Being a first-time business owner can be intimidating. There are just about a million different ways you can succeed or fail in the retail business. To help your new business survive, here are some tips you can follow to help lead your retail clothing store to lasting success.
Provide online shopping options
According to a recent study from Pew Research, eight out of 10 Americans are now shopping online. That doesn’t mean people still won’t come into your brick and mortar store, but you should have online shopping options. Create a website with your inventory and keep it current so your customers can shop from the comfort of their living rooms.
You should also make friends in the shipping industry, as they will be the ones helping you get your inventory to those that are shopping from home. U.S. e-commerce revenue is roughly $423.3 billion a year, and it’s still climbing. You don’t have to be the size of Amazon to take advantage of this massive new market.
Take advantage of outdoor signage
Advertising and marketing are some of the most important tools you can use to help you grow your business. While online advertisements like email blasts and Facebook ads will do you just fine, don’t forget about physical outdoor ads. Nearly 68% of poll respondents frequently or sometimes make their shopping decisions while in the car. This means they might be driving by your store, see your sign, and decide to drop in. Make sure you have all the pertinent details on the sign, like your business’s name and hours. Getting a digital signage system for your business will help your marketing efforts since it attracts more customers.
Rotate your inventory
It’s essential that you keep your store and its inventory up to date. If customers walk into your store and see that you have outdated clothes, they aren’t going to want to shop there or even come back. Move out slow selling merchandise quickly, otherwise you’re going to have items on your shelves that are taking up unnecessary space, taking away room for you to place hot-selling items.
There are a few things you can do to get rid of the merchandise that won’t sell. You can try to clearance out the items, but that doesn’t always work. While it may be painful to write off the loss, many clothing stores donate old items that won’t sell. Many donated products are given new life in developing nations where people can purchase the used American goods for pennies of their original price. Over 14.3 million tons of donated American textiles have been donated around the world, helping clothe people and families in need.
Screen your employees
Your employees are the backbone of your business, and you want to make sure they are going to treat your customers and your business with respect. Screening employees before you hire them can allow you to pick the best team possible so you don’t have to worry about poor customer satisfaction or even employee theft. Additional security measures like creating employee ID cards can help you out, too.
Pick a theme
Finally, you are going to want to pick a theme for your store and your website, and stay true to it. You can embed a theme in your store’s name, choose a color/style of clothing to stick to, paint the walls, you name it. You can even create a tagline for your store that lets everyone know what you’re all about. This can help you attract your target audience and bring in more business.
In 2016 alone, the U.S. apparel market was worth about $315 billion. Getting into this market was a smart move, but you have to make sure you can keep up and be successful. Follow these tips to help get you there!