How retail businesses can go the extra mile

By Henry Brown

Millennials seem to stay away from shops, putting the retail economy at risk. Indeed, in a constellation where everything comes at a cost, modern shoppers are careful about unnecessary expenses. Retailers are having a hard time trying to convince occasional visitors to come in and make a purchase. Unfortunately, aside from their financial situation, there’s another excellent reason why shoppers avoid high street boutiques. They are getting bored of navigating their way into piles of items while feeling pressured to buy.

On the other hand, the experience online via an app or through a website is a lot more relaxing and manageable. If you don’t find something, you can use the search function. Availability is directly disclosed online, facilitating the whole purchase process. However, it doesn’t mean that retailers should shut down their physical shops. On the contrary, it’s time to improve the experience!

Stage the scene properly

Nowadays, the decor plays a significant role in encouraging purchases. Your visitors are going to pay attention to your interior scene. From the moment someone enters your store, you can influence their decision to buy via smart design decisions. The threshold area acts as a transition phase between outside and the store. Use it to display colors and quality displays, but remember that customers are likely to miss products in this area. The right area serves to attract attention to seasonal products. Finally, you can use the furniture to create a path in the shop, guiding the customers to the next items.

Your decor should change REGULARLY

Within the main areas of your stage arrangement – the threshold, the right zone, the path throughout the store, etc. –, you need to be able to update your decor to match product trends and availability. Consequently, you need equipment and display accessories that can be changed, removed, and moved smoothly and quickly, such as slatwall hooks that let you transform your display in a matter of minutes. As a rule of the thumb, fashion stores need to embrace seasonal transitions. Other stores might require fewer decor transformations.

Your staff is crucial to success

Online shoppers are sensitive to customer service. However, people who come to stores prefer to avoid staff as they often complain about poor experiences. Consequently, retail shops need to put their customers first. You can create a dedicated customer roadmap that focuses on the accomplishment in the team to build success. Investing in dedicated research and product knowledge can also make a great deal of difference for buyers.

Eco-friendly shopping experience

Last, but not least, your customers prefer stores that embrace an ethical strategy, such as using organic materials and promoting fair trade. Depending on the type of items you sell, it can be tricky to explore the eco-friendly path. However, there are alternatives you can apply to your store to show off your green side. Replacing plastic bags with recyclable paper bags is a small gesture, but it won’t go unnoticed. Additionally, you can also reduce the use of plastic in the shop, such as avoiding plastic coat hangers in a fashion store, for instance.

As the shopping experience is suffering from a decreased frequency, stores need to be creative to attract customers. Loyalty cards are ineffective when people shop irregularly. On the contrary, taking measures to keep your store relevant, ethical and informative can make a difference to your profits!


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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