The basics for a great store.

The Retailer Advisory Panel has identified the essential initial steps to success, most of which are easy to implement, yet will have significant impact on how your store is perceived and how successful it is.

Have you got the basics right?

If you want your store to be the best it can be, there are some basics which you should ensure are put into place. They are easy to do, but will help your customers with their shopping and thus maximise your sales. These basics are the foundations for your business – get these right and give your store the best chance to thrive.

Hints and tips

Good customer service is key to the success of a small business as it is what sets the convenience sector apart from the multiples. Store staff are the face of the business – if they are friendly and helpful the store can become the hub of the community which customers will choose to come back to time after time.

Do it: Encourage staff to be friendly and ask “did you find everything you need?” as this can result in increased sales and increased customer satisfaction, ensuring that they return to your shop again and again.

Poor cleanliness or hygiene can give the shopper the impression that the retailer doesn’t care and worse still that their stock will be out of date or of poor quality too. However, if the store looks tidy and smells clean, they’ll be less likely to just grab what they need and leave and more inclined to stay, spending more time and money in the process.

Do it: Clean and clear windows of POS from waist height up. This will invite customers into the store and create a better, brighter environment for the shopper, encouraging them to spend more time in the store and therefore maximising spend.

Understanding your customers is crucial to success, so you can stock what they want. For example, if you have a lot of elderly people in your area, they may need food which meets special dietary needs, such as gluten free or diabetic. Also, find opportunities to get involved with your community – school PTA events, fireworks night, Poppy Day, etc – and raise your profile within the community.

Do it: Invite 6 to 8 local people to meet up with you to talk about what people think of your shop and where there is opportunity for improvement.

To ensure that you maximise sales once people are in the store, stock the products that they want to buy.

Do it: Look at bestsellers lists as these will show you which the most popular products in each category are. If you’ve not already got it, give EPOS serious consideration to help you identify the bestsellers in your store.

See Factsheet: Getting the basics right

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Award winning category management advice for growing your sales based on knowledge and insight from Unilever category experts, plus business advice from our Retailer Advisory Panel of award-winning UK convenience retailers.

*Unilever retailer survey