One of the most exciting parts of a business adventure is the planning and opening of your very first shop, ready to sell your product to the world. But do you have everything you need to make sure your business runs smoothly and efficiently? Read on for our top list of items you’ll definitely need to make sure your first shop is a hit, as well as how you can use these items to improve your shop’s success.
This one is fairly straightforward, but worth a mention as it can easily be overlooked. If you’re selling a product, one thing you can’t forget is how you’re going to keep it stocked and presented in your shop! Of course, this varies greatly depending on what your product is and what you’re intending to sell. Although there’s a great variety of options, here are the three of the most popular and effective:
Clothing Stores: The best way to display clothing isn’t folded up on a shelf; rather you should put it up proudly on a hanger. Using a clothes rail allows ease of use from shoppers who can easily move their way through a variety of different clothes and pick out those that they like most. It’s also worth having models, even if you have only one or two – these can help customers visualise what an outfit may look like, and encourage them to imagine it on themselves and lead them to wanting to buy the item. It can also be a great way to show off the best bits of your stock, and encourage customers to peak in a shop window and wander in for more.
Homeware shops, and other similar stores: Shelves are your best friend here; not only are they an easy and space-efficient way to display your products, but they can be used to your advantage. The customer’s gaze is often drawn to the centre of their field of vision, so placing items you most want to sell on a centre shelf (or those which have discounts or offers on) is likely to give those products more sales. Using your own products to design your shop’s interior also suggests you value your products, shows off their use and style, and helps to encourage your customers’ subconscious to focus on your products.
Beauty shops: If you are setting up a beauty shop, either selling products or acting as a salon, it’s important to show off the effectiveness of your products to secure a sale. Photographs of models sampling your products can give your customer an idea of what they’d look like, and persuade them to make the buy. Placing mirrors in your shop alongside testers also means customers have the chance to try the product themselves and see if they like it – those who do are certain to make the purchase, as well as potentially become return customers.
There are plenty of other examples for how you can display your product and design your shop’s interior – click here for more ideas and inspiration on points of purchase in your displays, and how you can use this to select which display is best for your product.
Tills and Card Machines
Of course, one of the main reasons as to why someone would set up a shop is to make money. However, this task will become impossible without the right equipment in place. Every shop needs at least one till to put transactions through and help you track how much income you’re making (as well as help you keep track of how much stock you’ve sold). Tills also mean you can offer change to those paying cash, and of course, provide every customer with a receipt. Tills are commonplace nowadays, meaning not only are they easy to use and allow quick sales without making customers wait, but it’s most likely that new employees will be familiar with the way they work and can get started right away. Even if they don’t, it takes minutes to teach them how to use, meaning your workers can be as efficient as possible.
Cash isn’t the only method of payment, however, and so a card reader is a must alongside any till in order to allow customers to pay via debit or credit. It’s important to do your research here – many card machines that appear cheap and good value on the surface may not offer all the services you need. If you’re unsure, we recommend checking out UTP Merchant Services – not only do they offer a faster processing service, which allows money in the bank account within hours instead of days. This speed is much faster than many other card reader providers. The firm works alongside large companies such as Barclay Card to offer clients the security of an established bank, and reputable Ingenico, which provides services that clients can rely on. They are also known for their brilliant, UK-based customer service and technical support meaning you can be sure to fix any issues quickly. All of these points mean UTP Merchant Services can offer an efficient and reliable way to carry out transactions.
Signs, Labels and Tags
Your product can do most of the talking, but not all of it – and that’s where having signs can come in handy. Of course, signs on your shop front are the first to be considered to make sure it’s clear as to what you’re selling, but also gives off the vibes that are right for your business – no one wants a toy shop with a sign in gold, italic font, as this will just confuse potential customers. So, a front sign is a must that takes a lot of consideration, but have you thought about other exterior signs? Having a sign in place outside displaying discounts, offers, and special products can bring in potential customers who may have previously walked past without a glance. These are particularly effective when advertising impulse buys, as they draw customers in quickly. If you’re unsure of how to display these correctly, opting for a put-up board or window posters can make your business and offers easily stand out amongst the crowd, particularly when paired with bright colours to attract attention.
Labels and price tags are also important. Sneakily hidden price tags (or sometimes none at all) often put customers off as it appears as if something is trying to be hidden, and so the business can be viewed as untrustworthy. Keeping your prices clear is also important in attracting customers – if they see a price that they consider a bargain, they’ll be more likely to look and want to know more. Advertising sale prices and offers therefore can draw in plenty of customers. It’s also worth doing a bit of research into consumer psychology and the effects certain features in labels can have on persuading a customer to purchase a product. For example, listing a product as £9.99 instead of £10 can make the product seem cheaper and thus make it seem better value for money, encouraging your customers to buy. For more information on consumer psychology and how you can utilise it, click here.
These are the most essential items you need to purchase before setting up a shop. Make sure to take time to carefully plan and work out the small details so you can be sure that when you open for business, things will go as smoothly and as successfully as possible.