You’re probably one of those people who invested in e-commerce the past year. The restrictions brought about by the pandemic triggered you to think of ways to earn money without necessarily leaving your house. So you started a business you ran from home. And you hit the jackpot.
Now that the pandemic’s almost over, you’re looking into growing your business. While you won’t abandon e-commerce, which is set to grow even bigger, you want to branch out to a brick-and-mortar shop. You want to interact with customers up close and personal. And that can be a terrific idea. So long as you do it right. Here are some pieces of advice for you to carry out your next project as seamlessly as possible.
Pick a location
This can make or break your project. You need a strategic place to physically house the brand you built online. Explore lands for sale in your immediate area. If none suits your needs, venture a little farther off. Your goal is to find a spot where you’re sure to have foot traffic any time of the day. Your best bet will be in the middle of a busy business district. Although, that will cost you considerable investment. Alternatively, you can buy a lot in an upcoming business hub. You’ll be one of the pioneers. The loyal customers you established online won’t mind going out of their way to find you IRL.
Design your shop layout
Studies suggest that customers typically walk into a shop and follow the right-side track first. That should tell you that products with the biggest profit margins should be displayed on that side, where customers will see them first. However, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to store layout. And the best way to know what works is to study how your customers navigate through your store once it’s already open for business.
However, you have go-to layouts at your disposal. Consider loop, grid, spine, and free-flowing. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages. Choose which layout suits your type of business.
Mind your store’s facade
Your store’s facade is just as important as the shop’s interior. A nice-looking storefront will attract passersby. You’ll have a better shot at making new customers. Do not cut corners with signage and window display.
Your signage should be striking. But it should be consistent with your branding. Meanwhile, your window display should tell a story. Don’t just haphazardly throw in promo details like come-on rates and discounts. Get creative, and don’t divulge all details at once. Pique your customers’ interest enough for them to walk into your shop.
Come up with offline marketing ideas
You got your digital marketing game on-point. You have a social media manager who has got your brand voice perfected. They share posts that gather you likes and shares and new followers on the regular. It’s time to apply your marketing skills offline.
Remember that offline marketing is an entirely different ballgame. And you have many options by which to market your brand traditionally. Think events marketing. You can mount an event to introduce your business’s arrival in the area. You can also distribute flyers and leaflets. For your opening, buy a billboard spot to announce the big day.
Hire a competent team
You probably had a skeletal workforce running your e-commerce business. When you transition to a brick-and-mortar shop, you’ll need a reliable team working for you. On top of your existing employees, you’ll need to hire more staff members. For instance, you want front-liners who can promise top-notch customer service even if they’re having a bad day.
Hire expertly. Make sure to interview applicants with keen attention to detail. If necessary, conduct role-playing during the interview. See how an applicant will respond to difficult on-floor situations, such as when confronted by an irate customer. This simple activity lets you gauge which ones are most ready for the job.
Despite e-commerce’s popularity, brick-and-mortar shops will never go out of fashion. Customers still get a kick out of walking into a shop and looking at products up close. They like to be able to, for example, take clothes to the fitting room and decide right then and there if those clothes suit them. Plus, there are the tactile benefits of shopping offline. You can touch stuff you’re considering buying unless there’s a sign that says you can’t.
So congratulations on your next business project. If you approach it with the same keen attention to detail you gave your e-commerce business, you’re all set for success.