Today we’re thrilled to bring you this article from our friend Jay over at fitsmallbusiness.com. Be sure to head over there and check out some of the many awesome articles on retail, marketing, e-commerce and more.
If you’ve been running your retail business for a while, there’s a good chance that things have shifted a bit over time since you initially planned and organized your store layout.
Consider this article your inspiration for a bit of spring cleaning to get back to being streamlined and effective.
#1. Organize Your Store’s Flow
You might have started out with designated areas for different types of products, promotional items, and checkout, but over time you may have added shelves and racks that now make your store a bit chaotic and crowded. Realize though, that the flow (or lack thereof) of your store directly correlates to how much revenue you bring in. If it’s difficult to navigate between racks, customers won’t stick around in your store long, and they’ll spend their money elsewhere.
Make sure there is ample space for customers to wander around, but subtly guide them to the right when they enter the store. Research shows this is most conducive to encouraging shoppers to browse.
#2. Direct Customers to Products You Want to Sell
Just as important as the flow of your store are the display stations you set up throughout the store.
Setting up displays throughout your store to highlight products that you want to sell can help you move inventory that’s been gathering dust or put attention on new products.
Spend time assessing foot traffic to find places that customers naturally slow down in. The end of aisles or areas separating one section from another are logical choices. This is where your product displays should go.
And leverage your checkout station! It’s another great location to place products, particularly cheap impulse buys.
Test out different types of products and displays, and record insights on how many products you sell from each. Change just one thing to test (different color scheme, theme, or products) and compare results, and before long, you’ll have a good idea of what your customers want for these displays.
#3. Get Your Inventory in Order
Oh, inventory. It’s a retailer’s biggest headache. Fortunately, there are many great inventory management platforms that make it easy to stay on top of what’s out of stock and what you aren’t selling.
Keeping your inventory organized is important for many reasons, and not just making sure you have what customers want in stock. It can also help with your taxes, because you have to value your inventory at year’s end. Manual inventory-taking can make this more challenging, but software, naturally, makes it a heck of a lot easier.
Make a regular date to check in on inventory. If your staff is using your inventory software correctly, this should be a short survey, not a night-long project!
4. Deep Clean the Store, One Section at a Time
While scouring your store from head to toe all at once is a daunting task that nobody wants, you can break the feat up into manageable chunks by tackling one part of the store at a time.
Ensure that all shelving and racks are regularly dusted or wiped down and that products are whole (no bent boxes or broken bits) and arranged in an appealing manner.
Remove everything from the floor and mop. When employees rush through to clean at night’s end, they likely go around racks and don’t get the dust that gathers there.
One area that doesn’t often get a lot of attention is the cashier’s station. Remove all the old employee drink cups, receipt rolls, and bags from under the counter and wipe those down. Even take the money out of the cash register and clean out the money sections.
Make a pass through the stockroom and employee break room too. Who knows how long those Twinkies have been sitting on the shelf!
By handling just one of these areas a week or a night, your staff won’t be overwhelmed with cleaning tasks, and the job will get done before you know it.
Keeping your retail business organized should be an ongoing effort so you’re not overwhelmed with tasks every few years. Put a reminder on your calendar to check in every month or quarter on each of these components of your business to ensure that they continue to operate smoothly.