Let’s say running a supermarket or a grocery store has been your longtime dream. You found the right location, stocked shelves with popular products, found the right staff and it’s time to start welcoming your first customers. No matter how big or small your grocery is, your ultimate goal is to successfully run it and succeed with your dream. Here’s a list of things you should do to ensure the long and successful life of your grocery store.
1. Learn what the customers want
Running a grocery business is one of the most competitive markets out there. There’s simply a great demand for a well-stocked grocery store near your home, so they are practically everywhere. But not all grocery stores are the same because some don’t know what the customers want. Do your research to find out what are their buying preferences, available budget, and how you can attract their interest and sell to them.
2. The store atmosphere
On average, people visit a supermarket once or twice a week and spend at least forty minutes at the store. Given that this is a significant amount of time, you have to make sure your customers feel comfortable at your store. So, mind your store atmosphere. Is it warm, clean, organized, and pleasant to stay at in general? Work on these and any other areas of improvement to make the atmosphere warm and pleasant.
3. Store organization
Ask yourself the following – is your store easy to navigate? Or do people have trouble finding their way around? This is yet another factor to consider if you want your business to be successful. If your store is hard to navigate, customers will have to go to another store to buy products they couldn’t locate. Your ultimate goal is to make them buy even more so you can also group things that go well together. For example, spaghetti and tomato sauce, or pizza and ketchup.
4. Deals and promotions
Weekly, monthly, seasons deals, and promotions should be among your marketing tactics. The promotional sale or a discount is the invitation to customers to come to your store. If they buy a certain product or a service, they will get it at a special, discounted price.
5. Excellent staff
Hiring people that are patient, friendly, great communicators and efficient will make a great difference. When you run a business that relies on its customers, you have to have excellent customer service. Your staff should be helpful at all times, pleasant, and up for the task. Also, make sure to have enough employees so that every stage of running a supermarket business will run smoothly.
6. Attract versatile customers
They say there’s a product for everyone. For you, as the business owner, we should transform this into – there’s a buyer for every type of product. Thus, you should define which type of customers you want to attract with your inventory. For example, if you want to attract customers who are into fitness and protein-rich food, dedicate an aisle to such products. From healthy snacks like a range of protein crisps, protein powders, and almond butter, you can include a variety of products. If you have a list of customer groups you want to attract, make a list of groceries that will appeal attractive to them and stock up on those options.
7. Make your name known with community work
If you want your supermarket to be known across the community, engage with your community. You can sponsor events to get your name on posters and billboards. You can sponsor schools, organizations with a good cause, donate products to those in need. Whatever you commit to, make sure it’s for a good cause and people will recognize your involvement with the community.
8. Mind your inventory
It’s easy to go overboard and stock up on too many items. This can financially ruin you so develop a plan to keep your inventory in check and to make purchases when they are necessary. The golden rule is to hit the middle ground and not over-buy on items. Take into account shelf life and the demand for each product whenever you have to stock up on inventory.
9. Implement a loyalty program to have customers return
The best trick in marketing books to have customers return is to implement a loyalty program. Even though this isn’t a new concept, it’s been proven as a technique that works. People can collect points with each purchase and have their bills reduced by a certain amount. Or, those who own a loyalty card can get a new product at a discounted price. Just make sure your loyalty program offers some type of reward to its owners and you’ll ha your customers return each time.
10. Analyze purchasing habits
If you want to increase profits, analyze the data available to you. Every season has its purchasing trend, like religious holidays or state holidays. You shouldn’t offer easter decorations in winter, so you have to analyze the trends. By breaking down the data, you’ll know which products sell well and fast, which don’t and which ones are seasonal commodities.
11. Keep it clean
The levels of cleanliness should be high at all times. Have a system in place where each employee will notify the person responsible if someone made a mess between the isles. Someone may drop a bottle of coke that will spill all over the place. These things will happen and aim to have someone in charge of keeping the place clean at all times. Even if the space appears clean, you should have people swipe the floors a few times during each shift.
12. Give people a chance to purchase online
You can give people a chance to put in their order online and have it ready for them in an hour. They can come at a predefined time to just pick their order and not wait in line or spend their time browsing the store. You can charge them additionally for home delivery if they decide to have the groceries delivered to their door. Either way, people got used to buying things online as it’s a convenient option for them.
This list can inspire new supermarket businesses and existing ones to analyze their current practices to look for areas of improvement. With a bit of effort or a change in the ways your store operates, you can boost sales, attract new customers and keep the old ones.