The retail landscape for gift shops is much more aggressive than ever before. Since gift shops mainly offer products that may not be considered essential, the competition in the market is stiff. It’s easy to lose to your competition selling the same items at a lower price.
Luckily, you can take steps to ensure your business doesn’t experience that fate. You can use a few new and creative strategies to stand out from your competition and grow your business. You can do this without compromising on the price or quality of your products.
Here is a list of four strategies that have proven to help gift shops thrive even with stiff competition:
Provide an exceptional in-store experience
Selling products is not only about the consequences anymore. It’s essential that you offer experiences your customers will love and remember!
They are likely to engage with your shop for the distinct experiences you can offer and end up buying a few things. Designing creative and unique in-store experiences is the key to making customers choose your shop over your competition.
One surefire way to do this is sprucing up your displays and getting creative with how certain items are showcased. Have items you can hang off of the walls? Please do it! Think you can pull off hanging a few things off of the ceiling of the store? Go for it! Remember to keep it neat and clean, though, so that all your wares are still easily seen.
Since most gift shops are situated near tourist attractions, it’s essential to give your customers experience of being in another country or state. And creative displays coupled with rare items can go a long way in doing that. To ensure that you showcase a few common trinkets, too, as only displaying rare items can become expensive, and not all tourists are looking for costly collections.
It’s a good idea to display a mix of items and even bundle some together, offering a discount if they buy the whole bundle.
Leverage modern technology
While technology is not the centre of attraction for your customers’ experiences, it can add value to it. It will also make operating your store much more manageable. Here are a few ways small businesses are leveraging the power of modern technology to thrive in the market:
- Mobile sales registers– Are you still using the classic cash register? It may be time to switch to a mobile Point of Sale (POS) system to improve customers’ shopping experience and ease business processes. POS systems allow you to ring up sales quickly while also keeping track of your inventory. A sound strategy can also help you track sales and revenue along with maintaining a solid customer database. It acts as an inventory, sales, and customer relationship management tool in one.
- Use metrics and analytics– If your POS system comes with retail metrics, make sure to use it for tracking various aspects of the business. If you use it right, the system metrics can give you all the data you need about your sales, profits, expenses, and even a supplier-wise breakdown of goods sold. You can use this data to plan for orders and staffing for the next year well in advance!
- Invest in a CRM system– It’s excellent if your POS comes bundles with a CRM system. But if not, invest in one to help your business grow exponentially. CRM systems can help you collect customer data which you can use to build loyalty programs and e-mail lists.
Provide value-adding services
If you can provide services that enhance a customer’s shopping experience in addition to the great products you carry, they will be sure to appreciate that. Providing services that add value to the customer’s overall experience is crucial for selling an experience they love. Consider including services in your shop that you know customers will engage in while shopping. Here are a few ideas you can try out:
- Consulting services– You can assist shoppers in selecting what to buy by offering free consultation. You know your products better than anyone, so you are the best person to tell them what to buy for someone depending on the gift’s occasion, relationship, or purpose. If you also sell homeware, you could offer home visits to survey their house before suggesting appropriate pieces to buy.
- Offer gift wrapping– It’s probably the most apparent service you can bundle with gifting items. And since most customers are buying souvenirs for loved ones, they would love to shop at a store that also wraps the gifts for them.
- Serve coffee and snacks– Everyone loves to snack while or after they shop. And since most of your customers are tourists, they’re likely to be hungry after a day of exploration. If you have the necessary space, you might even host an on-site café or bakery.
- Host events and classes– If you sell hobby and craft items, you could organize classes at your shop to bring in new customers. For example, if you sell art or craft supplies, you can host weekend classes for adults or regular art classes for kids. It’s a great way to engage with your local community while still promoting your shop and everything you have to offer.
Refresh your inventory
If your stocks aren’t selling out, you might have to re-evaluate your inventory. Is it in line with current trends? If not, it’s time to refresh the collection with what’s “in” right now.
An easy way to do this is to interact with your existing and potential customers to understand what they’re looking for. Then, you can combine the customer insights with the latest trends and restock your shop with items that fit the criteria. You can also experiment with new brands and new types of gifting items to see what clicks with your customers.
A great way to get insights into the latest industry trends is by attending trade shows. You can get the latest on everything and might also end up finding items you never thought of before.
Protect your gift shop from unforeseen events
You already have tons to worry about as a gift shop owner, including competition and store management. You also have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of your employees, customers, and anybody who walks through your doors.
You can ease up this responsibility by considering purchasing public liability insurance for your small business. It can protect your business if a customer, supplier, or any third party member is injured on your premises and in case of sustained property damage.
Getting cheap public liability insurance will not make a dent in your profits. Instead, it will protect your business and cover legal costs if someone files a claim against your company.
Visit this website to learn more about how public liability insurance can help you and why it’s essential. You can also get a public liability insurance quote there.