3 Questions Retailers Should be Asking Themselves
When you’re just another business competing in the big retail marketplace, how do you rise above your competition? The first secret is, begin with the fundamentals. Understanding how you can best help your customers and keep them engaged takes asking yourself the right questions, even before you set up shop.
Question #1: Who is my audience?
Do you know who your consumers are? Do you have a good idea of what they expect to get from their shopping experience at your store?
Understanding your consumers is critical for retail success. You should know and be able to pinpoint their age demographic, social class, ethnicity and particular needs. Along with understanding their demographics comes understanding your shoppers’ psychographics: simply put, why they buy what they do. What are their typical shopping routines like? What do they value? What are they willing to give up to purchase your products? Understanding customer value systems gives you a clearer idea of how they are spending their money, and how likely they are to spend it inside your store.
Question #2: How is my unique selling proposition conveyed throughout my store?
A unique selling proposition (USP) is what makes you stand out from your competition. But there’s no point having a USP unless you are showing it in your store in a way that your shoppers can understand and appreciate it. So get clear about this powerful point, and make sure you have it visually understood throughout your store. Whether it’s in your greenhouse benching, displays and fixtures, or the conversations you are having with customers when they walk into your store, your USP should be clear to everyone.
For example, it could be your clean easy-to-shop stores, incredible customer service, a hands-on staff who makes shopping a pleasure, or special product mix and hard-to-find items. It could be the fact that your displays are informative, inspiring and “edutaining.” While you’re rethinking your store strategy, this is one of the first questions you should answer.
Question #3: Does my store have a “Brand Soul”?
Brand soul is the deeper, more meaningful connection your store has with your shoppers. It’s the fun, experiential and magnetic personality of your brand. It’s what has the power to connect your audience to your items, making that sale almost instantly. And you need to connect your brand soul to that of your customers. When you can successfully do that, you will get your customers to notice how your brand is unique.
Your brand soul should be the uniting factor that everyone in your retail company understands. Your message and the way your retail store looks — even the way your salespeople look and act — should speak that message loud and clear. If you feel that all of your retail store fixtures are set up properly but something is still lacking, it could be this last point. Make sure that your employees know what your brand soul is, so that they can be effective when making a sale.
Once you’ve answered the above questions, you can proceed with proper retail store fixtures and set up the perfect retail display. Then you’re on your way to big wins with retail consumers! As design guru Stanley Hainsworth said, “Great companies read your soul…they give you something you didn’t even know that you needed.”