Whether it is a grocery store, produce stand, supermarket or bodega, profit margins can be extremely tight across this corner of the highly competitive retail industry. While raising prices or cutting staff will obviously have an immediate impact on customer experience and repeat business, there are several proven methods for retaining existing clientele while attracting new shoppers regardless of the economy or location. Keep the following tips in mind when addressing any small shop’s bottom line. Some are simple, others might take a bit more planning. The one thing they all have in common, however, is a focus on improving and enhancing the experience of shoppers who enter a grocer’s doors.
Pay Attention to the Little Things
Addressing major issues might be most important in the near term, but plans for improvement should always include fixing or upgrading small items that will have a long-term impact on the life of the business. Among these items might be shopping cart casters, which can become worn and result in unsteady or noisy cart operation. Anyone who has tried to load a basket with groceries as one wheel skidded along the floor knows the frustration this can bring on an otherwise great trip to the market.
Know Where to Shop for Your Shoppers
While it is important to set up a grocery store as the place for the public to buy food and other household staples, shop owners need to know the best wholesalers to trust in the constant battle against empty shelves. Keeping fruit, vegetables and other perishable goods available within their peak freshness can be a burden that does not seem to get easier over time. Especially in rural settings, it might be a challenge for the life of the business. Fortunately, technology and improved shipping methods has made it easier than ever to fully stock a supermarket virtually anywhere in the industrialized world.
Put the Customer First Every Day
It should go without saying, but stores of all sizes forget from time to time that the aisles are open because shoppers need them to be. Instead of focusing solely on the bottom line and letting customers deal with the consequences, consider the experience of these shoppers as the deciding factor in an array of decisions. The first impression, mood and reception they receive through staff interaction and thoughtful design will speak louder than any advertisement or customer loyalty card ever could.