Archive for January, 2011

Supermarket Psychology – Think Like The Retail Giants

| January 23rd, 2011 | No Comments »

Shopping psychology has nothing on the big boys of the retail industry; the supermarkets. If you can copy their techniques to not only get customers off the streets and into their shops but also to spend high, then you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank! Large supermarkets employ what is known as a visual merchandise consultant. A professional whose job it is to tweak the lighting, displays, sounds and even smells of the supermarket to maximise profit. Smaller independent stores can’t compete with such professionals but we can let you in on a few of their trade secrets so that you can copy them for yourself! Smell-O-Vision: It is no secret that supermarkets often waft the smell of freshly baked bread through their air-conditioning unit to lure in hungry shoppers. In fact my local Waitrose used to pump this smell out into the car park even though they

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Making The Most Of Free Advertising

| January 22nd, 2011 | No Comments »

It seems that everyone is after your money for one thing or another and they do say that nothing is truly free in this life, everything has strings attached. Whilst that may be right, those strings may not necessarily be financial. It is possible, even today, to get your message out completely free of charge and just as effective – sometimes more – than if you had paid for it. So how is this possible? We’ll explore some of the ways you can exploit services and opportunities to advertise your shop business for free. Local Newspaper Coverage As mentioned in a previous article on What Makes A Successful Shop Promotion, newspapers won’t generally be interested in promoting your local business for you unless you either pay for advertising or have a newsworthy story. A few years ago I was doing the PR for a national parenting website whose unique idea

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Building A Successful Web Site For Your Shop

| January 21st, 2011 | No Comments »

When so much shopping is done on the internet, every business no matter how small needs a website. I was looking for a place to take the in-laws once for lunch, I knew there was a good restaurant in the neighbouring village but try as I might I couldn’t find them on the internet. What I was looking for was a telephone number, sample menu, prices and opening hours but the restaurant didn’t have a web site so I took the in-laws to one that did. These days people use the internet much as they used to use the Yellow Pages. If looking for say, a plumber or dentist, they’ll search for one on the internet and if you’re not listed then you miss out. Even if you just have a basic site with your address, phone number and opening hours you’ll be one step ahead of your competitors who

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Harnessing The Power Of Good Customer Service

| January 19th, 2011 | No Comments »

Customer service has the power to make or break a small shop business. Have you ever approached a shop counter and been completely ignored by staff? Or had to stand there waiting whilst shop staff finished their conversation on the phone? Almost everybody has had bad customer experience and knows how incredibly frustrating and annoying it can be, it may even make you decide not to shop there again. No matter how cheap your goods, bad service will drive your customers away so it’s essential that you establish a good customer service policy both for yourself and for any additional staff to adhere to.  Good customer service can even drive up your profits; take a look at the lingerie shop of Boudice, they sell expensive lingerie but their customers are willing to pay those prices because of the service they receive in return. It may be a bit of a

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Hanging Onto Your Unique Selling Points

| January 4th, 2011 | No Comments »

When thinking of starting your own shop you will have considered what would make your shop stand out from those of your competitors – what gives it its edge. And if this is something that you haven’t yet considered, then you should. Your USP will be a feature or a benefit that you alone offer. This could be lower prices, a wider range of products, a different version of products such as larger or smaller sizes or perhaps you want to give the customer a positive experience. So how do you define your USP? Well you need to offer something that your competitors do not. For small independent retailers it can be impossible to match the larger stores for price, so think of who your customer base are and why they would come to you over the cheaper department store on the outskirts. Perhaps you have free parking you could

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