Online vendors have come to dominate how people buy. However, some real benefits come with a brick-and-mortar store. For local buyers, it shows you are part of the community. Create a community space, a place where customers put a face on a vendor they love so much. A brick-and-mortar shop lets people interact with you on a personal level that they simply can’t get when online. Here are some tips for when you finally set up your physical location.
From Online Vendor to Brick-and-Mortar Store
Why Go Physical?
You’re not the only online vendor who has plans for a physical location. Some have already beat you to the punch. Modcloth, a 13-year-old online vendor, opened its first brick-and-mortar store on the streets of San Francisco in July of 2015. “Today’s customers shop in multiple formats,” said the head of the digital division of the National Retail Federation, Vicki Cantrell, via USA Today. This is a natural expansion for an online vendor that has reached its goals online and now seeks new avenues for expansion.
Where You Start
You already have a product and customer base, but now you need the perfect location. Make a list of the best locations for your shop. These are your wildest dreams for a location, the most popular places you think your retail shop would flourish in. Once you have your list look for lease-able spaces in these areas. Dream big and exhaust your first choices before you look elsewhere; you might just find yourself in your top location. Timing is everything, and if you don’t ask you’ll never know.
Set up Security
While online businesses must worry about cybersecurity, brick-and-mortar shops worry about physical theft and burglary. While security systems for small businesses were once impractical, Lorex has changed the game. Lorex security cameras come in 720 and 1080p versions. Their appearance in your shop lets people know they are watched and will cut down on the effectiveness of shoplifters. With night vision capabilities, there’s no way anyone can burglarize your shop, even in the dead of night, without being seen. These cameras are wireless and easily set up. There is no installation or monthly fee. They link with your Wi-Fi, and with the Lorex app you can check up on your shop at any time.
Toss out the Cash
As an online retailer you’ve never accepted cash before, so why accept it now? This may seem counter-intuitive, but you may be surprised to hear that even Amazon, which opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle, Washington, in November of 2015, doesn’t accept cash. How many people do you know who still carry cash? With the advent of point-of-sale technologies liked Square and Clover, as well as Apple and Android Pay, fewer people carry cash with them than ever before. You can run a successful storefront without the hassle of handling cash with iPad registers such as those mentioned above. It’s one less thing you will worry about.
Hire the Right People
You have enough on your plate. That’s why you should hire the most capable, honest and self-driven people you can find. Look for employees who believe in your brand and the company’s mission. Offer advancement in the company if they demonstrate initiative. This will keep employees around and create a sense of community from your physical location to online sales.