Choosing the right site for your physical store is critical decision for an online retailer that wants to add bricks to clicks.
Open a physical store for your online business
The reasons why online retailers are starting to open Brick and Mortar Stores were mentioned previously in this blog (http://bricks2clicks.co.za/?p=260). However, once an online retailer has decided to open a physical store, choosing the right site will help to ease the integration process with her online business.
Kenny Kline proposes that retailers do the following when choosing a site for their shop:
Outline the business needs
The type of retail business you have will determine the site and location you need. If you offer a large variety of merchandise online, then a physical shop with space can serve as a warehouse. Other factors to consider when choosing a site are zoning requirements and whether you anticipate needing deliveries, making shipments, or attracting walk-in customers.
Know your customers
Before renting or purchasing a space, it’s critical to have an understanding of your ideal customer. It is important for most retailers that their businesses are in proximity to potential customers. Retailers should therefore take time to evaluate prospective locations based on demographic data. Insight into the age, education levels, economic base, and other characteristics of the people living nearby are important.
Consider accessibility and safety
Retailers need to make sure that customers will find it easy to park their vehicles and safe to walk to your retail site. Delivery and courier trucks should have easy access to the warehouse with safe parking space. Employees should also have a safe place to park the vehicles. Employing security personnel should be considered in some areas.
Cultivate a brand
A retailer’s physical location serves as the first impression it will make on potential customers. People’s impressions of the building and its surroundings will influence their perception of your brand, so think carefully about what potential locations might say about your business.
Outsmart the competition
Explore the area to get a sense of nearby businesses, including their customer demographics, accessibility, and whether or not they might provide auxiliary services to clients or employees. Then decide whether their presence might hurt or facilitate the company’s prospects.
If you hope to expand retail space or hire more employees down the road, then seek out a building of an appropriate size. At the same time, keep in mind that there’s no sense in taking on more space than the business can reasonably fill. More space typically comes with a larger cost. Weigh future goals with present realities when making any decisions on size.
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