Skip to main content
Acima Leasing Logo

15 Tips to Improve Your Retail Store

Mar 09, 2022

Looking for a few ways to improve your retail store? If so, you’re in luck! Here are 15 of our favorite tips to help you increase sales and attract more customers.

1. Understand How Customers Shop

When it comes to customers’ shopping habits, it's important to understand that everyone is different. Some people like to browse and take their time, while others know exactly what they want — and they’ll go straight to the section of the store that sells it. As a retailer, it's important to recognize as quickly as possible what kind of customer you’re dealing with. Once you've identified how someone shops, you can better understand how to merchandise your products. And perhaps even more important: try to cater to as many different types of shoppers as possible.

2. Differentiate Your Retail Store

Before opening a new store, it's important to establish how you will differentiate yourself from similar stores. There are so many different types of retail stores. How do you ensure that yours stands out? The most successful retailers make their stores stand out by specializing in a particular item or items. If you’re offering too many options, you could run the risk of confusing customers.

3. Prioritize Great Customer Service

Customers appreciate knowledgeable and helpful employees. If possible, provide incentives for employees to be more knowledgeable about your products. Employees should be able to answer questions about how different items are used, how to take care of them, etc. Another great customer-focused solution is to offer a lease-to-own* solution that will help your customers get the products they need without having to pay in full upfront.

4. Don't Run Out of Products

This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised! If you run out of a product that people want, then they won’t want to shop at your store. You’ll want to ensure that your retail store always has your most popular products. For this reason, keeping a thorough inventory is of paramount importance. Furthermore, if someone comes into your store looking for an item you don't have in stock, see if you can have the item shipped over immediately. This will let customers know how committed you are to keeping your store fully stocked.

5. Utilize Social Media

Many people will prefer to shop online before they visit your retail store. Use social media to get their attention! Post videos, photos and other content so that your customers will be more inclined to come into your store. For additional exposure, you can also post discounts or giveaways exclusively on your social media accounts.

6. Create Loyalty Programs

One way to keep customers coming back is to start a loyalty program. When customers sign up for this type of program, they can receive special discounts and rewards points (etc.) for how much they spend. Loyalty programs can also help you retain customers who’ll be more likely to shop with you in the future.

7. Be Patient

It's important to remember that building a successful retail store takes time. It also requires patience to see how your customers respond to changes. When you do implement different strategies, give yourself time to track how those strategies impact sales and customer loyalty before making additional changes.

8. Clean Your Store

You may be wondering how cleanliness factors into improving your retail store. It turns out, the cleanliness of your store really matters. Customers are more likely to return if they’ve had a positive experience with your staff and if they liked how your goods were displayed. Cleaning regularly will make your store seem new, inviting and pleasant.

9. Embrace Your Brand's Story

Having a strong brand story can help customers create a connection to your business. If you know how your brand came to be, how it evolved, and how it stands out from the competition, use that story to your advantage. Some brands even create videos or infographics to share their story with customers, in order to relate to them on a more personal level.

10. Hire Quality Staff

Retail stores rely on how knowledgeable their employees are about their products. This is why it's important to only hire trustworthy, friendly staff members for your store. Employees who know how to interact with customers will make a positive difference in how shoppers perceive your business.

11. Be Aware of Competitor Pricing

It should go without saying that the price of your products will impact how much profit you make. Keep a close watch on how your competitors are pricing their wares, then combine that knowledge with two other classic pricing factors: If your prices are too high, it can be difficult to attract as many customers as possible; if your prices are too low, how can you continue making a profit? It's important to have a strategy that balances how much customers are willing to pay with how much you want to make, while keeping in mind competitor pricing.

12. Update Inventory Regularly

When you're fully stocked and your products are easily visible, how can shoppers resist? Cycle through your inventory regularly so that you always have the items people want most. This will help you avoid having to order more stock after it's too late.

13. Be a Resource for Customers

Customers are always looking for ways to improve their homes. So, how can your retail store become a source of knowledge for them? You don't have to set up an official service, but you can share how-to guides or post photos of before-and-after transformations made with products from your store.

14. Make Shopping Easy

If you simplify the ways in which your customers shop, how can they resist shopping at your store? A great way to improve your retail store is to simply make shopping easier. Ways to cut the hassle include having self-checkout stands, or allowing shoppers to sign up for memberships — and automatically taking how much they owe each month from their account. Another way to help make shopping easier for your customers is to team up with Acima. Our point-of-sale, lease-to-own* solutions can help your customers get the products they want without having to pay the full price upfront.

15. Meet Customers’ Needs

One of the most important things you can do to improve your retail store is meet the needs of your customers. Getting to know them — and understanding how they feel about your business — will help you figure out how best to serve them. This can mean implementing new strategies, such as using technology, to improve your knowledge of how your customers perceive and interact with your brand.

Common Questions About Running a Retail Store:

Are retail stores profitable?

Some are, yes! However, the success of your business depends on how well you manage it and how much effort you put into creating a positive shopping experience for customers.

How do I start a retail store?

You'll have to determine how much money you're willing to put into your business and how committed you are to building a strong foundation. Without a solid plan, people may not want to work with you or take on loans.

How do retail stores make money?

The primary purpose of a retail store is to sell items that customers want. When sales are good, how much money you make will depend on how well you're able to meet demand while maintaining healthy profit margins.

How much does it cost to open a retail store?

That depends on how much money you're willing to put into your business, plus how well you plan for expenses and how well you can manage staff. It may be difficult to start a retail store without a lot of money upfront because it usually takes some time before profits begin to come in.