Opening a physical store to complement your online store can be daunting. But careful planning and execution can be an excellent way to boost sales and bring in new customers. Here are some tips on how to set up your physical store to complement your e-commerce shop.
Choose the Right Location
The first step in setting up your physical store is to choose the right location. The location of your store will play a significant role in its success or failure. It’s important to pick a spot that’s convenient for customers and has high foot traffic.
Study the demographics of your online clientele so that you can find a location where that demographic is likely to shop. If you’re targeting young, urban shoppers, for example, you might want to consider setting up shop in a trendy neighborhood.
It’s also important to consider the competition when choosing a location. If there are already a lot of other stores selling similar products in the area, you’ll have to work hard to stand out.
You also want to make sure the rent is affordable and that there’s enough space to accommodate your inventory and store layout.
Decorate Your Physical Store to Match Your Online Brand
The next step is to create a store design that complements your online shop. You want to create a cohesive brand experience for customers that mirrors what they’re used to seeing on your website.
Start by thinking about the overall look and feel of your current e-store. What colors and patterns are on your online site? You also want to consider which elements from your website you’ll carry over to your physical store. This could include your logo, font choices, and product photography.
The challenge is how to translate your online theme into a physical store. Once you’ve decided, look for materials that are affordable but can capture the visual effect you want. For instance, decorative retail wall panels can transform the barest wall of any storefront into a wide variety of looks, from different kinds of wood to bricks, tiles, concrete, and even rubber or metal. You will surely find something to match your brand.
If you do it right, your online clientele will want to flock to your physical store because it will be like having a dream location become a reality. Ensure that every part of your physical store is a worthy backdrop for a selfie or a video. Invest in good lighting that enhances the look of your clients. This will encourage them to take even more photos and videos that they will surely post on social media. That’s free advertising for your physical store.
Plan Your Store Layout Carefully
Just like your online store, the layout of your physical store should be well-thought-out and carefully planned. The last thing you want is for customers to feel overwhelmed or lost in your store.
A good way to start planning your store layout is by creating a floor plan. You want to create a layout that is easy to navigate and flows well. The goal is to make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for and encourage them to browse your entire store.
Make sure you leave enough space between shelves and racks for customers to move around easily. You also want to create a clear path to the cash register so that customers don’t have to backtrack when they’re ready to check out.
Think about how you can use your store layout to highlight your best-selling products. You might want to put these items near the front of the store or in a strategic location that is easy for customers to find.
You can also use your store layout to create different sections for different types of products. This can help customers find what they’re looking for more easily. It also encourages them to browse other areas of the store.
Don’t forget to leave some empty space in your store layout. This is important for two reasons: first, it makes the store look less cluttered; and second, it gives you the flexibility to change up your store layout in the future.
Use Technology to Enhance the Physical Shopping Experience
This is the most important bridge between your e-store and your physical store. You must be able to connect the two so that your clientele can have a complete and satisfying shopping experience.
Use technology to your advantage and make sure that your physical store is equipped with the right tools. For instance, you might want to invest in a point-of-sale (POS) system that can accept both cash and credit card payments. You might also want to consider using a tablet or smartphone as a POS system. This can be a great way to save money and space in your store.
Offer free Wi-Fi in your store so your customers can browse your website or social media pages while they’re in the store. Conversely, find a way so that customers away from the store can make reservations through your e-store for them to pick up physically later.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
The edge of having a physical store is that you can meet your clientele face to face and engage with them in person. Even if you are not in the store, your staff represent you. That is why it is crucial to train them to provide excellent customer service. This will enhance the image of your brand and entice your clients to support both your online and physical stores.