It’s a scary time to be a high street retailer. According to this UK news source, 6,000 stores closed in 2018, and that figure is expected to rise in the months and years to come. It’s not only the UK, of course, as high street stores face closure internationally, so no matter where you originate, if you run a bricks and mortar business, you have a reason to be more than a little nervous. Online retailers such as Amazon are to blame, and internet shopping is only going to get bigger as time goes on.
So, what can you do about it? Is it time to sell your shop to ensure you don’t fall into financial difficulty? We have some tips here if you do come to that decision. However, don’t give up just yet. You might still have a fighting chance, so consider the following survival tips to ensure your retail business doesn’t become a failing statistic.
#1: Promote Customer Interaction Within Your Store
To stay afloat, you have to do things that online retailers don’t have the capacity to. This includes hands-on experiences with products, friendly conversation and first-hand advice, and bonus extras, such as having a drinks and seating area for tired customers. The more you can do to engage the customer the better, as you will give them a shopping experience that may be unparalleled elsewhere.
#2: Improve Your Aesthetics
Both outside the store (to catch the customer’s eye), and inside the store, you need to ensure your store is visually appealing. Do more than a quick tidy-up, as to really capture your customer’s attention, you might want to use a signage company to create something that dazzles your customers on the high street and a flooring company to create something safe and eye-catching within your store. There will be an expense, but remember that you aren’t only competing with online retailers. You have your high street rivals to consider too, so it’s imperative that you stand out from the crowd.
#3: Purchase New Technologies
To improve your customer’s experience, and to stay in touch with technological trends, you might consider one or more of these technologies. From facial recognition technologies to help you shape the layout of your store, to using AI checkout tills to speed up the buying process, you can revolutionise your business and remain futureproof. Again, there will be an expense, but if your high street store does have a fighting chance, then the expense may be worth it.
#4: Diverse What You Do
Could you sell a new range of products? Are there extra services you could offer your customers within the store? Should you open up an online store to coexist with your bricks and mortar alternative? The more diverse you are within your business, the better your chances in today’s consumer market.
What could you do? We hope our ideas were useful, though if you do have any survival tips of your own, please do share them with us. You see, while the future may appear bleak for high street retailers, the fight isn’t over yet. By being proactive, you stand a greater chance of staying open.