Each year I love to offer “spring cleaning” tips to improve your customers’ shopping experience and your retail success. Warmer days, Pride season and other fun activities are upon us, so now is the perfect time to update your store. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
I’m passionate about this one. Signage is often our main source of communication with customers, yet it rarely gets enough love. It can be hard to stay on top of everything in adult retail, so we sometimes get in the habit of making handwritten signs, using incorrect or dated signs, or overdoing signage. Then we get accustomed to seeing those things day in and day out, and forget how others may perceive them. But this aspect of your store is a huge part of the overall first impression your business makes on customers.
Websites that offer custom signage, such as Canva, include plenty of premade templates that not only make designing easy and fun, but also allow you to create fully customizable signage with your logo or other store information. You can use it for posters, flyers, banners, easel-style signs, stickers, paper bags — there are so many options. Signs.com is another great site for things like foam core signs and cash wrap signage. Both options are affordable and user-friendly.
Need help freshening up your store with new posters or signs from manufacturers? Industry social media platforms like XBIZ.net or the Pleasure Professionals Place (P3) Facebook group are wonderful resources to send out a call for help when you need something. Manufacturers produce a ton of posters, signage, social media content and marketing materials for retail and e-tail alike. With each new season or product launch, fresh options are available. Don’t be afraid to post a message asking manufacturers what they can provide. Remember that if you need something, chances are someone else probably does too, so asking will also help others. This also goes for testers, samples and other product needs. You can also ask your distributor or manufacturer rep, who are eager to partner with you and help your business succeed.
Shop Around for Inspiration
It’s hard to keep a fresh perspective when it comes to maintaining your store. All too easily, we fall back on habit, do whatever we are used to and forget that, with time, everything ages and needs to be freshened up and maintained.
Try to have some fun and shop local stores that inspire you. It doesn’t have to be a sexual health and wellness business, just someplace that you enjoy going to, where you like spending time and money. Think about the things you value most in a shopping experience. Then take a few minutes each week to walk your store with a fresh set of eyes and a different perspective.
Tune Up Your Music
Spruce up your store’s atmosphere with new music that channels the fun of spring break and the summer that’s on the horizon. I love to jam when I’m in stores, and nothing kills the mood faster than the wrong music. Music or in-store sounds can be a total mood elevator, which in turn encourages people to spend more money. Try playing high-energy music rather than simply tuning in to a local easy-listening radio station. Creating a customer experience is a top-to-bottom exercise: every detail matters.
Make a Fresh Start
Look at the spaces you don’t normally get to daily. Wipe down your walls, mannequins, hangers, and testers. Do an audit on what testers are sitting on the shelves versus what is selling. Get rid of discontinued items, items that don’t have chargers and any non-working products. If you use any type of acrylic shelving or displays, how is it looking? Scratched and older-looking acrylic can be revived with an inexpensive polish; I recommend the Novus Acrylic Cleaning Kit, which helps remove scratches and restores shine. It makes a huge improvement for about $20. Hangers looking a little dingy and scratched? Spray paint works wonders to revitalize, and you can even pick fun colors to coordinate with your displays or interior. Used mannequins from eBay can also be a great investment if you need a budget-friendly option.
You’d be surprised by how much you can improve your store and your customers’ experience just by following these simple, cost-effective tips. Remember, there is a wealth of resources in this industry, so take advantage of all the tools available to you. Cheers to springing into summer, and happy selling!