Opening a store is the dream of many young entrepreneurs. But going into retail was risky, and it is even riskier with the fears of the pandemic still in the air. But you can still make it happen. You’ll have to take into account the change retail market, but with some dedication, you should be able to get a store up and running with a decent chance of success. Here are some of the things you have to keep in mind.
Be As Sanitary As Possible
One of the first concerns that customers will have is their health. It would be best if you soothed those concerns by implementing as many sanitary measures as possible. Have hand sanitizers at the door so that everyone can access them. Additionally, a sanitizer by the counter would also be appreciated. It would be best if you also had cleaning staff dedicated to wiping down and possible contact points.
Impressive Customer Experience
You need to set yourself apart from the online experience. People can shop online, so they need to have a reason to go to your store. The big difference that you can deliver on is a better customer experience. People don’t have someone who can give them advice on their purchase or provide them with additional options. Combine this with a friendly face, and you can secure a customer for life. Aim to train all your staff to a certain level so that customers won’t hesitate to come in.
Be Visible And Open
Customers are sick of being stuck inside, and they don’t want to be reminded about it when shopping. You can do this by providing an open space for customers to move around. Don’t cramp the floor space with displays and the like. Additionally, large commercial windows are a good idea. They let the light in and allow customers to see what is inside without coming in.
Add An Online Component
While online retail is your main competition, ignoring online sales is a mistake. It would be best if you were integrating online technology into your retail store immediately. Things like real-time inventory monitoring can tell customers whether they have something in stock or not. This prevents the frustration of going out and not getting what they want. Additional features like delivery or pick-up shopping can also make customers turn to your store.
Implement A Transition Space
Instead of customers directly going into the store, having a transition space can help a lot. For one, it is the ideal spot for sanitizing customers. Additionally, stores can make this spot where the customers are informed of the rules of the store when it comes to safety. This ensures everyone is on the same page and can also show that you are serious about keeping customers healthy.
Limit The People Inside
Another legacy of the pandemic is to limit the number of people in the store. Depending on the size of the space inside, your customer limit can go up or down. Have a greeter assigned at the door to help monitor the incoming customers. They should be strict about the implementation to maximize safety.
Ensure The Checkout Is Fast
If you are limiting people inside, you should also help to move people through. With few people, the checkout line should be quick. Avoid any delays that can happen, and train your cashier to shepherd the customers through. There are several ways you can do this. For one, eliminate the counter display so they won’t add any more items. Another method is to have a team doing the checkout, with one person scanning items and another bagging them up. The goal is to have the customer’s order done in minutes.
Consider Automation And Sensors
Avoiding touch is an important component of post-pandemic operations. This is where scanners and automatic doors can help. You don’t need to touch anything at all. This can also help in other parts of the store. Automatic doors mean that no one touches anything. Look for other sensor-based solutions to make everything easier.
Have A Display And Inventory
In the past, the display copies were put in public while the actual stock was in the back. This is a great way to limit contact. Have customers point to a product so that the staff could get the sale copy in the backroom. They are fresh and clean so that customers will be reassured.
While the risks are high, the rewards can be worth it. The market will recover, and there is a lot of potential for stores that are there to welcome back shoppers. Understanding what retail customers need and want in their new retail experience is important if you want to succeed.