| 21st Century Retail: How To Make It Work

Posted in Small Business at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

Running a retail business in 2017 can be quite the challenge. Now we have fully embraced in the digital age many people argue that retail as we once knew it – actual physical stores – is dead and buried. A huge proportion of sales are now made online, and it cannot be denied that many people do these days prefer to shop online. However, there still is a place for retail in the modern day, especially depending on the nature of your business. So, what do you need to do to create a successful retail business in the face of a primarily digital world?

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Great Staff
The number one most important thing that differentiates a physical store from an online one is the fact that a physical store has staff in it. Online transactions are pretty impersonal, no matter how much they are dressed up with friendly copy and eye-catching graphics. Many customers still appreciate the fact that they can go into a store and be greeted by a member of staff and have a conversation with them. There is a clear benefit here of the customer being able to ask questions and seek advice on the product of their choice in real time and get an immediate answer. With a business that is purely online, the client may spend some days or even weeks waiting for an email response about a query they had. So, it is obviously essential that you man your premises with friendly, knowledgeable staff.

Functional Transaction Equipment
If you want your retail business to stand any chance of making it into the online market, you will need to have the best transaction technology at your fingertips. There’s nothing worse than being in a store about to make a purchase, and the shop’s ancient card reader won’t scan your bank card. If this happens in your store and the customer cannot pay, you then open yourself up to losing that sale; as they may go away and think about the transaction, and then decide not to purchase the items after all. Avoid this entirely with quick and easy payment options. If you’re not sure what is available to you, look into merchant services account rates. If you have all your merchant services dealt with by the same company, you can be sure that if something should go wrong, you only have to contact one person in order to sort it all out.

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A Presentable Store
Part of the beauty of online shopping is that you can find everything you want easily without having to wade through rails and rails of trash. Apply the same concept to your store by making it aesthetically pleasing and keeping it tidy. After all, you want to attract customers in there in the first place, so make sure you have an eye-catching window display to draw people in. Keeping the place clean and tidy will also encourage customers to browse and make a quick purchase, as well as it being easier for you to keep track of stock.

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