Website optimization is all the rage these days. It makes sense, too, since a properly optimized website can draw a whole lot of profitable traffic for an online retailer. But just because you run a brick-and-mortar retail store doesn’t mean that you should disregard the concept of optimization. In fact, there are plenty of ways to tweak and optimize your physical retail location to increase your odds of exceptional success. Instead of switching up the colors and fonts of a webpage, though, you need to switch up various aspects of your actual store. Here’s a couple ideas for you to consider at your store.
Keep Displays Fresh and Interesting
If there’s one thing that you should always keep in mind, it’s this: Customers are fickle. When a new or existing competitor adds an exciting new element to their store, your customers might be intrigued. A great way to keep them coming back to your store instead is by continually updating and refreshing the displays in your store. When people return to your store, they will be greeted with new and interesting things. In some ways, they will feel like they’ve stumbled upon an entirely new store. That feeling of discovery could translate into additional sales and referrals.
Depending on what you sell, you should be able to switch up the types of merchandise that you have on hand on a fairly regular basis. If people come in again and again and keep seeing the same exact products, they are bound to lose interest. Always be on the lookout for new and interesting products to showcase in your store. Shuffle things around so that items that may have been ignored before have a shot at the spotlight. It’s amazing what the placement of a product can do for its sales figures.
In addition to switching up your merchandise regularly, it’s smart to change the visuals and decorative pieces that you use in your store. Signage is huge, for instance. While signage can be pricey, it can also make a huge difference in how your store is perceived. Splurge on new signage every few months to keep people’s attention. Rearrange the lights in your store every now and again, too, to achieve new and different looks. You don’t have to completely remodel your store in order to optimize it – you just have to take the time to update it here and there.
Choose a Flexible Layout
While there may be little that you can do about the permanent fixtures of your store, there’s a lot that you can do about its layout. Unless you’re dealing with a series of built-in counters and shelves, for instance, you should be able to rearrange the overall layout of your store to keep it fresh and engaging. To that end, invest in light, easy-to-handle racks and shelves. If possible, find modular pieces that can be put together in a variety of different ways. Make note of any compliments that you receive so that you can pinpoint a really fantastic layout.
Try Different Merchandise Groupings
The way in which you group products together can make a major difference in what sells – and what doesn’t. A person may enter your store with the intention of buying one specific thing; if it is arranged next to another attractive item, though, he may leave with more than he’d planned. Be creative when coming up with pairings and groupings; ask friends, employees and family members for suggestions, too. If something fizzles, don’t worry – you can always switch it around on the fly. There’s no harm in trying, and you won’t get anywhere without a little experimentation.
Find Out How People Find Your Store
Store optimization is supposed to bring existing customers back; it’s also supposed to garner you new customers. The way in which optimization generates new customers is by playing up what works. When you think of it, ask your customers how they found you; did they simply wander in, were they referred to you by a friend or did they see an ad? Find out whether they found you online or through some other means. Train your employees to do the same. You might even want to include a flyer with a link to your website. You could also encourage people to fill out a quick, easy online survey in exchange for a special offer. The point is that you need to find out how your store is being discovered; in doing so, you can kick its optimization into overdrive.
Get Customer Feedback
As you are doing all of the preceding things, try to get a feel for how various changes are going over. Do customers seem pleased with the layout of your store, or is it causing problems? Have people complimented you on the décor, or do people seem to be indifferent about it? Take note of product pairings that seem to work and those that fall flat. Over time, you will become savvier about the optimization of your store. That skill will translate into increased sales, a skyrocketing reputation and greater levels of success than you ever thought possible.