Running your own boutique store is a dream come true for many. You can surround yourself with all your favourite things and be your own boss. However, the life of a modern shop-keeper is not an easy one. With customers rushing to online stores, high street shops are struggling. That doesn’t mean it’s dead in the water; far from it. Most shoppers will still tell you that browsing a real life store is how they get their thrills. It’s your job to keep the numbers flowing. Here are a few tricks we picked up over our time running a boutique store.
Your store doesn’t just have to be a shop. It could be a bar. It could be a catwalk or a performer’s stage. Use your shop premises to host regular events and attract attention. If you’re a boutique fashion store, host a glamour night with a catwalk and local models. Take a temporary liquor license from the council and sell a few drinks in the process. You could invite singers to perform or stage a lock in overnight. There are so many creative ways to draw attention to your boutique shop.
Keep the displays interesting
A local, boutique store is all about repeat customers. Loyalty is the best trick in the book for small shops. You need that core flow of regular customers who love to browse and try the new stock. You’ve got to keep the store fresh and interesting for them. They want to see new things every time they pop by. We always used a ball transfer on the bottom of every display. This made it super easy to move the shop around and keep the layout interesting. We also changed the window display every week or two with a new theme.
Open a pop-up store
Once you’ve strengthened your reputation in your area, it’s time to branch out. Pop-up stores are a great way to introduce yourself to new markets. Rent a small space in a popular area and stage a pop-up event. Show off your best wares and mark the prices down. Introduce people to your brand and get your name out there. This is so much fun too.
Create newsworthy moments
Other than events and pop-up stores, you need regular ways to capture people’s attention. Try a charity day where all you donate your profits to a good, local cause. You’ll attract tons of local media attention. Try offering workshops, tutorials or teaching days at the store. You’ll bring in all the right people and generate a buzz.
Back up your physical presence with a strong online platform. Use Instagram to show off great images of your products. Use Facebook and Twitter to interact with customers and offer exclusive deals. Build a community.
A good old-fashioned sale
Sometimes, there’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned sale to get people through the door. It will introduce new people to your brand and help move some old, stubborn stock.
There is no magic answer here, use your creativity and come up with imaginative PR ideas. Spread the word and get your name out there!