Even well-established brands can struggle to make a suitable profit if customers are unable to easily locate their store. As such, for new retailers especially, it is fundamentally important that the ideal location is chosen, one that is not only situated near to those familiar with the brand but also has a steady footfall of new customers too.
To make this decision effectively, it is important to know an area well, spending time around the site prior.
Shout About It
Marketing a shop’s opening is important and the buzz generated by word of mouth and social media content can be invaluable to a retailer’s launch, helping to the area to the presence of a new shop space. Be sure to utilise your online audience if you have one. If not, events and pop-up experiences can be a great way to introduce the local area to your brand.
Experienced retailers will likely tell you that their shop’s first design was changed quickly. It takes only a short amount of time as an active retailer to learn that the design in your head isn’t always practical when it comes to a shop’s operation, which leads to interior design amendments early on.
To get ahead of any issues, it is worthwhile establishing a shop space with changeability in mind, embracing modular shop furniture and assets, such as slatwall panels and high-quality screw head covers, enabling your business to adapt to new needs.
If there are to be any sales representatives or staff members that will be representing your brand, it is crucial that they are enthusiastic and share the same passion for success as those leading the business. It is worth keeping in mind that personality can often take precedence over skill too, with many established retailers believing that tasks can be taught on the job but personalities are very difficult to change.
Keep Your Data
Should you finish your first year on the high street and want to keep going, you will find yourself wanting to reflect on your data. This could be sales figures, those that will allow you to better predict the next period of annual demand, or it could be customer feedback, allowing you to improve and expand.
Either way, it is important that, from the very beginning, as much data about a business is kept and recorded. This will ensure that when you are ready to grow, you will have the foundations on which to do so.