Retail Post Lockdown - Our Tips For Getting Up And Running Again
For a lot of shops, business has ground to a total halt. And for any shop that's not selling online, the balance sheets are stressing.
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel (we hope). The government is currently in talks to make plans for a lockdown exit strategy that could suggest re-opening shops in the next few months.
So, if you're running a retail business, you need to be ready to take advantage of the time when consumers return to the streets. And today, you have most likely got great deals of extra time to prepare.
We have assembled a few simple ideas to help you revamp your displays and your in-store marketing-- so you can attract buyers, increase your sales and secure repeat business.
Shopping begins on the street
If all works out, there will be a big rush of shoppers striking the streets when the lockdown ends. And that indicates you have got a substantial chance to capture them at their most receptive.
They will be out and about after a very long time indoors, actively trying to find interesting places to go. So now more than ever, your shop window and street-facing displays need to be vibrant and appealing.
That implies making sure your store-front window has:
- Your most special and desirable items-- organized in a creative and eye-catching way
- An example from every item range your shop offers to attract as lots of people as possible
- Bright and strong printed posters with strong messaging (and your most attracting special offers!)
But it's not just a case of throwing a few items onto a stand. Creating a shop window display screen is an extensive craft and you can discover loads of inspiration by taking a look at your regional high-end outlet store (or simply by searching for 'store windows' on places like Pinterest).
The in-store journey is a craft also!
When a starving post-lockdown shopper enters your store, they need to immediately know where to go to discover what interests them. Why not put yourself in their shoes by strolling into your own shop with the mindset of a fresh new visitor? That way, you can start to create the most natural set of paths they're most likely to take.
That might imply considering things like:
- Guiding your shoppers to the locations they need with flooring stickers
- Grouping relevant items close together (like different garments that form a total look).
- Using the height of your displays to remain noticeable in a store filled with people (eg. high roller banners that reach 2 metres high).
- Putting your slow-movers front and centre (people typically buy what they see!).
Just like your store window screen, the design of a customer's journey through your shop is a big area of study, and it might take numerous rounds of testing and experimentation prior to you discovering a set-up that works.
Shopping does not end at the till by a long shot
There is a reason that places like Primark have rows of item shelves along their queueing areas.
It is because every minute that your buyers invest in your shop is a possibility to sell. And if you're lucky enough to have lines forming in the post-lockdown rush, you can offer your sales a final boost by focusing on the location around your tills.
That might suggest things like:
- Building a queueing location made of displays and racks (filled with inexpensive 'impulse buy' items, again just like Primark).
- Advertising your last-minute up-selling deals (like extended warranties or gift-wrapping services).
- Giving your customers something to remove from the till (like loyalty cards, promotional leaflets and flyers-- or even 'advise a good friend' discounts).
Prepared to get better from a retail slump?
The national lockdown is a tough time for any retailer.
But if you can maximise your time now to prepare and enhance your business, you'll be able to put yourself in the best possible position to make a quick healing when things begin returning to normality.