Starting a retail store is an incredibly exciting time. From stocking your favourite pieces to helping customers find the perfect ensemble, there is plenty to look forward to. However, we do not doubt you have some concerns as well.
5 ways to ensure start-up success for UK retailers
Launching your own retail business, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, can be a nerve-wracking time. If you are feeling any trepidation at all, this article is for you. We will be sharing the 5 ways you can ensure start-up success for your retail business. We hope it gives you the confidence you need to get started.
1. Accept All Forms of Payments
To ensure the success of your retail business, you need to accept all forms of payment. Accepting a wide variety of payment methods will attract more customers, reduce the need to turn people away, and make your retail shop more accessible.
What’s more, since the COVID-19 pandemic, the way we pay for things has changed. According to LINK, the UK’s biggest network of ATMs, cash usage in Britain since the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic has fallen by 65% on average as consumers opt for contactless payments and online transactions. If you want to keep your sales up all year round, pandemic or no pandemic, we recommend accepting all forms of payment, from cash and chip and pin to contactless and mobile payments such as Apple Pay.
2. Be Proactive About Testing Staff
Despite a challenging 2020 with numerous restrictions and lockdowns, 2021 has been much the same. Businesses have been required to furlough their staff, adjust to remote working, and struggle through staff shortages due to COVID19 tests and isolation requirements.
If you are nervous about your retail business being short-staffed, we recommend being proactive by requiring your staff to take a lateral flow test before coming into work each day. Regular testing is important to help control the spread of the virus, protect your employees who have returned to work, and ensure your retail business is following the latest government guidelines.
Working in this way will ensure your staff feel cared for during these difficult times and will reassure them that you are doing everything you can to protect them, their jobs, and their families.
3. Develop a Memorable Brand
Did you know that your business branding creates that first impression? According to HubSpot, “with millions, if not billions, of businesses trying to make a name for themselves, having a strong brand has become crucial for businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors.” Putting time and thought into your business branding could mean the difference between the growth and success of your business and its failure.
To develop a memorable brand it can be helpful to work with a specialist marketing company that can develop a standout brand that meets the needs of your target audience. Even small businesses need a brand. Having a brand helps customers find you, online or in-store, and get a feel for what your business is all about.
Just think of your favourite clothing brands. What colours do they use in their logos? What fonts do they use in their marketing materials? Do they have a slogan? All these little details can help develop brand identity and earn consumers’ trust. If you want to launch a retail business that stands the test of time, you need to start with a memorable brand.
4. Promote Your Business
Retail businesses succeed when they are well-known. So, you need to start promoting your retail business as early as possible. Your marketing efforts will tell customers where to find you and why they should buy your products.
There are many ways to promote your business. When it comes to retail, often the best method is social media. Through social media, you can share images of your latest clothing items, interact with fashion bloggers and influencers, and gain an invested following. You can also opt for more traditional forms of self-promotion, such as leaflets and press releases. Or you can invest some of your start-up funds into online advertising.
Whichever avenue you decide to take, the most important thing is that you prioritise the promotion of your company, promoting it as far and wide as you can. All the successful retail businesses you can think of will owe much of their success to self-promotion – particularly at the beginning.
5. Build a Mobile Optimised Website
Mobile eCommerce is driving the success of retail businesses all over the UK. It’s convenient, payments are easy, returns are simple, and consumers don’t need to visit a store in-person. Although you might want consumers to pop into your store, you need to provide them with an alternative and convenient option.
Creating a mobile optimised website is essential for ensuring the success of your retail start-up. Having an online store helps win your website more exposure so that you can reach more customers, sell more products, and help your brand become more well-known.
Mobile devices drive more than 50% of online traffic and one-third of shopping sales. Even if you’ve always wanted a brick-and-mortar store that you can really make your own, it is essential to create an unforgettable online presence as well. Often, the combination of the in-person store and the mobile optimised website is what makes retail start-ups successful as it attracts more customers, more orders, and more brand awareness.
So, there you have it – 5 ways to ensure start-up success for your retail business. We hope our tips have encouraged you that it is possible to start a business, even during a lockdown, and have it succeed. If you take our advice on board and act on it, we feel confident that your retail business will get off to a great start.