Online retail has taken over as the number one choice by shoppers, but that isn’t to say that physical retail is dead. There is still a market for people that want to visit physical stores – it just so happens to be a more selective market.
If you’ve been thinking of setting up a physical retail business, here are some of the considerations you should make.
Understand the costs
There are a lot of costs associated with starting and running a physical retail business that you don’t get from running an online retail business. You’ll have to cover rent, utility bills, equipment, cleaning, maintenance, staffing, security, and insurance. It could be worth to help you come up with a budget, including all your startup costs and running costs. You can then look into funding options such as loans and investment.
Find the right location
Having a store in a prime location can make a big impact when it comes to attracting customers. This has always been the case, but in recent years it has become more important – as town centres rapidly shrink, having a central location is becoming more important rather than being caught on the outskirts surrounded by empty shops. You can search for retail outlets to let online. Local real estate brokers may also be able to help.
Make it a sensory experience
Online retail outlets have a weakness and that is their inability to appeal to three senses: touch, taste, and smell. The most successful physical retail outlets have been taking advantage of this allowing people to smell perfumes and soaps, offering tasters of food and drink and allowing people to try on clothes and physically interact with products. By giving customers this experience, you give them something they can’t get online.
Embrace new technology
People still want convenience from physical retail stores and this can only be achieved by embracing new technology. Card readers are an essential gadget that all modern retail outlets need – the most modern versions of these are also able to accept mobile payments, which are growing in popularity. If you’re planning to open a busy store, self-service checkouts could also help to save money on staffing whilst speeding up queues. Don’t forget to also invest in digital POS stands, as well as software that automatically handles stock keeping and accounting.
Go physical and online
You don’t have to remain solely a physical retail outlet. Many physical outlets also have websites, which they may sell some of their goods on. Having a website can also help consumers to find contact details, opening times and information on events. On top of a website, you could also consider investing in an app for your store. This could be used to provide a portable pocket catalogue of your store as well as possibly serving as a digital loyalty card.