It is important as a business owner to set out of your store and learn to rate it from a shopper’s perspective. As a customer, you already critique other retail stores without even realizing it. Now learn to evaluate your own!
We’ve all shopped stores that have made such a bad first impression we’ve vowed that we would NEVER go back. But, as sensitive as you are to other stores, most business owners have a blind spot when it comes to evaluating their own store. That’s why it’s important to step back and look at your store from a shopper’s point of view.
While few customers will enter your store with a checklist and clipboard, all will form opinions the moment they step inside. As a retailer, you need to be aware of the subconscious impressions your store makes. Take an afternoon to walk your store as a customer, not an owner.
Evaluate the specific areas listed here, scoring each on the nearby chart. After rating your store, transfer your scores to the tally sheet. It’s divided into five categories: first impressions, the basics, merchandise, marketing and your image. You’ll immediately see where your store’s problem areas—and strengths—are.
Basics: Are your shelves stocked with basics?
Be sure always to stock the basics. Rain checks are no longer an acceptable replacement for out-of-stock items. You want the people who stop in for a quick purchase to return to your store—don’t turn them away with under-stocked shelves.
Bathrooms: Sigh. YES! This really does matter!
Are your bathrooms clean? Bathrooms are an important part of customer service. Do you keep them clean and well-lit? Are paper towels, soap, etc. always available? Do you have an employee frequently “inspect” them to assure they are well-maintained?
Cash/Wrap: Is your cash/wrap counter organized and free of clutter?
The cash/wrap is your customers’ last impression of your store. Keep it neat and representative of your store’s dedication to service and organization. Be mindful of open storage shelves that often become a haven for clutter. This is also a great place for 1 or 2 point of purchase items. But do not overload your checkout counter. Is looks overwhelming, messy & unprofessional.
Pt. 2- is coming up!