It’s a tough market for small, independent retail owners. With big competitors like Amazon and Wal-Mart, it can be a challenge to bring in enough traffic to stay afloat. However, smaller businesses have something that these retail giants don’t – individuality. Customers can grow weary of big box stores and shopping online, and when they do, they look for those quirky, elegant or professional small businesses to give them despite from the monotony.
You can use your small store status to your advantage by offering shoppers an experience they can’t get at big retailers. For example, you can order unique store fixtures like bamboo hangers or classy wall displays that large stores don’t use. When designing your store layout and front window displays, let your creativity soar – you want to showcase your wares in ways that would be undoable at corporate outlets.
Unique promotions are another opportunity for you to stand out from your large competitors. Most chains require permission from the upper echelons of the company to run promotions, but you can mark down your items whenever and however you want. Consider hosting daily sales, and be sure to promote them on your social media networks.
Don’t be afraid to call direct attention to the fact that you aren’t a big retailer. You can use store signs to push this concept. For instance, a sign that reads “Great finds you won’t get anywhere else!” will remind passersby that the items on your gondola shelves and display tables are 100 percent unique (or at least a lot more unique that what they’ll find at a big box store). You can also take a jab at online retailers by writing, “Don’t wait for it to come in the mail! Get your items right now!”