The more a retail business looks like a traditional shop in any channel, the more it will be judged as a traditional shop, the more it will perform like a traditional shop. There is nothing wrong with this, if it is a conscious choice.
Through our work at Tower Systems we see awesome and successful retail businesses and less than awesome and not so successful retail businesses.
We encourage you to not run a traditional shop because there is no evidence in performance data or in retail history to indicate that a traditional retail model has any upside in the world today.
The best way to not be considered a traditional shop is to not look like one. Here is some of what this means based on our experience:
- Keep visual noise to a minimum. This means less posters and signs. Let your products be seen and be the heroes.
- No old-school posters out the front of the shop or hanging in the shop except in exceptional circumstances.
- No old-school products stand near the entrance.
- Make the front third of the shop open with non-permanent fixtures that are flexible and easily moved. These are best if they are everyday items: tables, a couch, boxes and more. The more colour, texture and style the less like a shop your shop will feel and the more relaxed shoppers will be.
- Floor rugs are effective too, under a table fixture especially.
- No candy or William old products at the counter. Use the counter for products that are easily purchased on impulse, that play against expectations.
- A feature wall behind the counter that can be changed easily.
- Different colours and textures rather than the usual shop-fit look.
- Different lighting to highlight different part of the business.
- Less shop-fit made fixtures and more personally made or found items.
- Product placement such that it encourages people to explore. Embrace treasure hunt retail… where people wander the shop hoping to find treasure.
- Move tasks, pricing, returns and more to the shop floor. This will reduce shopper theft and increase sales.
- Have the least amount of staff resources behind the counter as possible. On the shop floor the same people can guide purchases.
Change is critical in retail today. Change beyond what has been traditional, change that helps you attract new shoppers and through them new revenue opportunities.
While we are an indie retail POS software co. we are retailers and retail experts. We’re here to help our customers through software, and beyond.